The Hikitate Eboshi (boshi) refers to a type of hat worn throughout historical Japan which were uniformly black in color. The name translates to “bird hat” because it resembles the feather of a black bird, though over time, the style and shape of the eboshi developed along with the many different hairstyles to show one’s rank within Japanese society. As the bushi rose in power and stature, so did the eboshi they used in daily life. Typically the eboshi was only worn after “gempuku” (the ceremony of passage to adulthood – typically the age of 12). In general, taller “tate-eboshi” were worn by higher ranking samurai, while the smaller eboshi were worn by inferior samurai, officials, standard-bearers and the like.
The hikitate-eboshi is similar to the nae-eboshi (a soft hat used by commoners) but were adapted to the warrior class as they rose in power. Much like the tate-eboshi (worn by nobles), it is a tall hat which stands up straight (20-40 CM tall) or up and back. Showing a humbled status between commoner and noble, this eboshi was more pliable; so it could be worn under the kabuto. This made it more favored by the warrior samurai class and quickly became known as the “samurai eboshi”. Over time the hikitate-eboshi incorporated white ties around the brim, which would help hold the hat secure while the warrior galloped on horseback or engaged in battle.