The world that colors our head ~ the reason of “Little Red Riding Hood” put on red?(#18)

A movie set in Algeria called “PAPICHA” was screened in October 2020, Japan.

“PAPICHA” in 2019

This work won the Palme d’Or at the Cannes International Film Festival in 2019.
Among them, there was a scene about a folk costume called “Haik”.
The size is 6m x 2.2m, and the material is generally wool, silk, or synthetic silk.
Not all of the fabrics seem to be called “Haik”, done in Capital Algiers and western.
In the Eastern it called it Malaya, which is black, and in the Southern it’s printed pattern (but the name is unknown).

And nowadays, it tends to be worn mainly by the elderly women, and it seems that it is not something that young wear on a daily basis.
However, there is a movement to revive and protect culture, which has a feeling similar to that of “kimono” in Japan.

Actually, in Japan, you can hardly see the sight of covering the cloth from the head like wearing Haik.
If you cover your head with something, these may be common, either to hide your identity or for safety, and otherwise for fashion, including protection against the cold.

Hood to hide the existence or face

When it comes to covering from the head like a “Haik”, many people in Japan may think of “hoods” at first.
First, it can cheack an interesting character in the manga “Golden Kamuy”.

The picture of “Golden Kamuy” from

This work is a story about the gold nugget that Ainu had treasured in Sakhalin, Hokkaido after the end of the Russo-Japanese War.
There is a character nicknamed “Zukin-chan” in the work.

※”Zukin”means a hood,”-chan” is the word like “Mr or Miss” toward good friends.

He is a Russian sniper whose real name is “Vashiri”.
By the way, it is said that this person was modeled on Vassili Zaitsev, who was played by Jude Law in the movie “Enemy at the Gates” in 2001.


He hides his mouth to hide his chin injury and is later called “Zukin-chan” by the Japanese charactars.


Also, there is an old movie called “Murasaki Zukin”, means Purple Hood.
It is a historical drama series that ran through the 1920s to 1980s.
The stage was set in the 18th century of Edo period, when the “Murasaki Zukin” appeared as a katanasman(fencer) of justice to defeat the sociaty of corruption.
He mainly is an ukiyo-e artist, so covered with a purple hood to hide his real face.

“The Purple Hooded Man”

By the way, this character setting has been inherited in another historical drama, and used as an item not only that corrects evil but a woman dressed as a man.
In addition, with similar character settings, there was also an “White” and “Black” version.

“The White Hooded Man”

In the sense of “hiding”, “Kurogo” such as Kabuki may be the same.
They appear on the stage under the promise that they will not be visible to the audience, helping actors and puppeteers as guardians, giving props to actors and lowering them from the stage.

*An article related about the meaning of black is from here(#1).

Painted By Kuniyoshi Utagawa

Hood for disaster prevention

Focusing on practical aspects, the purpose is to protect against the cold or disaster.
Originally, it is based on the air defense hood used at the end of the Pacific War.
However, it was widely adopted by many elementary and junior high schools even after the end of the war.

One of war paintings

It is in preparation for earthquakes.
Because Japan has many earthquake frequently.
So disaster prevention awareness in Japan is closely related to earthquakes.
The consciousness leaned from war to earthquake now.

Why is Little Red Riding Hood “red”?

On the other hand, it is about “Little Red Riding Hood”.
Her hood stands out so much.
Why is she wearing a red hood?

The “hood” was one of the fashionable items of 16th and 17th century European novelwomen and middle-class wives.
It is said that the red is related to “witch hunting”, which was at its peak in the 16th century, and suggests “sin, sensuality, and devil“.

Painted by Leonard Fujita “Red Riding Hood”

There is a lesson in fairy tales.
In terms of being “eaten by a wolve,” the meaning of red is the same as the red cloak seen in bullfighting.

When you get over the meaning of “hiding”, it becomes an “exposure”, or a “show” in a good way.
In other words, it works as “fashion items“.

The print of Shiko Munakata’s “Zukin”
The painting of Misao Kono’s “Zukin”

There are still various views on whether to “hunt (= eat) a witch” that a wolf tempts, or to overcome the danger of a wolf and gain a new charm (to be shown).

Multiple meanings of various colors

When we get to know a foreign culture, we tend to think that something is common to the country, but it is misunderstand like the opening folk costume “Haik”.
And being surprised that even if there is a lot of hood just in Japan.
Hide something and reveal something again.
By the way, by Chinese, “green (hat)” means a male or female whose lover or spouse has been taken.
It feels like “coquettish”.
White is also an item to avoid in everyday life, as it is a mourning item to be worn in Greater China when a person dies.

It seems that there are “discoveries that can uncover” just because they are “being covered“.
And it would be great if some ideas are heard and respected with various colors and costumes.



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