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Oharame, Female Peddlers in Unique Costume

In the northern part of Kyoto, the Ohara (大原) district is located. The district is famous as the land where Kenreimonin Tokuko (建礼門院徳子), the daughter of Tairano Kiyomori (平清盛), spent her remaining years after the fall of the Taira (平) Family.

In Ohara, once there were female peddlers called Oharame (大原女), with their commodities such as charcoals and firewood bundles on their head. Their uniform was designed based on the outfit that the lady Awano naishi (阿波内侍), a maid to Kenreimonin, usually wore.

The attire consists of Navy Kimono, Tasuki (たすき, a red cord to tuck up the sleeves), Maekake (前掛け, an apron) with splashed patterns. Their feet are wrapped with white clothes, their arms are covered with long glove called Tekkou (手甲), and their heads are wrapped with Tenugui (手ぬぐい, Japanese towel). Their unique appearance became a popular figure in Kyoto, enough to be introduced as one of the Mibu Kyogen (壬生狂言, a Noh farce performed in Mibu temple) program. However, along with the rapid development of civilization, the figure of Oharame has vanished in 1960s.

Today, in the district, the dress-up experience where visitors can wear the Oharame costume is very popular.

In addition, there used to be other groups of female peddlers such as: Shirakawame (白川女) with flowers on their heads, as well as Katurame (桂女) who sell sweet fish caught in the Katsura river (桂川). The reproduced figures of those female peddlers can be seen in the procession of Jidai Matsuri (時代祭, the Festival of Ages) annually held in October.

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