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A hair splitting question

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Hi guys,


A trivial subject, but I don’t like it when I can’t find an answer about something.


Recently, I’ve been reading an excellent book about everyday life during the Edo bakufu. One of the topic is fashion and as many of you probably know, the bakufu promulgated a law forbidding samurai to wear a beard or a moustache.


If we look at the early Edo portrait, we still see some samurai sporting a beard, a moustache and a chonmage that looks more like a pigtail (to secure the kabuto I guess). Beards and staches seem to reappear near the Bakumatsu era.


So à question for the historian or Japan living members among us: Do you have any idea when that law (no beard, no stache, folded topknot over shaven pate) was promulgated? 

I can’t seem to find any information about that.


Thanks for your help,



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Hi Koichi,


and wow! Thank you! I didn’t think I would have a reply, at least not so fast! Thank you again. say, do you know if it was revoked during the Bakumatsu or they rules just became more relaxed?




Here are the links to the books. Unfortunately, they are in French. They are great because it contains a lot of information otherwise disseminated into more topical books. However, the second one was made by a Japanese author and translated in French, so maybe there is an English translation somewhere.







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