This is a broken piece of a Kamikazari (hair ornament) from the Taisho Era (1912-1926). The work is a small part that was once attached to a hairpin made of the same material. It is made with the highest quality of tortoiseshell, prized for the way its translucent, amber color complemented dark black hair. During this time, Kamikazari like these were only used on a women’s wedding day.
The ornament depicts two stems with small leaves branching out of them and a bud of a chrysanthemum. The sculptor carefully carved incisions to give the leaves veins and small petals to the budding flower.
Freed from its designation as a Kamikazari, its potential to be appreciated as a work of beauty has no bounds. How would you reinterpret it today? It would make a wonderful broach on an indigo jacket. One could also fashion it into a pin. The possibilities are limited only by one’s imagination.