The Modern Chonmage – The Man Bun

contemplativebun

The year is 1585 and a drip of beaded perspiration slowly meanders down the nose of Okudaira’s servant as he carefully shaves his master’s head to accentuate the grand chonmage of this great samurai. His trusted servant is all too aware that should he impart the slightest blemish on this feared warrior’s scalp, he too will quickly experience an even larger, and yet more terminal, cut upon his own head. After a few more tense moments the servant finally relaxes as Okudaira grunts with approval as he gleefully looks at his long, oiled, black hair topknot, now fully emphasised against his scar ravaged battle weary freshly shaved smooth skin.

But this chonmage was not worn for fashion. No, it was used by the mighty Japanese samurai to securely affix their helmet in place during battle; otherwise it would slide off their servant shaven heads leading to unthinkable catastrophic consequences. As the years progressed, this small clump of hair came to signify their high standing in society and a symbol of their fearsome military innovation and creativity.

Today, the samurai no longer roam the Japanese countryside, but the memory of their fortitude still remains and is seen on the heads of many young men and women in the form of the “man bun” or the ponytail.

Why is it done? Well, hair just seems to get in the way of those individuals who display that “can do” attitude and aggressive fighting spirit. Therefore, the only solution left to these hair embellished individuals is to tie it up and keep it in submissive order, or go the full head shaven bald look, however, not everyone suits that suave look of awesome sophistication.

Yes, it seems that there is a directly observable correlation between an individual’s ability to participate successfully in a physical activity involving agility and fortitude, with that of their hair containment (or no hair). If you like to have long hair, the obvious answer is to focus on those restful pursuits where your hair can avoid repressive entanglement. However, if you want to have the best of both follicle worlds, then maybe seek out the career of a Judge, as you have enjoy the benefits of minimal hair retardation, and can wear a wig.

So if you want to be a winner in life, control your hair, wear a “man bun”, grow a ponytail, or shave your head for maximum benefit.

Or, be bold, be bald.

Trinkets of Status

Mr. Morgan Howard, Q. C., "Energetic Toryism"

Have you ever noticed that as you get more senior in an organisation, either professionally or academically, that the size of your “trinkets of status” increases correspondingly? For instance:

A PhD when graduating has a bright and very colourful hat that is bigger than those with a humble Bachelor’s degree.
A Judge has a sturdy and “not so impressive” wig and dominant gown that conveys their esteemed authority when in the court.
The CEO drives a flashy car that somehow always remains clean regardless of how many days they spend on their private farm roughing it in the dirt.

This got me thinking…..what if these trinkets of status were distributed on a random basis to those in their organisation even though they were not entitled to exhibit them?

Would those observing these new trinket recipients view them in a different light? I suspect so, initially at least in the short term. Those wearing the trinket may also momentarily take on the persona of the rightful trinket owner and demonstrate a higher level of performance and innovation?

So why not give it a go in your place of employment? The results could be rather interesting!?

There is of course one condition that needs to be imposed with respect to the CEO’s car. Before returning it, it does need to be clean, and should there be any speeding fines, the honorary trinket person is still personally responsible for the payment!

 

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