May 27, 2010

A seven-three split


Literally translated, 「七三に分けた」 is a "seven-three split." It sounds like a bowling term, but refers to the parting of hair: 3/10 on one side, 7/10 on the other. When used as a comb over, the "seven-three split" becomes the perfectly named "baa coodo hea" (バーコードヘア) or "bar code hair."

Yakuza types traditionally preferred the "panchi paama" (パンチパーマ) or "punch perm." But as their cultural influence has waned, so has the style.

Any television series containing a pop culture reference to Japan's 1950's James Dean craze (which was alive and well when I was in Japan in the late 1970s) is obligated to include a character with a "riizento" (リーゼント) or "regent style." A pompadour, in other words.

The pompadour is still used (though now more tongue-in-cheek) in television dramas to flag "old school" street gang types.

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