Last Tuesday, I greeted Soke at the entrance way to the Tokyo Budokan and he said to me “I dyed my hair purple again”. I humbly responded, yes Soke, I see. Upon which Soke stated, there are no other Bugeisha with purple hair!
I had some previous knowledge of this type of thing before from living in rural Japan for about a year, but never truly understood the significance. I have also noticed that Japanese actors or talent often had very brightly colored hair.
Soke later informed me that evening that that highest ranking person in a Kabuki Troupe wears purple or in Japanese “murasaki” 紫which symbolizes master level achievement in art.
Further research uncovers that the color purple is a sign of royalty in medieval times in Japan and reserved to the higher echelons of society.
Our Soke is truly eccentric!