Tomorrow is the big day! As a lot of us are heading to the test centers for the JLPT, I’d like to say Good Luck to everyone!
Japanese Test-taking Tidbit:
A hachimaki (鉢巻) is a stylized headband (bandana) in the Japanese culture, usually made of red or white cloth, worn as a symbol of perseverance or effort by the wearer. These are worn on many occasions, for example, by women giving birth, students in cram school, office workers, expert tradesmen taking pride in their work, bōsōzoku (biker gangs) and even rioters. They were famously worn by kamikaze pilots in World War II. Japanese competitive eater Takeru Kobayashi wore a hachimaki for the Nathan’s hotdog eating competition.
They are generally decorated with inspirational slogans, typically the rising sun motif.
The historical origin of hachimaki is uncertain. One theory links the cloth to those worn by early religious ascetics. Another theory states that they originated in headbands worn by samurai that kept their helmets on, to absorb perspiration, and keep hair out of their eyes. “Hachimaki” translates as “helmet-scarf.”
Tying the hachimaki equals the Western gesture of rolling up one’s sleeves — getting serious and beginning to do the work.
Taken from: Wikipedia