In Japan combs are thought to be lucky and to ward off evil.
From ancient times people have worn them when taking part inreligious services.
They are used during the service at the launching of a new ship to summon in its spirit, while in daily life they are used both to comb the hair and as a hair decoration, so it can be seen that they contribute widely to our daily lives.
During the mid-Edo period, when people wore their hair in the traditional style,decorative combs appeared together with decorative hairpins as a form of hair accessory.
These were made of wood, ivory, tortoiseshell, bamboo, silver, and deer antler, some of them using extremely expensive materials, and were something that all women desired.
The decoration applied to these combs was also extremely intricate and diverse, using colored lacquer, gold lacquer, mother-of-pearl inlays, metal inlays, openwork, and the like.
There are also a rich variety of superstitions connected with combs.
It was said to be unlucky to give somebody a comb, although at the same time a play on words was used to indicate that the giver wanted to share the recipient's troubles until death, and so a comb was something that was only given to somebody very precious.