[Footnote 117: The partitions of a Japanese suite of apartments being merely composed of paper sliding-screens, any number of rooms, according to the size of the house, can be thrown into one at a moment’s notice.]
[Footnote 118: A kaioke is a kind of lacquer basin for washing the hands and face.]
The author of the “Sho-rei Hikki” makes no allusion to the custom of shaving the eyebrows and blackening the teeth of married women, in token of fidelity to their lords. In the upper classes, young ladies usually blacken their teeth before leaving their father’s house to enter that of their husbands, and complete the ceremony by shaving their eyebrows immediately after the wedding, or, at any rate, not later than upon the occasion of their first pregnancy.
The origin of the fashion is lost in antiquity. As a proof that it existed before the eleventh century, A.D., a curious book called “Teijo Zakki,” or the Miscellaneous Writings of Teijo, cites the diary of Murasaki Shikibu, the daughter of one Tamesoki, a retainer of the house of Echizen, a lady of the court and famous poetess, the authoress of a book called “Genji-mono-gatari,” and other works. In her diary it is written that on the last night of the fifth year of the period Kanko (A.D. 1008), in order that she might appear to advantage on New Year’s Day, she retired to the privacy of her own apartment, and repaired the deficiencies of her personal appearance by re-blackening her teeth, and otherwise adorning herself. Allusion is also made to the custom in the “Yeiga-mono-gatari,” an ancient book by the same authoress.