Kiyoshi Ogawa wearing a hachimaki.] 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 (teen 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, like 日本一 ("Nippon Ichi", "the best of Japan"), but most typically with 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."

Putting on a hachimaki is generally equated to the Western gesture of rolling up one's sleeves, i.e. getting serious and beginning to do the work.Fact|date=September 2007

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