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Fashion of Black Teeth in Old Japan by lilsuika Fashion of Black Teeth in Old Japan by lilsuika
A Yedo (Edo) chemist's recipe for black teeth dye from Tales of Old Japan by A.B. Mitford (1871):

"Take three pints of water, and, having warmed it, add half a teacupful of wine. Put into this mixture a quantity of red-hot iron; allow it to stand for five or six days, when there will be a scum on the top of the mixture, which should then be poured into a small teacup and placed near a fire. When it is warm, powdered gallnuts and iron filings should be added to it, and the whole should be warmed again. The liquid is then painted on to the teeth by means of a soft feather brush, with more powdered gallnuts and iron, and, after several applications, the desired colour will be obtained." (Mitford 203)

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:iconlavenderl:
lavenderl Featured By Owner Nov 22, 2014  Hobbyist General Artist
Hmm, this is very interesting, I always thought that ohaguro lasted for about a week.  I didn't know about the Meiji ban or the shaving eyebrows, either.  Thank you for this. ^^
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:iconbluedog444:
bluedog444 Featured By Owner Sep 28, 2014  Hobbyist General Artist
Would I be dumb if I tried this?
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:iconxelanesque:
xelanesque Featured By Owner Nov 12, 2014
No, you wouldnt
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:iconthroneofsouls:
Throneofsouls Featured By Owner Aug 18, 2014   General Artist
This very informative though,( and this is just a guess) but wouldn't blacking your teeth over the years do something to them health wise?

Considering the list of ingredients in teeth blacking wouldn't that weaken the teeth & gums over years of usage?
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:iconchromarin:
Chromarin Featured By Owner Sep 21, 2014   General Artist
Oxided iron itself is not particularly bad, even nowadays a Japanese black bean dish (kuromame) is made with rusted nails to enhance the black colour.
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:iconmayshing:
mayshing Featured By Owner Aug 12, 2014  Professional Filmographer
neat lesson. O_o thank you for organizing it.
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:iconthegirlisdaebak:
TheGirlIsDaEbAk Featured By Owner Aug 4, 2014  Student General Artist
Japan's weirdness...its nothing new
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:iconbunni89:
Bunni89 Featured By Owner Jul 23, 2014  Hobbyist General Artist
Wow, this is so fascinating! I'm curious whether it made their food taste strange or left an aftertaste in the mouth. I can't imagine dye would be very pleasant so close to your tongue, after all. Ah, the sacrifices made for nobility!
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:iconsofitssofi:
sofitssofi Featured By Owner Jul 1, 2014
so that's why I saw many picture of japanese ghosts with black teeth.... they were actually very sincere and loyal women. That makes their image even sadder D:
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:iconladyzosimos:
ladyZosimos Featured By Owner Jun 29, 2014
Thank you! It's very informative and fun to read because of the pretty pictures. Do you draw them? Cool!
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