A traditional Japanese hat

The other day, my husband said to me, “When you ride a camel in Mongolia, I recommend you to wear “Epochal’s hat” instead of a “Minachi-gasa*” hat.”

I said, “Wait.. That’s a too special situation (lol) ! What do you mean?”

He said, “In Mongolia, even though the temperature is low, the sun is extremely strong. It was a steppe, so there was no shade.
When riding a camel, the back of my neck was not protected by my “Minachi-gasa” hat, and the direct sunlight hurt.

Moreover, my hat had no chin strap, and it was easily blown away by the wind.  It was very difficult to get off the camel and retrieve it.
I ended up wrapping a towel around my head, but the damage to the back of my neck was terrible.”

He has atopic dermatitis and the damage to his body, especially from cats, pollen, dust and sun-light, is very severe.

His job requires him to travel a lot, both domestically and internationally. He has lots of physically demanding business trips!
For example, he is surrounded by cats in the harbor, walks endlessly in the mountains covered in cedar pollen, and often works in the hot summer sun.
Allergens are always around and his body itches all year round!

He also develops skin rashes and intense itching when exposed to strong sunlight. Perhaps he is also allergic to sunlight. His skin gets so bad it bleeds.
So his white T-shirts or long-sleeved shirts get blood stained around his neck and inner elbows.
He is sensitive to sunlight and should wear sunscreen, but he hates sunscreen because even that cream causes him pain.


When my husband visited Mongolia, unfortunately we didn’t know about “epochal”.
Therefore, it was very natural for him to take the “Minachi-gasa” hat to his work site as his partner.
It is lightweight, breathable, and waterproof and has been loved since ancient times in Wakayama prefecture Japan, where we live now.

One of his jobs is to walk the World Heritage “Kumano Kodo, Pilgrimage trails” several times a year.
The “Kumano Kodo” has an image of walking in the mountains, but today in many places you walk on asphalt paths under the dazzling sunlight.

I searched for a hat that would not put too much strain on the atopic area on the back of his neck and finally found Epochal’s “UV-cut mesh hat with a flap and chinstrap”.

He was so impressed with how well the “Kumano Kodo Pilgrimage” and  “Epochal hat” went together. Since then, he has been wearing his Epochal’s “UV-cut mesh hat” instead of his “Minachi-gasa” hat as his work partner.

But don’t worry! His “Minachi-gasa” hat  is now carefully displayed on the wall of our home!

Coming up next “Why is the Epochal hat a perfect match for the Kumano Kodo Pilgrimage?”

Minachi-gasa hat* – a conical hat woven from strips of hinoki Japanese cypress. It is said to have been worn by pilgrims both nobles and commoners in Kumano mountains in Wakayama Prefecture since the late Heian period (794-1185).