is a small black box worn on the foreheads of Yamabushi
- practitioners of Shugendō
- or Tengu
, dangerous yet protective spirits of the mountains and forests from the Japanese mythology. It is not only worn as a head decoration, but also used as a drinking cup. It is similar in appearance to the "tefillin
" worn by Orthodox Jews
. It is theorized that they may be of common origin (see reference articles in History of the Jews in Japan
); however the Tokin may simply be an evolution and miniturization of a full-sized hat of the same name worn earlier in the Kamakura period
"Tokin" is also the name of a "promoted pawn" in Shogi (Japanese chess).