Kansashi (or Kanzashi 1) were used by women in Samurai families for both fashion and as a last resort weapon. Bernie has recreated this Edo style Kansashi in bronze using a Rudraksha seed.
I wanted to create a line of decorative defensive accessories for women in the tradition of the samurai kansashi -- where in an emergency the hairpin could be used to jab an attacker in the eyes or neck. This is the first of that line of bronze work.
1) from en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rudraksha: Rudraksha Mala has been used by Hindus (as well as Sikhs and Buddhists) as rosary at least from the 10th century  onwards for meditation purposes and to sanctify the mind, body and soul. The word Rudraksha is derived from Rudra (Shiva—the Hindu God of all living creatures) and aksha (eyes). One Hindu legend says that once Lord Shiva opened His eyes after a long period yogic meditation, because of extreme fulfillment He shed out a tear. This single tear from Shiva’s eye grew into the Rudraksha tree.