|Early Edo period (1615-1868), 17th Century|
This suit of armor seems to belong to the "Red Devils" samurai of Ii Naomasa, who used to wear red lacquered (shu-urushi) armor with large golden stylized horns on the kabuto. The armors of the Ii retainers were also red, together with banners and accessories, hence taking the name of “Ii no akazonae” (“the red equipment of Ii”).
This interesting samurai armor shows two different styles at the same time: the upper part of the dō is a classic blue-laced yozane-zane often seen on red armor suits of this period, while the lower part is a red-laced golden kirituske-zane that contrasts with the rest of the armor. This eye-catching combination of colors is found also on all other parts, including the good eboshi kabuto that reproduces the typical court hat.
While it is not unusual to find two styles of construction on the same cuirass on a red armor (an example is a suit that belonged to Ii Naotaka now at Hikone Castle Museum in Japan), it is an uncommon feature to have them laced with different colors. Another peculiar feature are the kote, shorter than usual, and laced to the sode and not to the shoulder as usual.