Mei Tō - Katchu Ten (“Exhibition of famous swords and armor”), Izumi National History Museum, 2002
Mei Tō - Katchu Ten, Izumi National History Museum, 2002, Cat. 56. Pag. 72
This Samurai armor features some typical characteristics of Kaga’s armor-smiths, famous for their fine and richly decorated suits of armor. Although the configuration of this samurai armor is mainly classic, there are various elements typical of this region, like the heart-shaped holes (inome, latterly "boar’s eyes") and the use of leather to cover the front of the cuirass. Another typical feature is the decoration on the sleeves (kote) obtained by dropping irregular silver drops on the iron.
The helmet (kabuto) is of suji-bachi construction, of tall shape (koseizan), made with 8 plates, each decorated with shakudo and gilt-copper shinodare, descending from a rich tehen-no-kanamono (fitting for the central hole). The shakudo alloy is used also to enrich the rims of the whole kabuto. The helmet’s shape suggests an attribution to the armorers of the Haruta Kaga school. The maedate (front ornament) is a classical kuwagata with a stunning shakudo kuwagata-dai to hold the flat stylised horns.
The laced parts are all made with a hon-kozane construction, with individual small scales, which is the most refined and complicated way of lacing a Japanese armor.
The suit of armor is overall bringing a samurai family crest representing the number nine inside a circle. It is richly executed in gold over a shakudo nanako ground; we can find it on the fukigaeshi of the kabuto, as usual, but also on the cuirass (dō) and on the hand’s protections (tekko). The kamon is also painted in gold over red on the two original storage boxes.
This samurai armor is originally Japanese and for sale, in excellent condition. It is a collector's item and not a reproduction.