traditional samurai costume

Okina SōmenA full face russet iron samurai amour’s mask formed and decorated to resemble the face of an old manEdo period, 18th centuryArmor for the face - mengu - developed towards the end of the Muromachi Period (1336- 1573) with the double role of protection and a fastening point for the kabuto ropes through hooks or rings. However, masks that completely cover the face were never common, as not very practical, and their spread was restricted to high-ranking samurai who could wear them for official occasions as an indication of their social status. For this reason original sōmen are...

Hanbo Muromachi
Late Muromachi Period (1336-1573)16th centuryA rare samurai mask of hanbo shape, covering half face and excluding the nose.The narrow size of the nose aperture immediately suggests a very old date, confirmed also by the iron and laquer consumption, which help to date the item to the 16th century.The general shape of the mask, together strong but delicate, is very similar to a model drawn in the Meiko-zukan-zokushu signed by Yoshimichi and to the hanbo signed Takayoshi in the Orikasa collection: the curled lip and the well balanced lines follow the same design,...

Gunbai Uchiwa
 Edo period, 19th century Wood with maki-e lacquer decorationsLength: 53,5 cmThe various implements used by samurai commanders to signal orders on the battered field or to direct troop movements were referred to as jineigu. Among them, the gunbai uchiwa, a fixed fan, was the equipment that was used by generals and daimyō and hence became a symbol of power.This gunbai is rather unusual among the common shapes. The straight lines and the absence of wide maki-e areas give in fact a sort of severe aspect, while the grain wood and the finely lacquered borders indicate the refined taste...

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