Kabuto, the Samurai Helmet


The helmet was the most difficult part of a samurai armor to make and was usually the work of a master armorer, who could eventually sign the piece.

Helmet bowls (bachi) are classified depending on how they were built. There are several kabuto types, but a high-rank samurai would often have on his armor a multi-plate kabuto (suji-bachi and koboshi) or a kawari kabuto, a helmet with a spectacular or unusual shape.

Regardless of their shape, almost all samurai helmets were fitted with a frontal decoration called maedate and a neck guard (shikoro), at the end of which there were two wing-like projections named fukigaeshi.

The following samurai helmets are currently for sale:

Momoyama period, 16th-17th century
A Samurai Helmet with standing rivets, Haruta School
Mid Edo Period (1615-1867), 18th century
A gold lacquer Helmet of Momonari shape
Samurai Helmet shaped as a Human Head, covered with horse-hair
Gold lacquered Samurai Helmet designed as a tall Court Cap
Hachi (Helmet Bowl of a Samurai Helmet) by Unkai Mitsutane

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