The Japanese armor as we know it now evolved from earlier versions consisting of massive metal plates between the 10th and 11th centuries. However, it did not complete its evolution until the 12th through the 15th centuries. Samurai still rode horses and used bows as their primary weapons during the start of this time period, which we can refer to as the "Middle Ages."
The basic design of the authentic samurai armor has not changed significantly throughout time. Hundreds of tiny iron or leather plates had to be tied together using silk or hide strips in the traditional construction method. Later, by employing larger, riveted plates or silk-tied plates like for the old armors, such construction was made simpler. Lacquer was frequently applied to iron to prevent corrosion, and this practice persisted for 600 years.
The Edo era (1615–1868) is when Japanese armor truly develops into a piece of art. The relaxed atmosphere of political stability caused the armor to stop serving as a tool of defense and instead become a significant status symbol. Because of this, the armoprers' expertise evolved away from useful elements and toward aesthetic ones. Beginning in the middle of the 18th century, the magnificence of the lacquers and the vibrant ligatures, the employment of golden chiseled edges and ornamentations throughout the armor, and the persistent search for uncommon adornments were the very hallmarks of the armors from this era.
The samurai suits of armor available for sale are listed above. To access the description and image gallery, click on a thumbnail.