|Late Edo period (1615-1868), 19th century
This authentic samurai armor is entirely made of lacquered nerikawa(leather) except for the iron kote. Nerikawa has always been used when building samurai armor in order to diminish its weight, but it is only during the second half of the Edo period that we find full suits made only with this material. Even the helmet, a very nice momonari kabuto decorated with a slander maedate shaped as three bamboo leaves, is made with leather.
Both sode are decorated with a large figure of a flying bat. Its symbolism traces its history to China where it represents good fortune and is often associated with the New Year. The words “bat” and “happiness” were in fact pronounced with the same word.
The last plate of the yodarekake, the kusazuri and the shikoro are decorated with a particular technique: mushikui nuri, or "moth eaten”: thick seeds or rice husks are sprinkled into the viscous lacquer. After removing the seeds, the entire surface is covered with a gold lacquer. The black ground then partially appears through the rubbed gold layer due to the grinding and polishing processes and finally, everything is covered by a final thin layer of red lacquer.
Inventory Nr: 527