Momonari kabuto

Momoyama period (1575-1615)

Late 16th century

Provenance: Tachibana clan
With a wood storage box with inscription describing that this helmet is believed to be one of about 280 gold peach-shaped helmets once in the collection of the Tachibana family and dated Spring 1961.

A gold lacquer helmet of momonari shape with a single-plate shikoro

The momonari shape (peach-shaped) is inspired by European helmets, specifically designed to deflect the firearm's bullets.

This kind of helmet is well known: they were made for the campaign of Korea (1592–98) in Kyushu Island. The peculiarity of these helmets was that they did not belong to a single soldier, but they were distributed to those who needed them. The term “okashi” is used to describe those armors that belonged to the castle and were not privately owned; these golden momonari helmets are considered to be the first example of this new kind of equipment.

The Tachibana clan is certainly the most famous army to use this type of helmet, and 318 kabuto are mentioned in their inventory; as other parts of the armor are not listed, it is possible that the soldiers had their own  (cuirass). An important role played by these "standardized" helmets was to create a sense of belonging to the army.


Inventory Nr: 1887

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