Ni mai do tosei gusoku

Samurai armor, Momoyama to early Edo Period, 17th century

G. Piva, Le armature dei samurai, Luni Editrice: Milano, 2020. Pag. 40


Kabuto [helmet]: Iron kabuto (tetsu sabiji) of zunari type with zaboshi (rivets supported by chrysanthemum washer) and kirigane (openwork applications). The elegant gourd-shaped maedate echoes the outline of the half-moon.

Menpō [mask]: Hanbo-type mask (chin guard) with the same decorations as the helmet.

[cuirass]: Ni-mai dō (made in two parts) with kiritsuke-kozane (simulated plates) construction. 

Although almost all of the armor is lacquered in gold, the dō is almost entirely lacquered in black, leaving a gold half-moon in reserve. In this rare decoration an orange ligature substitutes for the blue one found on the rest of the armor. 

Sangu [arm and leg guards]: made of chainmail and small, shaped plates.


The Momoyama period, which witnessed an emergence of military equipment that merged the warrior class's refined taste with combat efficacy, is represented by this armor's exquisite and incredibly simple design. The absence of the frills and decorations that characterize medieval armor is actually counterbalanced during this time by bold, plain lines and colors that are intended to create abstract patterns, most of which are asymmetrical, with a powerful visual impact.

Momoyama armor suits also have specific technical characteristics which are found on this armor, such as the rounded watagami (shoulder straps) and the concave back shape.


Inventory Nr: 3002

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