Omodaka-odoshi Suji Kabuto and Ressei Men

Helmet and samurai mask

Edo period, early 19th century


Kabuto: Nisshū ju Kanemitsu

Menpō: Sukemitsu


The 32-plate helmet of suji-bachi type, consisting of 32 iron plates finished in sabiji-nuri, folded upward. On the diagonals are four shiten-no-byo rivets and related hibiki-no-ana.

The menpō is beautifully finished, with sharp edges and meticulous decoration.

Both the protection of the neck (shikoro) and that of the throat (tare) are bound with silk of three colors, echoing the omodaka (sagittaria leaf) motif popular between the twelfth and thirteenth centuries in ō-yoroi-type armor. This plant, also known as "shogun's grass" (shogunso), was believed to be a symbol of victory.

Although different in name, the signatures of kabuto and menpo are chiseled in a very similar manner and it is therefore likely that the two blacksmiths worked together.

On this page is a comprehensive glossary of common terms related to samurai armor.

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