Toppai kabuto

Samurai helmet from the Kajiwara clan.

Edo period, dated 1802.


筑藩士官 梶原 景泰 命春田 昌芳造之 享和二年壬 秋也

Chikushū (?) Shikan (officer) Kajiwara Kageyasu (?) Mikoto (lord) Haruta Yoshimasa zo kore (did this) Autumn Kyōwa 2 (1802) Mizunoe


Chikushū zu Iwai Minamoto kore x sadayasu saku. At the age of 68.

8-plate helmet with hammered rivets. The rich iron tehen no kanamono consists of aoi leaves with gold zogan decorations. Five shinorare descend from this, two on the back plate and three on the front plate.

A kamon depicting five arrow feathers is applied to both the visor and fukigaeshi.

The five-plate shikoro is made of iyo-zane in a rare variant with convex plates at the top.

The gilt-iron maedate (front decoration) is shaped in the form of two three-doimensional omodaka leaves.


As stated in the signature, the helmet was made in 1802 by Haruta Yoshimasa for Kajiwara Kageyasu. The rest of the armor was presumably the work of Iwai Sadayasu, as stated in the gold signature.

The Kajiwara clan originated in the 12th century and later spread out into various branches, whose kamon pick up variations on the theme of arrow feathers. Kageyasu, as recorded in the inscription, was lord in Chikushū, one of the historical provinces of ancient Japan on the island of Kyūshū, in the area of Chikuzen and Chikugo provinces. The name beginning with "Kage" is typical of the Kajiwara clan.

The Haruta school, which presumably started in Nara during the early Muromachi period (1333-1573) and remained active throughout the Edo period, was undoubtedly one of the most important centres for the manufacture of early armour in Japan and, along with the Iwai school, one of the first to be documented. This school's armourers focused on the design of the kabuto, a crucial component of Japanese armour. Among the school's most distinctive helmets are those of type those called toppai (“pointed”) or shiinari (“acorn shaped”) with their characteristic elongated shape, like the present one. 

The Iwai school originated in Nara and worked for the Tokugawa family and the military government, the bakufu, primarily assembling parts ordered from selected armor-smiths. Occasionally, as in this case, Iwai masters would inscribe their signatures in red or gold lacquer.

Price: 16,000 €

Inventory Nr: 1847

See all available kabuto

Info works

Fill out the form below and send your request.
You will be contacted soon.


Copyright © 2016 - giuseppe piva - VAT:  05104180962

Contact US