Object Title

Helmet skull (hoshi kabuto)

Helmet skull (hoshi kabuto)



Object Number



Acquired from the rowntree collection, 1964.

Physical Description

Twenty plate russet iron hoshi bachi of low rounded form, with seven moderately sized rivets on each plate. The exceptions to this last are the front and rear plates with are covered with a brown patinated alloy plate engraved with clouds, the engraving filled in with gold. These plates carry shinodare of the same alloy, decorated in the same way with scrolling tendrils. At the apex of the helmet is a large tehen, the kanamono of the same alloy and decoration, of five stages, the first stage having a row of pointed rivet heads around the edge. On the leather covered peak is a haraidate and kuwagata dai in the same metal and decoration.
Attached to the bowl is an o manju shikoro of true scales, gold lacquered and laced in faded and decayed red silk. The hishinui ita has kanamono at the outer corners and applied mon in shakudo and gold like the fukigayeshi. Inside the bowl is gold lacquered and the underside of the peak is covered with dark blue brocade.


Weight: The helmet weights 2.8 kg.

Inscriptions and Marks



Places Japan


Although in an old style, the bowl is probably Edo period and made by the Myochin family. The Tokugawa mon on the fukigayeshi, rivets and kanamono cannot be identified with any particular branch of the family.