Object Title

Right arm defence (kote)

Right arm defence (kote)



Object Number



Purchased at auction, Phillips, 27 February 1992, lot 68.

Physical Description

The kote is in the form of a sleeve of blue hemp printed with spiral ornament in white with a red leather border and red leather ties. Attached to the sleeve are three lacquered iron plates fitted with decorative brass borders and bands, two on the upper arm and one on the lower arm, joined by segmentss of Japanese butted mail. At the elbow is a rosette disc with a central kanemono depicting a butterfly amid foliage. An expanded version of the same decorative theme covers the solid plate hand defence which is also lacquered, has a brass border and leather lining.Around the wrist is a leather thong with a decorative knot on the outside and a toggle and loop on the inside. The sleeve has blue and red laces to secure the inside seam.


KoteLength700 mm


Places Japan


This pair of kote is a late Edo period copy of the kote at the Kasuga Taisha, Nara. These were supposedly the kote of Minamoto no Yoshitsune, the famous 12th century general (1159 - 1189).