Object Title

Armour (tosei gusoku)

Armour (tosei gusoku)



Object Number



Ownership unknown. Found New Armouries Attic, 7 July 1992.

Physical Description

This is a red lacquered hineno zunari bachi having the frontal plate gold lacquered. At the front is a double pronged tsunamono fastened to the bowl by chrysanthemum shaped plates. At the back is a single pronged tsunamono for an ushirodate. Fitted to the bowl is a five plate gessan shikoro having the upper two lames solid and the lower lames divided into three parts. There are rudimentary fukigayeshi but they bear no mon. The shikoro is laced in two rows of white kebiki lacing, one row of green and one row of purple. Along the lower edge is a single row of unami toji in varigated braid that connects the sections of the shikoro together. There is a helmet cord of cotton or fine hemp dyed with bands of dark blue and a faded brown.
Is a red lacquered reisei men of nara type, fitted with gilded teeth and a black moustache and imperial. Internally the mask is lacquered black. Attached is a tare of four gold lacquered lames, their upper edges in black lacquer, kebiki laced in white.
is a red lacquered kiritsuke dangaye ni mai do. The upper and lower sections are kiritsuke kozane, the middle section of kiritsuke iyozane. The mune ita and waki ita are russet lacquered as are the watagami. It is laced in front with a row of cross-knots in varigated braid, two rows of purple kebiki lacing, three rows of green sugake lacing, one row of purple kebiki lacing and finally a row of varigated kebiki lacing. Attached are kebiki laced gessan in seven sections of five kiritsuke kozane plates each. The two upper plates in each section are gold lacquered, the rest red. They are laced with purple yurugi ito, a row of purple kebiki and the remainder in green.
Are of five gold lacquered leather plates in imitation of iyozane sugake laced in white. On the bottom plate is a rain dragon in black lacquer whilst the inside is lined with leather heavily coated with byakudan nuri.
Are of red lacquered mail into which are worked gold lacquered rectangular and hexagonal plates over the upper arm and a smooth hyotan gane over the forearm. The tekko and thumb are red lacquered. The metalwork is sewn onto a dark green hemp printed with a design in red.
Are of the type known as iyohaidate consisting of four rows af large red lacquered plates. They are sewn onto a very pale blue damask decorated with a fret pattern.
Are red lacquered shino suneate with black lacquered mail sewn onto a pale, probably originally white, hemp fabric. The kneeguard is of kikko with a white leather covering, purple crossknots and red sewing. There is a detached collar which matches the knee guards and a red lacquered ukezutsu missing its top metal mount.


Dimensions: Mounted h eight without helmet 850mm. Helmet height 400mm, width 300mm Weight: The weight of the helmet is 1.55 kg, the mask is 0.4 kg, the front of the do is 3.05 kg, the back is 4.35 kg, the sode weigh 0.25 kg each, the sleeves weigh 0.6 kg each, the haidate weighs 0.2 kg and the shinguards weight 0.3 kg each.

Inscriptions and Marks

None. The box has labels inscribed with the name of Mr J. Hirst, and the address Brybour Kennels, Wilmslow, Cheshire.


Places Japan


In the bottom of the armour box was found an issue of 'Dog World', October 1967, along with various English horse trappings of fabric. The original catalogue of this armour mentions an haidate that seems to be missing. There is in store 3 a gilt helmet crest which may well belong to this armour.