Object Title

Cuirass (do) - hatomune do

Cuirass (do) - hatomune do


1800 - 1899

Object Number



Transferred from Bethnal Green Museum, 1958.

Physical Description

Moulded from thick rawhide, this hatomune do takes the ni mai do form (a cuirass dividing into two parts, front and back, joined by a hinge under the left arm and tied under the right arm). The breast plate has a pronounced medial ridge, and a V-shaped neck opening. The backplate is moulded to reflect the contours of the shoulders. The mune ita (uppermost plate on the front of the do), waka ita (plates attached to the upper edge of the do underneath the arms) etc are made in one with the main plates. There is a pronounced roll-over of the edge of the breast and back plates. Both the breast and back plates are lacquered black on the exterior and and orange-gold inside, which shows on the turned over rim on the edges of the plates. The shoulder straps are hinged from the backplate and fastened down on the breastplate with loops of purple braid and large horn toggles. Small 3-plate kohire (shoulder defences) are attached under the shoulder straps, laced in purple with sugake lacing (wide spaced pairs of braids) and red-orange hishinui (cross-knots on the lowest plate or row of scales of a piece of armour). At the front of the breastplate are two leather ties through holes in the do surounded by discs of blue brocade instead of the usual rings. A bracket is attached in the upper centre of the backplate via a pair of purple laces passed through holes in the do, and there is a tie fastening at the waist; these are for the attachment of a small sashimono (flag) to the back of the wearer. The bottom edge of the do has purple laced horn toggles for the attachment of thigh defences.

The shoulders of the do rest over a padded collar extending over the shoulders at the rear and passing under the shoulder straps. The inner lining of the section of the collar around the shoulders is green silk, while the outer facing is dark blue hemp or another coarse cloth, hemmed with navy blue smoked leather. The section of collar around the neck is of kikko construction (similar to brigandine, with small hexagonal metal plates quilted between layers of fabric), with an outer layer of smoked leather, and the plates sewn into place with narrow purple braid, surmounted by red-orange cross-knots.


BreastplateHeight325 mm
BreastplateHeight353 mm
BreastplateWidth310 mm
BackplateHeight460 mm
BackplateWidth315 mm
OverallHeight510 mm
OverallWidth415 mm

Inscriptions and Marks

None visible


Places Japan/Asia


It is interesting that this do has hinges of leather, when normally such pieces are of iron. It is thought that this is a very late production that can probably be dated to the 1860s.