Armor ("Dōmaru") with “Eurasian Jay” Lacing, Red at the Top


Armor ("Dōmaru") with “Eurasian Jay” Lacing, Red at the Top

others / Muromachi

Muromachi period, 15th century


Important Cultural Property

Japanese armor that wraps around the wearer's body and fastens together on the right-hand side is known as domaru-type. The kusazuri, or the skirt-like part protecting the lower body, is divided into eight sections to enable the legs to move freely. This suit is also furnished with a helmet and arm guards. It is highly-renowned as a representative example of domaru armor.

The helmet bowl is covered with copper-plated lines. The front portion is hoe-shaped, crowned to the left and right, while a sun ornament sits in between. The base of the horns and the metal fittings on the cuirass and sleeves are adorned with ornate engravings to give the armor an even more resplendent air.

Let's take a closer look at the metal fittings. Small dots have been hammered onto the background of the fittings in a style known as nanako, so named for its resemblance to fish roe. The fittings have been finished with free-flowing arabesque designs and crests of paulownia flowers and leaves. Rivets have been fitted at strategic places and their tops are also adorned with paulownia crests. Paulownia arabesque openwork is also applied to the metal fittings of the helmet and arm guards.

The main body section of the armor consists of black-lacquered iron plates threaded together with plaited cord composed of dark-blue and red threads. All in all, this is one of the most elaborate, highly-crafted sets of armor from the Muromachi period.

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