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Helmet with Chinese character

Unknown17th century, Edo period

Tachibana Museum

Tachibana Museum
Fukuoka-ken, Japan

This helmet was owned by Tachibana Akinao, the 7th lord of the Yanagawa domain. It is one of the pieces in his collection of ‘kawari kabuto’, the so-called ‘unusual helmets’. He most likely collected arms and armor related to his ancestors since he was eager to compile the history records of the Tachibana family. All of his collection has characteristics of 17th century kawari kabuto, and shows the dynamism of warrior culture at that time.
This helmet is executed with bold and superb design, showing a wooden superstructure in the shape of a Chinese character, ‘大 (dai)’, meaning big or great, on the top; and a silver skull on the front.
This Chinese character ‘大’ was favored by samurai warriors because its shape, which spreads out wide toward the ends, signifies being increasingly successful. It is also a part of the name of the person, 大澤三入, who presented this helmet to Lord Akinao.

Details

  • Title: Helmet with Chinese character
  • Creator: Unknown
  • Date Created: 17th century, Edo period
  • Physical Dimensions: Total hight: 50.0 cm; Width: 34.0 cm; Depth: 33.0 cm; Weight: 3,600 g
  • Type: Arms & Armour

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