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Indigo-Dyed Leather Haramaki (Chest Armor)

UnknownMuromachi period

Saitama Prefectual Museum of History and Folklore

Saitama Prefectual Museum of History and Folklore
Saitama City, Japan

Haramaki is a type of Japanese chest armor that protects the chest, waist, and hips, and this armor was used by warriors starting from the Heian Period (9th to 12th centuries). Both low- and high-ranking warriors used haramaki; high-ranking warriors usually wore them under more elaborate battle dress. This haramaki was made during the Muromachi Period (14th to 16th centuries) and is lamellar armor constructed of small plates, called kozane, laced together in rows. The kozane on this harumaki alternate between iron plates and leather plates, creating a stronger defense than plates made of only one material. The material lacing these plates together is not thread, but leather that has been dyed with indigo. The lower portion in particular is finely constructed with tight lacing, a characteristic representative of the Muromachi Period.

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