Modern armor


Mudec - Museum of Cultures

Mudec - Museum of Cultures

The complete armor featured in this section is composed by a helmet, a mask with a throat guard, shoulder guards, a brea plate, a protective apron covering the thighs, and shin guards. The shin guards as well as the arm sleeves are engraved with the signature “Myōchin ki Muneyoshi tsukuru” and the date “Ansei ninen hachi- gatsu kichijitsu”, corresponding to 1855 in the Western calendar.
The fukigaeshi (curved fins on the helmet) feature two golden studs engraved with an ivy leaf emblem. This was used mainly by the Matsui and Matsudaira clans, who were allies, and in rare cases also by some members of the Todo and Matsunaga clans.
In terms of craftsmanship, this is a tosei gusoku (literally “modern armour”) in mogamido style, characterized by interlaced horizontal plates on the chest area. It shares particular features with armors in other museum collections that are also signed by Muneyoshi and that date to the same period (see Chrysler Museum o.n. 71.3011; Fine Japanese Art, Bonhams, London, 2010, auction 17816, lot 64). Heavy and elaborate, this type of armor reftects the creative spirit of the long period of peace under the Tokugawa shoguns, which found expression in the revival of styles from previous eras with a new decorative flair.

Show lessRead more
  • Title: Modern armor
  • Date Created: 1855
  • Provenance: Japan
  • Transcript: Myōchin Muneyoshi, Year two of the Ansei Era
  • Type: Armor
  • Rights: Giovanni Battista Lucini Passalacqua Collection - Museum of Cultures, Milan - GIAP 922
  • Medium: Steel, gilt bronze, silk, leather, lacquer, horsehair