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Tatami armour of hexagonal plates with cherry blossom pattern

Unknown17th century, Edo period

Tachibana Museum

Tachibana Museum
Fukuoka-ken, Japan

This armour was worn by the 3rd lord Akitora, probably made in the 17th century. The body is composed of hexagonal iron plates linked together by chain and sewn onto the fabric backing. This type of armour is called ‘Tatami-do (folding armour)’ which can be folded compactly to make it easier to carry. They were originally made for common soldiers, but this armour has a luxurious and sophisticated design befitting a feudal lord. The characteristic bell-shaped helmet is decorated in gold and silver by using techniques of inlay and maki-e. The style and family crest design of the helmet is older than the ones of the body armour, which indicates that the helmet and body armour were not probably made as one set of armour.

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  • Title: Tatami armour of hexagonal plates with cherry blossom pattern
  • Creator: Unknown
  • Date Created: 17th century, Edo period
  • Physical Dimensions: Cuirass: h43.0cm (front), h46.3cm (back); Helmet: w21.0cm, d24.6cm
  • Type: Arms & Armour

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