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Zunari-shaped helmet with Gachirin ring and feathers

Unknown16th century, Momoyama period

Tachibana Museum

Tachibana Museum
Fukuoka-ken, Japan

This helmet was owned by the first lord of the Yanagawa domain, Tachibana Muneshige. The ring and feathers crest of the helmet serves as a symbol of Lord Muneshige. Two more helmets with the same symbolic crest survive and they are stored in our museum today.
The feather-piece was composed of approximately 100 tail feathers from Nagao roosters known for their extremely long tails. They were inserted into a wooden core at the back of the helmet to hold them up while working from front to back to create the flowing appearance. The original feathers were not found with the helmet. The missing feathers were replaced with Kureko rooster’s feathers. The Kureko is one of the five representative roosters of Kumamoto. They are designated as a natural monument by Kumamoto Prefecture.
These beautiful black feathers catch light and give off an iridescent green and purple appearance as they flow through the air.

Details

  • Title: Zunari-shaped helmet with Gachirin ring and feathers
  • Creator: Unknown
  • Date Created: 16th century, Momoyama period
  • Physical Dimensions: TW: 4,000g, <Helmet> H:16.4cm, W: 20.8cm, D: 25.3cm, Wt: 2,950g
  • Type: Arms & Armour

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