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A Simply Stunning Japanese Koto Period Wakazashi Bound In Imperial White & Devil Red Urushi Lacquer From The Time of The Battle of Sekigahara, The End of the Sengoku.

A Simply Stunning Japanese Koto Period Wakazashi Bound In Imperial White & Devil Red Urushi Lacquer From The Time of The Battle of Sekigahara, The End of the Sengoku.

Late Koto period blade, circa 1590, in beautiful polish and fine suguha hamon. With a full suite of Edo period, gold and patinated shakudo fittings, a fine iron Edo tsuba, and a crayfish handled kodzuka utilty knife in patinated copper and gold. With a pair of pure gold overlaid takebori galloping ponies as menuki underneath the white silk ito.

It has a singularly beautiful and most scarcely seen colour combination of 'Red Devil' red and imperial white. White ito binding being the prerogative of only those of the highest level of status, due to it's obvious difficulty to maintain in pristine condition when worn regularly. Rich, so-called 'Red Devil' red, was the distinctive colour, and famous in Japanese samurai history, as the Li clan family’s colour, depicted with their imposing red lacquered suits of armour and weapons.
Rich red, as opposed to the more usual black and brown, was worn by all from the lord down to the foot soldiers, and it marked them out on the battlefield and advertised their origin to those who stood opposed to them. Known as the Red Devils, samurai under the rule of the Ii family played an integral part in the battles that ended the civil war and raised Tokugawa Ieyasu to the office of shogun, gaining great fame and a fierce reputation.

The Sengoku period was initiated by the Onin War in 1467 which collapsed the feudal system of Japan under the Ashikaga Shogunate. Various samurai warlords and clans fought for control over Japan in the power vacuum, while the Ikkō-ikki emerged to fight against samurai rule. The arrival of Europeans in 1543 introduced the arquebus into Japanese warfare, and Japan ended its status as a tributary state of China in 1549. Oda Nobunaga dissolved the Ashikaga Shogunate in 1573 and launched a war of political unification by force, including the Ishiyama Hongan-ji War, until his death in the Honnō-ji Incident in 1582. Nobunaga's successor Toyotomi Hideyoshi completed his campaign to unify Japan and consolidated his rule with numerous influential reforms. Hideyoshi launched the Japanese invasions of Korea in 1592, but their eventual failure damaged his prestige before his death in 1598. Tokugawa Ieyasu displaced Hideyoshi's young son and successor Toyotomi Hideyori at the Battle of Sekigahara in 1600 and re-established the feudal system under the Tokugawa Shogunate. The Sengoku period ended when Toyotomi loyalists were defeated at the siege of Osaka in 1615.

The Battle of Sekigahara (Shinjitai: 関ヶ原の戦い; Kyūjitai: 關ヶ原の戰い, Hepburn romanization: Sekigahara no Tatakai) was a decisive battle on October 21, 1600 (Keichō 5, 15th day of the 9th month) in what is now Gifu Prefecture, Japan, at the end of the Sengoku period. This battle was fought by the forces of Tokugawa Ieyasu against a coalition of Toyotomi loyalist clans under Ishida Mitsunari, several of which defected before or during the battle, leading to a Tokugawa victory. The Battle of Sekigahara was the largest battle of Japanese feudal history and is often regarded as the most important. Mitsunari's defeat led to the establishment of the Tokugawa shogunate.

Tokugawa Ieyasu took three more years to consolidate his position of power over the Toyotomi clan and the various daimyō, but the Battle of Sekigahara is widely considered to be the unofficial beginning of the Tokugawa shogunate, which ruled Japan for another two and a half centuries

Ii Naomasa, served as one of Tokugawa Ieyasu's generals, and received the fief of Hikone in Omi Province as a reward for his conduct in battle at Sekigahara. The colour of their armour meant that they were the easiest to recognise on the painted screens that depicted the great events of Japanese history, showing that the Ii family understood the benefits of good public relations. The Ii and a few sub-branches remained daimyo for the duration of the Edo period.

The family remained at the heart of events until 1860 when Ii Naosuke, the last of the lords of Hikone was murdered by anti-shogun and anti-Western rebels. He was deeply involved in the negotiations between the shogunate and the Western diplomats concerning the opening of Japan to trade  read more

Code: 25203

4750.00 GBP

Most Attractive Koto Period Tanto Around 600 Years Old Imperial White Ito

Most Attractive Koto Period Tanto Around 600 Years Old Imperial White Ito

Fitted with an original suite of mounts from the Edo period, decorated with fine gold and patinated copper takebori of shi shi lion dogs. Original Edo brown laquer saya, with kodzuka pocket {to fit a utility knife}.
This is a most handsome ancient samurai dagger from the muromachi era, with a jolly nice early blade showing good running itame grain in the hada.

In the Nambokucho era, the tanto were forged to be up to forty centimetres as opposed to the normal one shaku (about thirty centimetres) length. The tanto blades became thinner between the uri and the omote, and wider between the ha and mune. At this point in time, two styles of hamon were prevalent: the older style, which was subtle and artistic, and the newer, more popular style. Blades could be of exceptional quality. As the end of the period neared, the average blade narrowed and the sori became shallow. 3 interesting and deliberate small cuts made into the tang. Not part of the mounting process so added by the dagger's owner. On western antique weaponry this often means each cut represents a vanquished foe. In Japanese culture it may mean the same, or may not, but either way it is most intriguing. 10 inch blade from tsuba to tip. 16.3 inches long overall in saya.  read more

Code: 21612

1990.00 GBP

A Simply Wonderful 16th Century Koto Era Katana, Museum Quality Mounting, With Shakudo & Pure Gold Decorated Menuki of Takeda Shingen in Armour With His Tiger’s Tail Saya Mounted Sword & War Bow

A Simply Wonderful 16th Century Koto Era Katana, Museum Quality Mounting, With Shakudo & Pure Gold Decorated Menuki of Takeda Shingen in Armour With His Tiger’s Tail Saya Mounted Sword & War Bow

Circa 1580. All original Edo period koshirae fittings and beautiful original Edo cinnabar urushi lacquer saya. The wrap is original Edo lacquered tooled leather over two wonderful pure gold decorated menuki of two armoured menuki, they are likely Takeda Shingen with his distinctive swords saya Mede from a tiger’s tail, and he wears a court cap helmet. The tsuba is a very fine nanban lobed mokko gata tsuba of wonderful dragon form also decorated with gold. The kashira is a kubutogane type, is a pure gold decorated shakudo, and the the fuchi has a takebori superb quality dragon, on a nanako ground.

Nanako Ji: "fish roe ground" A surface decoration produced by forming very small raised bosses by a sharply struck punch or burin called 'nanako tagane'. Shakudo is the metal most often used, but copper and gold are quite often employed. The harder metals, shibuichi, silver and iron are rarely decorated in this way. The size of the dots vary from 0.04" to 0.008" (25 to 125 and inch) and the regularity of the work is marvelous as the dots must be spaced entirely by touch. The dots are usually arranged in straight lines or in lines parallel to the edge of the piece being decorated, but sometimes in more elaborate patterns. Used on guards since the Momoyama period although the technique existed since much earlier periods. Usually done by specialist 'nanako-shi', but sometimes done by the maker of the guard himself.

The blade has a joyful and elaborate gunome hamon and a hammered silver over copper habaki. The saya is in bulls blood red urushi lacquer, with polished buffalo horn fittings

The first mention of the word "katana" occurred during Japan's Kamakura Period (1185 to 1333). Back then, the word was used to describe a long sword with similar characteristics as the tachi but with a few nuances. The katana, for instance, generally had a longer, more curved blade than its tachi counterpart. Most importantly, however, the katana was stronger and more powerful than the tachi. The Kamakura and Muromachi periods
These two periods are considered as the most important periods of the Samurai sword's development history. Though the exact time frames for these periods is debated the period from 1185 to 1336 was known as the Kamakura while the period from 1337 to 1573 was referred to as the Muromachi period. During these periods, there were many invasions in Japan. As a result, there was need for an effective sword to fend off invaders successfully.

During battle the Japanese warriors found that it was very difficult to draw the old ken straight sword from the scabbard (saya) while fighting on a horseback. Consequently, during the Muromachi period, smiths developed the curved katana sword which was more functional during horseback fighting. Because of the design and effective cutting angles, a Samurai could easily draw their sword from the scabbard and slash their opponents in a single swing. 27.5 inch blade from tsuba to tip.  read more

Code: 21721

8750.00 GBP

A Fabulous and Very Scarce, Mitsunaga Clan Antique Edo Period, High Rank Samurai Kunida-Gura Horse Pack-Saddle From The Clan Baggage Train, with Samurai Matsunaga Clan Kamon Crest Mounts

A Fabulous and Very Scarce, Mitsunaga Clan Antique Edo Period, High Rank Samurai Kunida-Gura Horse Pack-Saddle From The Clan Baggage Train, with Samurai Matsunaga Clan Kamon Crest Mounts

A stunning piece of Japanese decor, an original samurai horseman's mount for tanegashime {muskets} or even female attendants of the daimyo’s court.

This is probably only the second example of a kunida-gura of this type we have seen in 50 years outside of Japan, and even in Japan, and top quality examples are very scarce indeed.

Not only a functional piece of essential travel samurai equipment but a beautiful work of architectural art in itself.

The whole frame is beautifully decorated with crushed abilone shell and the arch mounts engraved with family clan crest or mon based on the Tsuta mon, Kamon with ivy, which has been used as a pattern since the earliest times in Japan, as a motif. Its elegant shape and the life force to survive by covering all things. The dominant clan with the tsuta mon were the Matsunaga clan ( Matsunaga-shi). It is a Japanese samurai clan who are descended from the Fujiwara clan.

The lineage of Matsunaga Danjo Hisahide strengthen the Matsunaga clan's claim to Fujiwara lineage through Hisahide's nephew, Tadatoshi Naito (also known as Naito Joan and Fujiwara John). Tadatoshi Naito's mother was Naito Sadafusa who was from the Naito clan. The Naito clan are descended from Fujiwara no Hidesato (Hokke (Fujiwara)). Tadatoshi Naito would serve as lord of Yagi castle.
Hisahide's granddaughter, Matsunaga Teitoku also strengthened the Matsunaga clan's link to the Fujiwara clan. Her mother was the older sister of Fujiwara Seika. Teitoku's cousin was Tadatoshi Naito.

Other sources suggest that the Matsunaga clan may have descended from the Minamoto clan and may be the descendants of Takenouchi no Sukune. Such a piece as this to be of such high quality lacquer, finely embelished with abilone, and bearing the clan mon, shows that this is a high ranking piece, for the transport of weapons, armour boxes, and women of the daimyo's court, within the baggage train of a Daimyo. This is a spectacular piece and they are very rarely seen, and the few that have survived over the centuries are more usually the fairly crude utility examples, completely undecorated and very plain. Over the decades we have had early Japanese woodblock prints showing a procession of horses, in a Daimyo's or Shogun's entourage, some occasionally show a pack saddle exactly such as this, with it's distinctive high crested top. They were usually racked with tanegashima arquebuss guns or even polearms. Also, in one early print three women are seated on one example. They may have been attendant's for a Daimyo's consort. We show in the gallery an original Meiji Period photograph of two ladies seated on the same type of saddle, on a ni-uma or konida uma, but a simple plain example of a much lower status.  read more

Code: 22563

2750.00 GBP

A Good Koto Period O Sukashi Tsuba

A Good Koto Period O Sukashi Tsuba

Cirtca 1550. Probably Owari school. The OWARI school should be divided into three periods. The first period comprises those pieces made in the Muromachi age. The earliest tsuba of the first period are a little younger than the earliest Kanayama tsuba. The second period is the work of the Momoyama age. The third period is from the early Edo age to the Genroku era (1688-1703). A few facts may be stated based on examination of the work of this school. They are always of positive silhouette design. The subjects of the designs vary greatly but they always have in common a strong masculine feeling. They are a noble tsuba whose influence may be seen in many contemporary schools.
Yamasaka Kichibei was the name of the first tsuba artist of this family. Later members of this school shortened the name to Yamakichibei, still later onwe see the name Yamakichi. The working period of the first Yamasaka Kichibei is from Tensho to Keicho eras (1575-1615), about contemporary with the second Nobuiye. The first generations lived in the Kiyosu area, but the later generations lived at Nagoya in Owari Province. Tsuba were made by whole dynasties of craftsmen whose only craft was making tsuba. They were usually lavishly decorated. In addition to being collectors items, they were often used as heirlooms, passed from one generation to the next. Japanese families with samurai roots sometimes have their family crest (mon) crafted onto a tsuba. Tsuba can be found in a variety of metals and alloys, including iron, steel, brass, copper and shakudo. In a duel, two participants may lock their katana together at the point of the tsuba and push, trying to gain a better position from which to strike the other down. This is known as tsubazeriai pushing tsuba against each other.  read more

Code: 20801

495.00 GBP

A Very Good Shinto Samurai Combat Ryo-Shinogi yari. A Samurai's Polearm Circa 1650

A Very Good Shinto Samurai Combat Ryo-Shinogi yari. A Samurai's Polearm Circa 1650

Very nice blade in polish showing a good hamon temper line. Double edged four sided. A thick stout blade that would have been enormously effective in trained hands. A Samurai ryo-shinogi yari polearm. Shinto period in nice order overall. Yari is the Japanese term for spear, or more specifically, the straight-headed spear. The martial art of wielding the yari is called sojutsu. A yari can range in length from one meter to upwards of six metres (3.3 to 20 feet). The longer versions were called omi no yari while shorter ones were known as mochi yari or tae yari. The longest versions were carried by foot troops (ashigaru), while samurai usually carried a shorter yari such as this example. Yari are believed to have been derived from Chinese spears, and while they were present in early Japan's history they did not become popular until the thirteenth century.The original warfare of the bushi was not a thing for "commoners"; it was a ritualized combat usually between two warriors who may challenge each other via horseback archery and sword duels. However, the attempted Mongol invasions of Japan in 1274 and 1281 changed Japanese weaponry and warfare. The Mongol-employed Chinese and Korean footmen wielded long pikes, fought in tight formation, and moved in large units to stave off cavalry. Polearms (including naginata and yari) were of much greater military use than swords, due to their much greater range, their lesser weight per unit length (though overall a polearm would be fairly hefty), and their great piercing ability. Swords in a full battle situation were therefore relegated to emergency sidearm status from the Heian through the Muromachi periods. Around later half of sixteenth century, ashigaru holding pikes (naga yari) with length of 4.5 to 6.5 m (15 to 22 feet) or sometimes 10 m became main forces in armies. They formed lines, combined with harquebusiers and short spearmen. Pikemen formed two or three row of line, and were forced to move up and down their pikes in unison under the command.Yari overtook the popularity of the daikyu for the samurai, and foot troops (ashigaru) used them extensively as well
Various types of yari points or blades existed. The most common blade was a straight, flat, design that resembles a straight-bladed double edged dagger. This type of blade could cut as well as stab and was sharpened like a razor edge. Though yari is a catchall for spear, it is usually distinguished between kama yari, which have additional horizontal blades, and simple su yari (choku-so) or straight spears. Yari can also be distinguished by the types of blade cross section: the triangular sections were called sankaku yari and the diamond sections were called ryo-shinogi yari. 16.5 inch blade including tang, 7inch blade length, overall yari length 75 inches.  read more

Code: 19565

1495.00 GBP

A Beautiful, Ancient Japanese 15th Century Samurai's Dagger Aikuchi Tanto

A Beautiful, Ancient Japanese 15th Century Samurai's Dagger Aikuchi Tanto

An absolute joy to see such a beautiful and fine aikuchi tanto from ancient Japan, from the Koto period of the Muromachi era Circa 1400's. Fine Edo period matching koshirae, of the fuchigashira, koiguchi & kojiri [hilt mounts and top and bottom scabbard mounts] are entomological based, with catydids over an iron ground, the catydids are decorated with pure gold. The saya has a superb shakudo deep takebori mount of mount fuji topped with pure gold lava with crashing waves below, also with decorated pure gold sea spray droplets. The menuki are silver mon engraved with Aoi mon of the Tokugawa Shoguns. Kozuka side knife is an iron plate inlaid with a gold kanji seal, and ancient form kanji script and also a gilded cicada to match the theme of the fittings and mounts. The tsuka binding is micro tsuka-ito decorated with gold leaf, and two silver side mounts off the kashira. The blade has its old polish finish showing super grain in the hada and a very well defined hamon. Insects have been celebrated in Japanese culture for centuries. The Lady Who Loved Insects is a classic story of a caterpillar-collecting lady of the 12th century court; the Tamamushi, or Jewel Beetle Shrine, is a seventh century miniature temple, once shingled with 9,000 iridescent beetle forewings. In old Japanese literature, poems upon insects are to be found by thousands, Daisaburo Okumoto is director of the Fabre Insect Museum. An avid insect collector and a scholar of French literature, he has translated many of Fabre's works. He ascribes the popularity of insects in Japan to national character. It seems like Japanese eyes are like macro lenses and Western eyes are wide-angle, he says. A garden in Versailles, it's very wide and symmetrical. But Japanese gardens are continuous from the room and also very small. We feel calm when we look at small things. The medieval Japanese monk Yoshida Kenko put it this way: ?If man were never to fade away like the dews of Adashino, never to vanish like the smoke over Toribeyama, how things would lose their power to move us! The Muromachi era Onin War (1467-77) led to serious political fragmentation and obliteration of domains: a great struggle for land and power ensued among bushi chieftains and lasted until the mid-sixteenth century. Peasants rose against their landlords and samurai against their overlords as central control virtually disappeared. The imperial house was left impoverished, and the bakufu was controlled by contending chieftains in Kyoto. The provincial domains that emerged after the Onin War were smaller and easier to control. Many new small daimyo arose from among the samurai who had overthrown their great overlords. Border defences were improved, and well fortified castle towns were built to protect the newly opened domains, for which land surveys were made, roads built, and mines opened. New house laws provided practical means of administration, stressing duties and rules of behaviour. Emphasis was put on success in war, estate management, and finance. Threatening alliances were guarded against through strict marriage rules. Aristocratic society was overwhelmingly military in character. The rest of society was controlled in a system of vassalage. The shoen (feudal manors) were obliterated, and court nobles and absentee landlords were dispossessed. The new daimyo directly controlled the land, keeping the peasantry in permanent serfdom in exchange for protection. The most precious thing in life is its uncertainty. 12 inch blade overall 19 inches long. As with all our items it comes complete with our certificate of authenticity.  read more

Code: 23026

4995.00 GBP

A Very Fine Early Japanese Armour Piercing Tanto Signed and Dated 1558.  Just One Example of Our Amazing Selection of Hundreds of Original Samurai Swords To Be Viewed In Our Gallery. Said By Many To Be One of The Best In The World

A Very Fine Early Japanese Armour Piercing Tanto Signed and Dated 1558. Just One Example of Our Amazing Selection of Hundreds of Original Samurai Swords To Be Viewed In Our Gallery. Said By Many To Be One of The Best In The World

Including, as quoted to us by Victor Harris, formerly curator of Japanese swords at the British Museum.

It was Victor who also personally confirmed for us the authenticity of our ‘Grass Cutter’ katana, as an historismus Japanese National Treasure sword, some few years ago.

Signed Bizen Osafune Kiyomitsu. With gilt and patinated handled kozuka. O-sukashi koto tsuba inlaid with silver boars eyes. A delightful tanto in all original fittings and an Edo brown stone lacquer finish. Nice and beautiful blade in good polish showing a fine sugaha hamon. A very thick bladed tanto specifically designed to penetrate using a powerful thrust, either samurai armour or even a helmet. Wide narrow straight sided blade, with a narrow suguha hamon typical of the Koto era. Mounted in a plain wooden shirasaya mount that bears some kanji text on both sides of the tsuka. We have not had this translated yet. The bottom of the saya bears a carved image of a stern face. The yoroi-doshi "armour piercer" or "mail piercer" were one of the traditionally made Japanese swords (nihonto) that were worn by the samurai class as a weapon in feudal Japan. The yoroi-doshi is an extra thick tanto, a long knife, which appeared in the Sengoku period (late Muromachi). The yoroi-doshi was made for piercing armour and for stabbing while grappling in close quarters. The weapon ranged in size from 20 cm to 24 cm, but some examples could be under 15 cm, with a "tapering mihaba, iori-mune, thick kasane at the bottom, and thin kasane at the top and occasionally moroha-zukuri construction". The motogasane (blade thickness) at the hamachi (the notch at the beginning of the cutting edge) can be up to a half-inch thick, which is characteristic of the yoroi-doshi. The extra thickness at the spine of the blade distinguishes the yoroi-doshi from a standard tanto blade.

Yoroi-doshi were worn inside the belt on the back or on the right side with the hilt toward the front and the edge upward. Due to being worn on the right, the blade would have been drawn using the left hand, giving rise to the alternate name of metezashi or "horse-hand (i.e. rein-hand, i.e. left-hand) blade".

Every single item from The Lanes Armoury is accompanied by our unique Certificate of Authenticity. Part of our continued dedication to maintain the standards forged by us over the past 100 years of trading.


Did you know? the most valuable sword in the world today is a samurai sword, it belongs to an investment fund and has appeared illustrated in the Forbes 400 magazine. It is valued by them at $100 million, it is a tachi from the late Koto period [16th century] and unsigned. Its blade is grey and now has no original defining polish remaining  read more

Code: 21094

2750.00 GBP

A Most Beautiful Fine Quality Shinto Wakazashi With All Original Edo Period Fittings and Silver Mounts. Circa 1650

A Most Beautiful Fine Quality Shinto Wakazashi With All Original Edo Period Fittings and Silver Mounts. Circa 1650

Japanese Wakizashi, with a signed Shinto, very good shinogi zukuri blade in fabulous polish, with a fine suguha hamon, and wazamono sharp.

The sword has a tsuka with gold ito bound over a pair of superb shakudo shishi lion dogs on samegawa, a shakudo kashira with nanako ground and decorated with takebori sage wearing a court cap, with gold highlights, and a plain silver fuchi and shakudo nanako tsuba decorated with plants.

It is in its original Edo period stunning saya, decorated with pine needle and abilone shell lacquer, an inlaid silver kojiri of elaborate scrolls, and a plain silver koi guchi that matches the silver fuchi, and a kozuka pocket for an optional kozuka to be housed.

Kanzan Sato, in his book titled "The Japanese Sword", notes that the wakizashi may have become more popular than the tanto due to the wakizashi being more suited for indoor fighting. He mentions the custom of leaving the katana at the door of a castle or palace when entering while continuing to wear the wakizashi inside. Wakizashi were worn on the left side, secured to the obi waist sash. Although they appear to be likely a relative expensive luxury compared to other antique swords from other nations, they are in fact incredible value for money, for example a newly made bespoke samurai style sword blade from Japan will cost, today, in excess of £11,000, take up to two years to complete, will come with no fittings at all, and will be modern naturally with no historical context or connection to the ancient samurai past in any way at all. Our fabulous original swords can be many, many, hundreds of years old, stunningly mounted as fabulous quality works of art, and may have been owned and used by up to 30 samurai in their working lifetime. Plus, due to their status in Japanese society, look almost as good today as the did possibly up to 400 years ago, or even more. Every katana, tachi, or wakazashi buyer will receive A complimentary sword stand, plus a silk bag, white handling gloves and a white cleaning cloth.

Excellent condition overall, superb polished blade showing a fine suguha hamon, a crisp, razor sharp cutting edge without blemish.  read more

Code: 25032

4250.00 GBP

A Beautiful Edo Period Original Samurai Armour, Gosuko Likely 17th Century and Used Into The 18th Century With 12 Plate Goshozan Suji Bachi Kabuto Helmet And A Super Ressai Fierce Full Face Armour Menpo And Clan Mon Tassets of The Honda Tadakatsu Clan

A Beautiful Edo Period Original Samurai Armour, Gosuko Likely 17th Century and Used Into The 18th Century With 12 Plate Goshozan Suji Bachi Kabuto Helmet And A Super Ressai Fierce Full Face Armour Menpo And Clan Mon Tassets of The Honda Tadakatsu Clan

A superb early to mid Edo samurai yoroi, with the symbol in gold of deer antlers emblazoned on both haidate thigh protectors tassets, which would indicate a samurai of the clan of the great Honda Tadakatsu, a 17th century general and later daimyo serving under Tokugawa Iayesu, whose symbol was his famous deer antlers worn upon his kabuto helmet.
Deer antlers were seen as symbols of the messengers of the gods.

Honda Tadakatsu (本多 忠勝, March 17, 1548 – December 3, 1610), also called Honda Heihachirō (本多 平八郎) was a Japanese samurai, general, and daimyo of the late Sengoku through early Edo periods, who served Tokugawa Ieyasu. Honda Tadakatsu was one of the Tokugawa Four Heavenly Kings (Shitennō) along with Ii Naomasa, Sakakibara Yasumasa, and Sakai Tadatsugu.

It has a fine helmet kabuto of 12 plates, a 12 plate goshozan suji bachi kabuto. A helmet which is a multiple-plate type of Japanese helmet bowl with raised ridges or ribs showing where the 12 tate hagi-no-ita ( helmet plates) come together at the five-stage tehen kanamono finial, with the fukurin metal edges on each of the standing plates. The mabisashi peak lacquered and it has a four-tier lacquered iron hineno-jikoro neck-guard laced with dark blue. The interior shows four very ancient helmet plates rivetted together to form the interior support basis of the 12 plate skull. Unlined. With full face ressai menpo {the grimacing expression face armour} sets it off superbly with a most intimidating presence. When this was worn by its fierce-some armoured samurai, he must have looked spectacularly impressive. Dou or do, a chest armour made up of iron plates of various sizes and shapes with pendents
kusazuri made from iron or leather plates hanging from the front and back of the dou to protect the lower body and upper leg.
Sode, large modern rectangular shoulder protection made from iron and or leather plates.
Kote, armoured glove like sleeves which extended to the shoulder or han kote (kote gauntlets) which covered the forearms. Kote made from cloth covered with iron plates of various size and shape, connected by chain armor (kusari). Haidate, thigh guards which tied around the waist and covered the thighs. These were made from cloth with small iron and or leather plates of various size and shape, connected to each other by chain armour (kusari) and sewn to the cloth.
Suneate, shin guards made from iron splints connected together by chain armour (kusari) and sewn to cloth and tied around the calf.

The “deer-horn helmet” and deer horns, came henceforth, to be known as his symbol.

Tadakatsu’s helmet “Kazuno Wakidate Kabuto,” or Japanese armour (yoroi/kabuto), was a simple black helmet. His helmet is famous for its deer horn flanks. There are various theories as to why deer horns were used as the side of the helmet. When Yoshimoto Imagawa was shot in the Battle of Okehazama and Ieyasu’s army had to immediately return to Okazaki Castle, Tadakatsu found that the river was swollen, and he could not cross. At that moment, a deer appeared, and when he was watching the deer also trying to cross to the opposite bank, he found shallow water at a certain point and crossed the river. Thanks to this, the deer was able to return safely to Mikawa. Since then, Tadakatsu made up his mind to “protect Ieyasu-dono for the rest of his life like the deer did that one time,” and made a helmet out of the deer’s horns. Deers have also been cherished as messengers of the gods since ancient times. There are various theories as to why deers were regarded as messengers of the gods, but in mountainous Japan, the deer’s ability to run through steep mountains may have portrayed them as animals with mystical powers. In addition to his military prowess, Honda Tadakatsu was also attractive because of his large figure as a man, which is probably the reason why he is still popular today as a military commander who attracts many people

In the 16th century Japan began trading with Europe during what would become known as the Nanban trade. Samurai acquired European armour including the cuirass and comb morion which they modified and combined with domestic armour as it provided better protection from the newly introduced matchlock muskets known as Tanegashima. The introduction of the tanegashima by the Portuguese in 1543 changed the nature of warfare in Japan causing the Japanese armour makers to change the design of their armours from the centuries-old lamellar armours to plate armour constructed from iron and steel plates which was called tosei gusoku.

Bullet resistant armours were developed called tameshi gusoku or (bullet tested) allowing samurai to continue wearing their armour despite the use of firearms. This armour has areas of worn and naturally aged lacquer and areas of cloth/material that are perished due to it's great age and just as would be expected.
Complete with storage box unlidded  read more

Code: 20251

9950.00 GBP