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Japanese Armor in the royal armouries Madrid

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  • Japanese Armor in the royal armouries Madrid

    Hello all,

    my first post here.

    Hope ya all doing fine.


    My question is.Has someone some good pictures of the Japanese Armor in the royal armouries Madrid.
    Asking because i saw a video about the royal armouries Madrid. And the quality wasn`t good enough to make any details out.
    Altough they looked interesing.

  • #2
    See my articles on 16th and 17th century Japanese diplomatic armours in Europe. There are copies on various sites including Facebook. Those in Madrid were burnt in a fire in the 19th century. Those in Paris, Copenhagen, Leeds and Austria are more or less intact.
    Ian Bottomley
    Ian Bottomley - UK

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    • #3
      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=URSjMRomAOo


      in this video at the 2:27 you can see one armor there that seems to be japanese. At least to the video description it shoukd be in the roayal armorys i gues.

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      • #4








        Photos of the armors there but not detailed enough to make details out.
        Last edited by Tobias L.; 09-22-2019, 03:29 PM.

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        • #5
          According to a twitter post by them i think it says it supposedly is one of the diplomatic gifts





          The original in spanish.




          En la Real Armería se pueden contemplar las armas japonesas más antiguas que se conocieron en este país. Llegaron a la Península Ibérica en 1584 y formaban parte del regalo diplomático entregado por el gobernador de Japón a Felipe II






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          • #6




            I think this is from an old museum catallog mismatched composition with a an i think oriental ore asien shield and actec club.

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            • #7












              And another mismatched frankestein monster.

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              • Malcolm
                Malcolm commented
                Editing a comment
                The stick is a Fijian throwing club, and known as " I Ula Kobo " . They are really powerful pieces, made without the use of metal tools, so only shell shards and time.( I have owned 2 over the years, and they are beautiful pieces of Ethnograpica) Sadly it looks as though someone has tried to smash a pan of Cocido madrileño with it......... C'mon Katchubunnies, Google is your friend........PIp Pip

            • #8

              IIS it just me ore does it look like someone put kote on instead of haidate?

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              • #9

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                • #10
                  Hi Tobias
                  , there is a very interesting book “East meets West-Diplomatic gifts of arms and armours between Asia and Europe” (You can easily find it on Amazon) in which is published Ian Bottomley’s moumental study of these armours and the mismatch that the spanish royal collections made about their owns. A very interesting and also amusing story, especially concerning the famous Hideyoshi’s retainers armors.
                  A must have in any collection.

                  Massimo

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                  • #11
                    Tobias, You must remember that when King Philip II of Spain was given three armours in 1585 by the Tensho mission, they were considered so exotic they didn't really know what to make of them. Those in the French Royal Collection are described as being made of tree-bark and the gift of swords are described as Tartar. One of the reasons why the Spanish mixed the pieces up is that one has a shishi in nunome zogan on the peak whilst another has them applied in soft metal on the mune ita and elsewhere, not surprisingly they though they went together, Those given to King James I (and VI) of England were thought to be from the 'Great Mughal' withing a few years of being given. The famous mogami haramaki bought by the Tower of London in the mid 19th century was thought to be Moorish, and there is still the pair of curly toed shoes it was displayed with in the collection.

                    These images that show the appearance of these armours before the fire are far better than any I could find in the library of the Royal Armouries. Where did you find them? Have they just been published by the Spanish? What is interesting is that the kibiki laced armours have the correct o-sode. The armour with the European mask looks as if it could be a haramaki but I cannot be definite. All that now survives are fragments of laced scales that give us no clue.I find the separate brow plate interesting because as far as I know it hasn't been published before. I also wonder what happened to the tare of the mask that was originally displayed with the nio dou. Again that seems to have been lost despite the fact it is obviously metal and should have survived.

                    The whole of this affair is tragic as these are important armours that until recently were not really appreciated for what they are.
                    Ian Bottomley
                    Ian Bottomley - UK

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                    • Tobias L.
                      Tobias L. commented
                      Editing a comment
                      They probably have been around for ages i would say. I just did a google search for the museum but not in english but in spanish. A lesson i learned while searching for chinese images of armor where because not much is available in eglish. ( In case anyone needs something chinese armor picture related you know...) And the pictures where on the spanish twitter side i believe of the museum. The pictures look like they are from an old catalogue.

                  • #12
                    All very interestin sfuff! I hope to see them one day!
                    Luc Taelman -

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                    • #13
                      Tobias, The Royal Armouries has both the 18th and 19th C.catalogues from the Real Armeria but the images printed in the latter are of terrible quality. The 18th C catalogue simple says 'three ridiculous armours given by either the King of China or the King of Japan'. I was also in touch with a previous curator of the Armeria and although he dug up old manuscripts recording the receipt of the armours and a later inventory listing them, he never mentioned these images which I am sure he would have done if he knew of them. I suspect the terrible fire caused havoc with their records and these photos, which look as if they have been taken from the original negatives used for the catalogue, were unknown to him..
                      Ian Bottomley
                      Ian Bottomley - UK

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                      • #14
                        Does someone have the contact information of the present curator?
                        Luc Taelman -

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                        • #15
                          It strikes me that these armors are all very unusual, something we can expect from the tensho period.
                          Luc Taelman -

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