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Questions about my father's kikko dou.

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  • Questions about my father's kikko dou.

    Hello everyone !

    My name is Jon and this is my first post .

    This is one of my Dad.s first dou . A lovely patinated kikko with wonderful decorated breastplate and kohire.

    My questions are ; Is this made for ceremony or Jidai ? Kohire suggests Late Edo or did they have them earlier ?
    Is the decoration on the breastplate a mon ?

    Wish I cou;d show more pictures but I am struggling a bit with uploading the right format to send photo album.

    Also I would like to know how it was covered , probably nerigawa and or urushi ?

    Can't wait to hear some of your thoughts!

    kind regards ,

    Jon Bluming Jr.

  • #2
    Hi Jon,

    sry for late reply, but I’m only around here once in a while.
    Your do is a very nice Edo period tatami-do. Adorned with kirigane and sawari, hence one of the better versions!
    Regarding your questions:
    1. Kohire where known much earlier than late Edo.
    2. The ornament on the breastplate is not a mon, but an embellishment.
    3. Jidai (時代) means period, so what do you like to know?

    I’m off for work. Come back later....

    PS: The collar is mounted the wrong way round.....😉
    Uwe Sacklowski / Germany


    • #3
      Hi Uwe ,

      Thank you for your reply!

      Sorry for my ignorance , I should have known that a mon is always circular shaped. Interesting to learn kohire existed before Late Edo , could this dou be Early Edo?
      As a kid I found this dou the most impressive and always assumed it would have been on the battlefield . In my illiterate way I wanted to know if this dou was made for ceremony or during the Sengoku Jidai
      period.Since learning from you that it is Edo period and decorated with kirigane and sawari (thank you !) it is more likely to say it was made for "show" instead of action? Hence one or two uprisings/revolts in Early Edo.And yes the dou is mounted on an european dress doll wich I believe now is also not traditional , my father liked to do things in his own way , that the collar is on backwards makes me smile. I have yet to
      dismantle the dou and look inside . I have some issues with getting my photo's on the right format for uploading as with your permission I like to show more pictures.For me this is the beginning of a journey in wich I learn new things about Japanese Armour and at the same time my own father.

      Uwe , thank you very much ! I have to work myself now as I work nights , talk to you soon ....

      Jon Bluming Jr.


      • #4
        Any time Jon!

        By the way, it is possible that your do was used for Sankin kōtai (参勤交代) and made by a Kaga blacksmith.....
        Uwe Sacklowski / Germany


        • #5
          Hi Uwe !

          Do I understand correctly that kirigane is precious metal leaf work and sawari is a sort of urushi ? Very interesting info , I am going to find out more about the Kaga blacksmiths.
          So I can see this do travelling to and from Edo on horseback in a procession hundreds of years ago .

          Thank you !



          • #6
            Not exactly Jon.
            Kirigane are cut metal pieces in different shapes. Sometimes also executed in sukashi (open work). Sawari is an alloy of non ferrous metals (I can never remember the exact ingredients....). It was splashed over the metal surface in molten state, to create an effect like dew drops, or similar. Another feature leading towards Kaga are the heart-shaped cut outs in the corners of the “breast plate”, called inome (boars eye).
            Hope that helps a bit!

            You can also reach me via e-mail, if you like.
            Uwe Sacklowski / Germany


            • #7
              Thank you Uwe , Very helpfull indeed , a lesson learned , and I appreciate it immensely that you take the time to educate me .

              Like to send e-mail to you shortly , as I have to go to my work now.

              Thanks again , much obliged !



              • #8
                Hi everyone !

                Follow up of my little thread , the rest of the photo's I wanted to show in the first time but was not able to....



                • #9
                  Hi Jon,

                  Uwe mentioned the Inome "Boars Eye" cut outs.

                  They occur on so many items related to the warrior and can have a variety of meanings, here are 3:

                  1. The Boar is unstoppable when running at its target, a desirable attitude for the warrior and pretty universal, hence the cross guard on European Boar Spears.

                  2. The warrior deity Marishiten rides on the back of a Boar whilst using a variety of weapons.

                  3. It symbolises "Hi I'm a nice guy Peace and Love"...........

                  What do they say? 2 out of 3 ain't bad.
                  Pip Pip Cheerio



                  • #10
                    Hi Malcolm !

                    Thank you for your delightful reply!

                    Wouldn't want to run across neither I suppose . Now I want to see what an European Boar Spear looks like.(things to look into).

                    In my minds eye I can see him ride on the furry huggable deathly beast. His connection with animals was very strong .

                    Being of the Kaga flashy style I could also see the late John Lennon wearing the armour riding high whilst wielding a variety of lyrics.

                    I 'll take two out of three any day........

                    Appreciate and enjoy your thoughts and insight !

                    Kind regards , Jon