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  • Nanban Kabuto ?

    Hi everyone ,

    Keeping busy today posting if you permit me . This Kabuto misses it's top backplate . The remaining plates are thick and heavy. The right fukagaeshi has been torn off .
    Very curious about the period and style of this Kabuto . What kind of Shikoro would it have had? It has a Sengoku Jidai look to it or not? Could it be a Nanban helmet?

    Love to hear any comment !

    Jon

  • #2
    Hi Jon., Piers is the expert here, but to my eye looks like the sort of lightweight helmet worn during the Bakumatsu, and would have had Kusari chain mail connected to the top plate where you see the many holes.



    Pip Pip Cheerio

    Malcolm

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    • #3
      Agreeing with Malcolm here. An interesting and solid example, with its original handstitched ukibari and some of the protective stuffing. I had one of these a couple of years back; it reminded me of a Roman helmet in some way. You often find them with side hanging jaw protectors.
      Piers D - Japan / UK

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      • #4
        Hi Malcolm !

        Do I understand correctly that the Kusari chain maille attached to the top plate would cover the back of the head? instead of a plate?
        And this would hang down "veil"like over the back and shoulders ?

        So during the Bakumatsu this would have belonged to an Ashigaru Teppo soldier ?

        Kind regards Jon


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        • #5
          Hi Piers !

          Thank you for your reply !

          Wonderful to learn that the ukibari and stuffing is original. Was yours complete with the Kusari chain maille ? And if not did you replace
          or left it the way it was , unrestored ? I have seen photo's of those hanging jaw protectors and this helmet looks "romanesque"indeed !

          Kind regards Jon

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          • #6
            Im late but interesting topic!
            This kind of kabuto is often underestimated but in fact is very interesting to stude
            First your kabuto is in tetsu sabiji laquer technique..
            This kabuto is called : hitai ate, tatami hitai ate or hachigane.. ( in fact helmet with folding system)
            The back plate is usually cover with kusari chains or thick clothes..
            I join a photo of an classic example with nanban kusari chains to illustrate..
            Yours have a tsunomoto (for maedate) not usually on such kabuto..
            You can find some with tsunomoto, fukigaeshi, Jaws protection. .. And some kabuto are dated or signed.
            Or both more rare. !
            And some have clever interesting technical system to secure the use of the plates (open/close)..
            This kabuto is often associated/worn by ashigaru (foot soldiers) but I think considering all this details we can certainly imagine differents ranks in the ashigaru.. used the hitai ate kabuto !
            ​​​​​​.
            Laurent
            Last edited by gui; 07-10-2019, 03:31 PM.

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            • #7
              Hi Laurent !

              Definitely a helmet that stirs the emotion. It is like Piers said , Roman like. You confirmed what Malcolm observed. Here I thought it was missing it's top back plate
              And to learn that this Kabuto could suggest it belonged to a higher ranked Ashigaru is interesting to say the least. I haven't spotted any date or sign .
              Like to see some of those inventive clever systems they used to open/close the plates. Love the Hitai Ate in your photo , thank you !

              Kind regards

              Jon
              I

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              • #8
                Hi Jon,
                I think your kabuto as sugested by Piers and Malcom is certainly a nice late example. yours and mine posted are basic but it exist some more technical .. .A katchushi could certainly add a new fukigaeshi and make new nanban kusari chains for you if you want restore to complete yours...
                Best regards
                Last edited by gui; 07-11-2019, 08:38 PM.

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                • #9
                  Here’s two from my collection. The first one is really ”utilitarian” in both design and material. The standard textil padding on the inside with a long white strap to secure it to the wearers head.
                  The second one is a completely different beast. The steel plates are very skillfully made with a nice russet finish. This come with a rather unique construction, featuring an extra band of steel to the back as an additional support to the standard textile band.
                  It’s signed and dated (1868) and comes with three inscriptions for devine protection at the front.
                  What’s extra interesting is that it’s owner has written his name on the padding.
                  As said earlier in this thread, these item doesn’t get the recognition they deserve. The fact is, that these pieces of armour was made for actual battle, compared to the majority of armours and kabuto made during the earlier parts of the Edo period. The first one shown here, sports a clear mark from the tip of a spear, which quite possible came from an encounter during the brutal fighting that took place during the Bakumatsu wars.

                  Jan
                  Jan - Sweden

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                  • #10
                    Hi Jan !

                    Absolutely stunning ! I like the rudimentary first Kabuto a lot , it looks like a no nonsense batllefield helmet . Can imagine it to be uncomfortable with those massive jaw protectors.
                    And being secured by a single strap , during battle it has to be strapped thight , you don't want the strap to loosen up. The second Kabuto , I more than like , love it !! A perfect example of wich
                    Laurent spoke. You could fold the entire helmet like a fan when not used. I can make out some of the wonderful inscriptions , looks like they "hammered " these in or some sort of chisel?
                    Very special indeed , dated inscribed and signed, as I've recently learned is very rare! Totally agree with your viewpoint , a helmet that was in the heat of battle should get the respect it deserves!
                    Who wouldn't want a battle scar on his helmet? I am going to read up on the Bakumatsu wars. Seems like a very interesting time of transition.
                    Thanks a lot , best regards !

                    Jon

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                    • #11
                      Hi Laurent !

                      Yes I understand , all things are possible but at what costs and you want it to look authentic . I can imagine a shiny new maille-chain will look "off ". But I also know that
                      there are methods to patinate. The Hitai Ate on its own is already a joy to look at , so yes I leave it as it is.

                      Kind regards

                      Jon

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                      • #12
                        The funny thing is that many sellers refer to this specific style of armour as ”ninja-tools”

                        Jan
                        Jan - Sweden

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                        • #13
                          The J ' S are strong in this topic 🤔

                          I agree difficult for a ninja to be quiet with iron plates😄

                          Jan 2 others nice examples, l lke the Jaws on the first interesting to watch the Jaws are very thinner than usually and not rounder! And the first has something more strong and martial with the plate rectangular and Articulated.. . The 2nd dated and signed is also nice And with the owner mei it could be traced in a family..

                          Laurent
                          Last edited by gui; 07-13-2019, 06:45 AM.

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                          • #14
                            Jon,
                            Note that often no tsunomoto for a maedate on this 3 nice examples.. I think most of the hitai ate don t have (but of course I can t be sure).. Who know?
                            Tomorrow I will try to take & post others photos..
                            ​​​​​​.
                            Laurent

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                            • #15
                              Also love the large hinge on the first one.....

                              Jon

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