Articulated model dragon, signed by Myōchin Kiyoharu

From Japan, 18th-19th century AD

This iron model dragon is one of several models made by the Myōchin family of armourers in The British Museum's collection. Here we can clearly see the dragon's scales, reminiscent of the metal scales of samurai armour, which was laced together with silk cords. The neck, body, legs and tail of this creature are all moveable. Note also the extended tongue and bristly lower jaw.

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More information


L. Smith, V. Harris and T. Clark, Japanese art: masterpieces in (London, The British Museum Press, 1990)


Length: 34.500 cm

Museum number

Asia JA HG371


Gift of Professor and Mrs John Hull Grundy


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