Iron helmet

From Japan
Muromachi period, early 16th century AD


The sujibachi-type helmet was constructed from a number of vertical plates rivetted together. Each plate was turned up along the long edge to form a strengthening ridge, or suji. The iron was 'russetted', that is, deliberately rusted to a deep patina which prevented further rusting. The shikoro, or neck protector is articulated to allow the arms to be raised above the head. The crossed hawks' feathers are a mon, or clan badge.

Other types of helmet from the Sengoku jidai ('Period of Warring States' from the mid-fourteenth century to 1600) include the hoshibashi which is covered with short protruding spikes and which originated during the Heian period (AD 794-1185).

The helmet is signed by the armourer Katsuyoshi of the Myochin school.

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Museum number

Asia JA 1953.4-17.1


Gift of Brigadier W. G. Lang-Anderson


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