Cuirass (do). Made of steel, russet iron, mail, and lacquered iron and leather sheet; also with gold. Signed.
- Made in: Japan
- Height: 1.25 metres (whole, as mounted)
Inscription TransliterationUnkai Mitsunao
Smith et al 1990
Thick steel-plate bullet-proof cuirasses were first made in the sixteenth century when firearms were introduced into Japan, and many were originally based on European designs. During the Edo period armour was worn only on ceremonial occasions, and the heavy iron and steel gave way to lighter material; but some provincial lords like the Date clan of Sendai countinued to maintain a warlike appearance, perhaps still smarting under the memory of their ancestors' defeat by the Tokugawas in the decisive battle of Seki ga Hara (AD 1600).
On display: G93/dc10
2006 Oct 13-, BM Japanese Galleries, 'Japan from prehistory to the present'
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Object reference number: JCR5105
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