Japanese Art History

Introduction

All over the world, Japanese war weapons and armor is well known. The edged, and pole weapons have been a subject of discussing when focusing on the history of Japanese people. However, very little is known about the protection that the Japanese warriors wore. The protection worn by the Japanese could be classified by different indicators that included age and construction. These armors were never made of wood but iron and leather or a combination of the two. They mostly looked like wood due to the color of lacquer and lacing cords that were used to cover the metals and leather.  These armors included Mogami-do gusoku that was a suit of Mogamu type armor call number, MWJ641 by Murray Warmer collections. But why did construction of these armors mean a lot to the Japanese people becoming widespread and phenomenon in their history?

Discussion

Mogami-do gusoku that was a suit of Mogamu type armor was popular in the Mid edo period. This was around 1625-1867.  Historically, the armor is important due to its characteristics that brought the coat of arms of the oruko Desing. This was a design used by the clan of Hirano in the province of Yamoto.

Turnbull, (23- 27) Discusses; after the end of the war era in 1600, popularly referred as Sengoku period, there was tranquility and peace that saw Japan get united. They entered the peaceful period of Edo. The light weight, secretly hidden armor was gaining popularity. This was because there were still some felt needs for protection. So, the Edo period witnessed armors that were referred to as the gusoku with forehead, shin and arm protection. This would then continue to be worn up to the end of the Samurai era. This was around 1860.

The Mogami-do gusoku, as a Japanese shield was by and large built from numerous little iron (tetsu) and/or calfskin (nerigawa) scales (kozane) and/or plates (ita-mono), joined with one another by bolts and ribbon (odoshi) produced using cowhide and/or silk, and/or chain covering (kusari). These defensive layer plates were normally connected to a fabric or cowhide backing. Japanese defensive layer was intended to be as lightweight as could be allowed as the samurai had numerous assignments including riding a steed and arrow based weaponry notwithstanding swordsmanship. The reinforcement was normally splendidly lacquered to secure the unforgiving Japanese atmosphere. Chain reinforcement (kusari) was likewise used to develop individual covering pieces, and full suits of kusari were even utilized.

In spite of the fact that the full suite of reinforcement (gusoku) comprises of 23 or more components, beginning with the tie (fundoshi) and completing with the pike pillar (yari-ate), the fundamental components (rokugu) are just six in number. These are the cuirass (do), the protective cap (kabuto), the face cover (men yoroi or menpo), the heavily clad sleeves (kote), the greaves (suneate) and the cuisses (haidate). The seventh essential component, which was not a portion of the rokugu, but rather was a piece of the cuirass, were the shoulder protects (some).

The cuirass (dô) of Mogami was also fitted with expansive plates bound with sets of strings (sugake odoshi). The defensive layer demonstrates some strange components. The most obvious is the use of a silk tsurobashiri on the dô, enrichment exceptionally bizarre on an Edo period suit. Truth be told the utilization of this coperture was being used on the medieval o-yôroi, where it was useful to neglect the bow’s string without getting got between the covering’s scales. Another intriguing component is the utilization of a byakudan finish on dô, kote and suneate: gold has been connected on polish and afterward secured again with a straightforward red urushi layer, which gives an extremely rich and solid effect (Louis, Thomas, & Tommy 31).

Much information has been found in the archeological unearthings of locales around memorial parks (kofun), where full suits of the shield and diverse weapons have been recouped (Turnbull, Stephen 33). Earthenware Figures (haniwa), which regularly portray completely furnished and prepared warriors, likewise uncover much about right on time Japanese defensive armor.

Important to note, however, is that after the end of the Sengoku period in 1600, there was tranquility and peace that saw Japan get united. They entered the Edo which was very peaceful resulting into a change in the armor forms. There emerged the light weight; secretly hidden armor was gaining popularity for those who still some felt needs for protection. The gusoku were used during the Edo period to offer forehead, shin and arm protection. This would then continue to be worn up to the end of the Samurai era.

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