Japanese armor in the State Hermitage Museum (Sankt Petersburg 2014)

A full set of Japanese armor from the 18th century (State Hermitage Museum, Saint Petersburg, Russia). Mitsue Kure (2006, p. 114) shows a very similar armor with the same color patterns and construction from the National Museum of Tokyo in the book "Samurai: Bushido - Der Weg des Krieges" and states:

"The complete description for the armor is kurenai-itodoshi nakajiro haramaki, which means, it is made of golden plates with red cords. In the middle some white cords are also used. In the Azuchi-Momoyama period [1573-1600], the tosei gusoku or "modern armor" was widely used but the commanders still used haramaki and do maru as traditional status symbols. Supposedly this armor haramaki was used by Toyotomi Hideyori (National Museum of Tokyo)".

This armor (o-yoroi) is constructed from many small leather (nerigawa) scales (kozane) which are attached to each other by rivets and lace (odoshi) made from leather,  The armguards are made of mail armor (kusari).  Further these armor plates were attached to a leather backing. For a very similar armor see  Robinson (1995, p. 194) "Oriental Armour". Robinson describes it as "Yellow-laced do-maru made for an Ito Daimyo of Okada probably by the Hojo School, c. 1800. Collection of L.J. Anderson".


Cuirass - dou or : is made of different leather lamellar plates on this armor.  Normally a chest armor of a Japanese armor is made up of iron and or leather plates of various sizes and shapes with pendents.   Robinson (1995, p. 199) in "Oriental Armour" states describes this type of cuirass as Nuinobe-Do.

Spaulders - sode: Spaulders of this armor consist of large rectangular shoulder protection made from leather plates. 


For a very similar Japanese armor as far as the body and upper leg protection are concerned see Mitsue Kure (2006, p. 86) "Samurai: Bushido - Der Weg des Krieges":

"An armour do maru. Originally it used to have a helmet, shoulder protection and arm protectors which have been lost. This armour was given to Wakizaka Yasuharu from Toyotomi Hideyoshi as a present for his success in the battle of Shizugatake in 1583. Later Yasuharu changed sides and joined Tokugawa Ieyasu during the the battle of Sekigahara to help defeat the army of Toyotomi".

In the book "A Glossary of the Construction, Decoration and Use of Arms and Armor in all Countries and in all Times", Stone (1999, p.60) describes the Japanese armor as follows:


"The body was enclosed in a corselet, do, made of plates or strips laced together with silk or leather cords. It either opened at the side, do-maru, or on the back, haramaki-do. Attached to it were shoulder pieces, watagami, from which it hung. The taces, kusazuri, made of strips laced together hung from the do. Under these was worn an apron, haidate, of brocade covered with mail or mixed plate and mail".

Cuisse - haidate: consists of overlapping plates of leather plates.  Each plate itself consists of leatherplates itself.

Fauld - kusazuri: is made of leather laminated plates interlaced with each other

Vambrace - kote: The armoured glove like sleeves extend to the shoulder or han kote (kote gauntlets) which cover the forearms. Kote are made from cloth covered with iron plates of various size and shape, connected by mail armor (kusari).


In the book "A Glossary of the Construction, Decoration and Use of Arms and Armor in all Countries and in all Times", Stone (1999, p.60) states:

"The arm guards, kote, were brocade sleeves covered with mixed plate and mail. They usually ended in gauntlets which covered only the backs of the hands and thumbs. Mail gauntlets were rare but were sometimes used."

Gauntlets - tekkōFor similar armguards and gauntlets on an armor of Sanada Yukimura who was present at the battle of Osaka in 1614-1615 (and died there) see Mitsue Kure (2006, p. 103) "Samurai: Bushido - Der Weg des Krieges".

Mail rings on the Japanese mail armor (kusari).

Greaves - suneateshin guards are made from iron splints connected together by leather straps and sewn to cloth and tied around the calf. Robinson (1995, p. 180) in "Oriental Armour" states:

"The shins were protected by well-shaped greaves (suneate) of three black laquered iron plates joined by hinges and secured by two ties over fabric leggings (habaki or kiahan)."


In the book "A Glossary of the Construction, Decoration and Use of Arms and Armor in all Countries and in all Times", Stone (1999, p.60) states:

"The legs below the knee were protected by close fitting greaves, sune-ate. of plate; and the feet were covered with bearskin shoes, tsurumaki, or with mail or plate tabi."

Sabaton - kōgake: Robinson (1995, p. 180) in "Oriental Armour" states "Bear or sealskin boots covered the feet. In this case the feet are covered by bear skin".

Helmet - kabuto: The helmet is made from steel plates (generally from 3 to over 100 plates) which are riveted together.  Robinson (1995, pp. 202-203) in "Oriental Armour" describes this type of helmet as "Ko-yui-eboshi (small tied cap). Mitsue Kure (2006, p. 51) "Samurai: Bushido - Der Weg des Krieges" shows a similar helmet design bowl with big rivet heads and states that these big rivetheads are characteristic of the Heian Period (8-12 centuries).

Faceplate - menpō or mempō : it is made of lacquered metal designed in a way that the top heavy helmet kabuto could be tied and secured to it by various metal posts. 

Crest  - wakidate

Neck guard - shikoro


Dr. Manouchehr Moshtagh Khorasani