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Beckton Park

Katsushika Hokusai (1760-1849), Under the Wave, offKanagawa (Kanagawa oki nami-ura)

South Harrow

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Set of Samurai armour
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This suit of Japanese armour brings together parts made at different times and is one of the most popular exhibits in the Museum.

The earliest Japanese sets of armour were developed during the Heian period (794-1185) to protect mounted samurai warriors against arrows. The armour was designed to be flexible and gave protection without compromising the ability to move easily during battle.

With the arrival of firearms in the XVI century, bullet-proof cuirasses (chest plates) based on European models were adopted in Japan. This helmet, though made in the XVII century, is in the tradition of earlier pieces made during the period of continuous civil wars (1467-1568), when helmets were often given a hideous face-mask with bristling whiskers to strike terror into the enemy. The neck-piece, shoulder flaps, divided skirt and leg pieces were made in the XVIII and XIX centuries and are made of lacquered iron platelets held together with cords and colourful silk braids.

Set of Samurai armour

From Japan, Momoyama period, late XVI century (cuirass and sleeves); Edo period, XVII century (helmet); XVIII – XIX century (remainder).
Ht 125 cm.

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