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narukagami
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PostPosted: Thu Mar 07, 2013 3:16 pm    Post subject: Face protection (mengu) Reply with quote
I was doing some reading on armor and a thought hit me that I can't readily find an answer to, and thought maybe the pros here can help me out.

Two types of mengu, the happuri and hanbo(hanpo), don't look like they would provide all that much protection on their own, but could/would they be worn together as sort of an open center somen?

Thanks in advance.
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AJBryant
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PostPosted: Fri Mar 08, 2013 4:06 am    Post subject: Reply with quote
They could, but it would be goofy as hell. They come from different periods, and happuri were pretty much obsolete by the time that "regular" face armour came about. The happuri was, after all, the poor-man's head protection before the age of simpler, more readily available helmets.
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narukagami
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PostPosted: Sat Mar 09, 2013 1:44 am    Post subject: Reply with quote
Makes sense, thanks.

On that note, is there a comprehensive, easy timeline of armor out there? By and large the major kozane/tosei types are pretty easy to pinpoint, but what about the more "fringe" stuff like various "auxiliary armors" (such as the various face protectors), tatami-gusoku, or the use of kusari, kikko, and karuta?
I know tatami-gusoku were very popular in the Edo period, and mail kote go back to almost the Kamakura era, but I've seen the occasional claim that the use of tatami-gusoku and full on kusari-gusoku and katabira date much earlier than the 17th century.
Basically, timelines of the iconic samurai armor suits are easy to find, but what about everything else?
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estcrh
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PostPosted: Sat Mar 09, 2013 3:04 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote
narukagami wrote:


I've seen the occasional claim that the use of tatami-gusoku and full on kusari-gusoku and katabira date much earlier than the 17th century.
Basically, timelines of the iconic samurai armor suits are easy to find, but what about everything else?
Good question, your right that there is not a lot of information available on the types of armor you mentioned. Tatami armor is mentioned in "Samurai 1550–1600" By Anthony J Bryant so that takes you to before the Edo period. In "Warriors of Medieval Japan" By Stephen Turnbull tatami armor is mentioned with a modern drawing of an ashigaru wearing a kikko tatami armor which he dates to the 1600s. I to would be interested in knowing when kusari katabira etc first started being used.

Here is an interesting karuta haramaki armor which appears to be quite old to me by its design. I do not read Japanese but there may be an age mentioned in the text below the image. The translated text mentioned the Muromachi period but that cant be trusted.

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ltdomer98
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PostPosted: Sun Mar 10, 2013 4:40 am    Post subject: Reply with quote
The text says that though this style originated in end of the Muromachi, this particular examples is from the later part of the Edo period.
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estcrh
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PostPosted: Mon Mar 11, 2013 12:00 am    Post subject: Reply with quote
ltdomer98 wrote:
The text says that though this style originated in end of the Muromachi, this particular examples is from the later part of the Edo period.
Thanks for the translation.
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narukagami
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PostPosted: Mon Mar 11, 2013 12:30 am    Post subject: Reply with quote
That's the problem I keep having, "this is something from the Edo period, but they totally existed way earlier! Trust me!" Just Kidding In all seriousness, I've little to no reason to distrust a lot of these sources, but it'd be nice to see something a little more solid.

It mainly gets more difficult with the more "obscure" bits and baubles, but it makes sense in that the big expensive suits worn and kept by major families are what's going to survive, while Ashigaru Joe's tatami-gusoku that he salvaged off the corpse of Ashigaru Bob is going to vanish into a pile or rust and dust.
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estcrh
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PostPosted: Mon Mar 11, 2013 7:51 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote
narukagami wrote:
That's the problem I keep having, "this is something from the Edo period, but they totally existed way earlier! Trust me!" Just Kidding
Dating Japanese armor has been a problem for a long time, in the 1903 publication by Bashford Dean ("Catalogue of the Loan Collection of Japanese Armor
By Metropolitan Museum of Art"), Dean notes how much harder it was to accurately date Japanese armor compared to dating European armor. Here is a link, it contains some interesting information.

http://books.google.com/books?id=zV4yAQAAMAAJ&pg=PA1&dq=japanese+mail+armor&hl=en&sa=X&ei=6d47UarqJ5H22QWW1YHQBQ&ved=0CDUQ6AEwAA#v=onepage&q=japanese%20mail%20armor&f=false


Unfortunately no historian/researcher that I am aware of has published a major work on the types of armors you mentioned, the majority of books and museum exhibits focus on traditional Japanese armor. Ashigaru type armor, armored clothing, and auxillary armors are only given slight mention if at all. For someone to find out more information on these types of armor then what is currently available would probably require the ability to write and speak Japanese in order to communicate with researchers in Japan, were material that might shed some more light on this subject would be located.

Finding written records or images were a date can be verified takes a lot of work, when I looked into this subject several years ago I was surprised how few images of these types of armor were available, let alone verifiable information. I have spent quite a bit of time collecting images of tatami armor (kusari, kikko and karuta), and making them available to the public by way of various forums and through creating many categories on Wikimedia commons and populating them with images, also by creating articles for Wkikpedia such as Tatami (Japanese armour), Auxiliary armours of Japan, Karuta (Japanese armour), Kikko (Japanese armour), Kusari (Japanese mail armour).

The majority of such images available online for viewing come from image I made available, I have also read every reference on these types of armors that I could find and despite all of this I can not give any accurate time line on the majority of the armor types mentioned, maybe someone here has some alternate sources or information.
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