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Laquered paper armor?

 
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Twilight Disciple
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PostPosted: Thu Jun 04, 2009 2:21 pm    Post subject: Laquered paper armor? Reply with quote
A few days ago I acquired an almost complete armor. The haidate is of the common ita type. It was tied with indigo-colored lacing, and edged in doeskin(?). It seemed smaller in proportion to the rest of the armor. What's puzzling to me: the plates were made either of a very thin leather that was faced with a layer of paper, or else of laquered paper completely. The item shows wear, along with old repairs.

Does anyone know why this construction was used or how common it is?

Ralph I.
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goldendragon
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PostPosted: Thu Jun 04, 2009 3:09 pm    Post subject: pictures of it ? Reply with quote
Would love to see some pictures of it, if possible in detail
Thanks
Danny
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JLBadgley
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PostPosted: Fri Jun 05, 2009 12:38 am    Post subject: Reply with quote
Any pictures?

It isn't like Usagi-tei is it?

-Josh
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Twilight Disciple
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PostPosted: Fri Jun 05, 2009 5:05 am    Post subject: Reply with quote
I don't think it is Josh... but I have never seen any Usagi-tei up close. (I didn't know it existed until I saw your link.)

Here are two pics I just took:
The lighter strips and edging are doeskin (I think), and show more wear on the left side of the pic. The construction seems robust and functional.


And a kote for scale and contrast in the color:


Ralph
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JLBadgley
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PostPosted: Fri Jun 05, 2009 5:13 am    Post subject: Reply with quote
Well, Tony would be able to tell you, but it looks good to me. Maybe parade armor? Something either late Edo, Meiji, or even modern made to be "correct" but possibly not meant to be used? I just don't know--maybe the lacquered paper would work?

On the other hand, I know that paper was used in the layers of some pieces of fabric armor, so perhaps it was used in the sane as well?

-Josh
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JLBadgley
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PostPosted: Fri Jun 05, 2009 5:17 am    Post subject: Reply with quote
Just another thought on the haidate. I think you are right that it is doeskin (apparently Japanese trade just about depopulated the deer populations of SE Asia). The wear on the left side would seem appropriate as that's where the sword, whether uchigatana or tachi, would have been, so things would have possibly rubbed unevenly. I imagine a tachi would cause more of that particular wear pattern.

-Josh
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PostPosted: Fri Jun 05, 2009 5:22 am    Post subject: Reply with quote
It is the left side of the photo, and right side when worn. My bad.

Ralph
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PostPosted: Sun Jun 07, 2009 8:50 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote
I can't see any paper in that image, but that being said...

You will sometimes find in late Edo armours (and lots of early Showa repros) that many components were made of laminated washi that were then lacquered. These suckers were strong, stiff, and fairly resilient; and as they weren't needed for combat, it didn't *matter* that they were only "matt board" armour.

The Takeda Jinja used to have a few suits in their treasure house that were early Showa-era "repros" of armours worn by Takeda generals, and these armours were the ones that were used in various festivals and parades (the real armours being, of course, too valuable for such use). Many of these showed wear and tear that indicated their actual construction to be of thickly laminated paper that was then lacquered over like regular armour.

That *may* be what this is, but again, I don't see any evidence of that in the photos.


Tony
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PostPosted: Mon Jun 08, 2009 6:32 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote
I tried to take an edge on photo, but my cell phone camera won't pick it up very well. There are three layers of even thickness. The outer black layer is cracked off in places showing a brown material of two layers that is very uniform in thicknes. The plates seem to have been cut after the layers were bonded. Whatever it is, it is very light. I don't have an example of washi for compairison, this being New Mexico and all.

Ralph
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PostPosted: Wed Jun 17, 2009 6:35 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote
I'm still jealous Ralph... Just Kidding
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Hiro Katsumoto
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PostPosted: Mon Jun 22, 2009 10:32 am    Post subject: Reply with quote
I'm jealous too! I'd love to have any kind of samurai armor even if it's just for show.
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PostPosted: Tue Jun 23, 2009 1:45 pm    Post subject: your armor Reply with quote
Ralph, any chance we could admire pictures of the full armor ?? Could you post some more pictures of the full set of your armor, including do, kabuto, chest, etc...
Many thanks
Danny
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PostPosted: Wed Jul 29, 2009 6:21 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote
@ Danny...

Sent you a PM with pics about a month ago. It is still in my out box...

Ralph
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