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How common was horse armor in the Sengoku era?
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Condottiero Magno
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PostPosted: Wed Oct 01, 2014 5:12 am    Post subject: How common was horse armor in the Sengoku era? Reply with quote
http://theminiaturespage.com/boards/msg.mv?id=361003

How common was horse barding in the Sengoku era, especially by Sekigahara? I had thought it was exclusively Edo period flamboyance, but from the above thread:

steel fist wrote:
First regarding samurai horse armour, if you just type that into google you will see a few examples. Interestingly japanese horse armour really came into use during the later edo period, but in my japanese armour reference book it asserts that it was in wide use during the sengoku period, and can be seen on the osaka screen. It usually takes the appearance of dragons. I decided to put Naomasa's horse in it because he was a very flamboyant character and obviously like to make a statement on the battlefield, his armour is also evident of this, also the fact he was shot by a sniper during the battle indicates he stood out.

Which armor reference title could he be referring to?
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PostPosted: Wed Oct 01, 2014 6:45 am    Post subject: Reply with quote
No clue what he is referencing. But to put armor on a wee little pot-bellied, short-legged pony that had stamina to charge a distance shorter than Homer Simpson sprinting towards a doughnut shop, makes little sense. This topic has been discussed here before as well, some years ago.
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PostPosted: Wed Oct 01, 2014 8:32 am    Post subject: Reply with quote
Any depictions in the Osaka screen? I'm looking at it on the National Geographic site, but haven't found any yet and the mounted Red Devils are on unbarded horses.

Some photos of horse armor: http://m.dailykos.com/stories/1272600

The section for armor mentions c.1600 as when horse armor came into use and it does look light enough for the Japanese breeds, but nothing about it being widespread.

There's this book on eBay: http://www.ebay.com/itm/FREE-SHIPPING-English-Japanese-Battle-War-Armor-Samurai-Sword-Castle-Book-/151397956564?pt=US_Nonfiction_Book&hash=item2340057bd4
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PostPosted: Wed Oct 01, 2014 2:15 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote
Barding with light armour, even lacquered paper, always seemed to me to be an Edo processional thing. I know in modern Japanese horsemanship caparisons are common. Perhaps cuirboille peytrals were used. John
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PostPosted: Wed Oct 01, 2014 2:20 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote
Sorry, but it still isn't passing my smell test. You won't find it in any part of the Osaka Siege screens because again, it is impractical for combat situations. It was only practical for Edo period daimyo dandies.
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PostPosted: Wed Oct 01, 2014 2:31 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote
Condottiero Magno wrote:
Any depictions in the Osaka screen? I'm looking at it on the National Geographic site, but haven't found any yet and the mounted Red Devils are on unbarded horses.
I have a book with some details of the fighting screen, the part in front of the torii, and the horses don't seem to have any neck coverings, and certainly not face coverings.

Quote:
Some photos of horse armor: http://m.dailykos.com/stories/1272600
But the horse armor draped over the neck and rump appears only on the modern reproductions, not in any of the screens. Those show cloth around the rump, but as it is shown blowing in the wind, it would not be armor, but is probably just for covering the straps for securing the saddle

Quote:
The section for armor mentions c.1600 as when horse armor came into use and it does look light enough for the Japanese breeds, but nothing about it being widespread.

If it came into use about 1600, that means it was not used for fighting. Right before of course they were working on dealing with firearms, and the armor is not likely to have stopped bullets, and after there was little fighting.

Quote:
There's this book on eBay:
I don't think I have seen anything like that.
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PostPosted: Wed Oct 01, 2014 4:28 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote
Bethetsu wrote:
Those show cloth around the rump, but as it is shown blowing in the wind, it would not be armor, but is probably just for covering the straps for securing the saddle

The section for armor mentions c.1600 as when horse armor came into use and it does look light enough for the Japanese breeds, but nothing about it being widespread.


We have a couple of 1/8 sengoku battle horse figures that are kitted out, and the covers on the back are indeed just for looks and to cover the strapping. You could also strap light items to them. For sure, it's not armor.

I have several versions of Osaka screens (there isn't "A" screen, several semi-contemporary ones have surfaced) in books, mini-screens, a poster and even an app) and didn't see anything resembling horse armor on them as well. From the old thread we had on the subject (where they even had a photo of Edo period DOG armor!), it was just used cermonially and for processions (like that horse on the cover of the book). Pretty much after the 1590's and the increasing numbers of firearms being deployed on the battlefield, samurai would dismount a short distance from the battlefield and go into combat on foot as they didn't want their expensive, status symbol horses getting shot.

We have old threads HERE and HERE.

I have that book the sculptor mentions on the Miniature Forum page (the one that brings up the Osaka screen). I'll have to take a look at it.
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PostPosted: Wed Oct 01, 2014 4:52 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote
shin no sen wrote:
Barding with light armour, even lacquered paper, always seemed to me to be an Edo processional thing. I know in modern Japanese horsemanship caparisons are common. Perhaps cuirboille peytrals were used. John

I can accept chamfrons and even peytrals, of various materials, as it was used in lieu of complete barding throughout Eurasia, but I've never come across mention of complete harnesses being used in battle, not even in period illustrations.

The book referred to is History of japanese armour vol 2. Number, ISBN: 9784499229562. Haven't gotten round to purchasing both titles, but I'd like to know if anyone has it and since it's bilingual, could someone look up the Japanese part? What does the English translation say?
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PostPosted: Wed Oct 01, 2014 4:57 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote
Tatsunoshi wrote:
Bethetsu wrote:
Those show cloth around the rump, but as it is shown blowing in the wind, it would not be armor, but is probably just for covering the straps for securing the saddle

The section for armor mentions c.1600 as when horse armor came into use and it does look light enough for the Japanese breeds, but nothing about it being widespread.


We have a couple of 1/8 sengoku battle horse figures that are kitted out, and the covers on the back are indeed just for looks and to cover the strapping. You could also strap light items to them. For sure, it's not armor.

I have several versions of Osaka screens (there isn't "A" screen, several semi-contemporary ones have surfaced) in books, mini-screens, a poster and even an app) and didn't see anything resembling horse armor on them as well. From the old thread we had on the subject (where they even had a photo of Edo period DOG armor!), it was just used cermonially and for processions (like that horse on the cover of the book). Pretty much after the 1590's and the increasing numbers of firearms being deployed on the battlefield, samurai would dismount a short distance from the battlefield and go into combat on foot as they didn't want their expensive, status symbol horses getting shot.

We have old threads HERE and HERE.

I have that book the sculptor mentions on the Miniature Forum page (the one that brings up the Osaka screen). I'll have to take a look at it.

Thanks, would appreciate what the book says. I had come across those threads years ago and I agree with everything in them, aside from evalerio's discussion of cavalry tactics.
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PostPosted: Wed Oct 01, 2014 5:23 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote
Reading Saga of the Samurai volume 2 on Takeda Nobutora. On page 52, the horse armor was rarely used for war and was reserved for military parades.
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PostPosted: Wed Oct 01, 2014 5:36 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote
owari no utsuke wrote:
Reading Saga of the Samurai volume 2 on Takeda Nobutora. On page 52, the horse armor was rarely used for war and was reserved for military parades.

Thanks. Have all 5 volumes, waiting for 6+, and the appendix with horse breeds is very useful, but most miniature manufacturers produce horses that aren't Japanese. Fireforge released Mongol light cavalry and went with large not steppe horses, though they look like something from a carousel or the doodlings of a teenage girl, based on aesthetics, claiming ponies would look ridiculous.Rolling Eyes
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PostPosted: Thu Oct 02, 2014 4:05 am    Post subject: Reply with quote
Although the Japanese horse breeds are still around, it would be amazing to see them in battlefield barding as per Europe. Tough little bastards, but, not for those weights. Even now as in this video the Arabian bloodlines are now the horse of choice. John
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gXGrtswpPWw
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PostPosted: Thu Oct 02, 2014 5:09 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote
OK, I read the bits in Japanese Armor 2. Nothing to contradict anything we've been saying here. Basically, they're saying leather/quilted kit (which they term as armor-I suppose it has some protective value) was used on horses, which it was (the tasseled neck and rump 'blankets' you see-nothing near as elaborate or encompassing as the stuff on the figure on The Miniatures Page). The artwork of the horse with the 'dragon' mask was shown to be Hideyoshi's from his Taiko era (and there was no basis in history for it mentioned), so it was a horse that would never be seeing battle. As to the Osaka screen (which was only mentioned, not shown), it only said that warriors competed to make their horse decorations (it doesn't say armor-even the English translation doesn't say armor) finer than that of others-more colorful tassels of richer fabric, gold embroidery, etc. Which of course, they did. It went on to say that in the Osaka Screen you can see many horses decked out in elaborate finery-the aforementioned tassels, fancy saddles, embroidered blankets, etc. It doesn't say anything about horse armor being pictured on the screens (unless you consider the leather and quilting as armor). Later on it states that horse armor and masks became much more common 'after the age of battle and cavalry' in the Edo period but were used for ceremonial and processional purposes.
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PostPosted: Thu Oct 02, 2014 11:42 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote
http://www.dailykos.com/story/2014/01/26/1272600/-Samurai-Horses-Photo-Diary#
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PostPosted: Fri Oct 03, 2014 9:22 am    Post subject: Reply with quote
Here is a quote from a newly translated chapter on Japanese mail from "Nihon katchū no shin kenkyū" (new study of Japanese armor) by Hachirō Yamagami, 1928. It states that kusari (mail) was used on war horses during the Muromachi period.Yamagami was a researcher of Japanese armor and is still highly regarded in Japan along with Sasama yoshihiko, unfortunately his writings remain mostly untranslated into English.

Quote:
With the increasing use of mail, kusari (mail armor) was also used for war horses, as known for example from the Muromachi-period war chronicle Meitoku-ki (明徳記) which mentions a “kin-gusari no uma-yoroi” (金鎖の馬鎧). [Translator´s note: The term kin-gusari is sometimes also read as kinsa.


For Japanese horse related items look here. http://www.pinterest.com/worldantiques/samurai-horse-equipment-bagu/


Here are some close up views of uma-yoroi (horse armor), it is made from molded nerigawa (rawhide).







Last edited by estcrh on Sat Oct 04, 2014 7:08 am; edited 2 times in total
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PostPosted: Fri Oct 03, 2014 11:29 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote
I got out a book that has the Osaka Winter and Summer Jin screens. The WINTER screen is in the National Museum and dates from late Edo, but was probably an accurate copy of a screen made soon after the campaign. The screen (right screen) has several clear examples of the "quilt" armor--small square- or round-patterned coverings on the neck and rump like the examples in the above post. Two horses are in the upper right, in front of Hidetada's headquarters, one is crossing a bridge in bottom middle, and two are attacking Sanada. One of those is under the 井 banner, and one is just above it. Maybe more, but I haven't looked everywhere. But most horses do not have those coverings. There is also a photo in the book of that "armor" 馬鎧 with many small squares in the Osaka Tenshukaku Museum.

With the great interest the warriors had in display, one would think the coverings would be at least painted, but all the ones on the screen, as well as those posted or linked on this thread, are plain. I wonder why. Also, most pictures of horses do not seem to have such coverings, in fact, apparently this screen was unusual in that, but was that because the artist wanted to display the muscular parts of the horse and the mane?

The explanation by Wakisaka Atsushi in the screen book says that according to the Kuroda Kafu, on Hideyoshi's Kyushu campaign in 1587, the horses of the capital-area (Kamigata) warriors wore masks (馬面), but the people of the area (inaka) did not realize that, and so they thought that the things the capital-area warriors were riding were not horses, but must be some kind of fearsome dragon snakes 龍蛇の類.
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PostPosted: Sat Oct 04, 2014 2:14 am    Post subject: Reply with quote
Bethetsu, what's the name/isbn of that book? I collect books on the siege and it sounds like something I'd want (if I don't already have it or it's oop and outrageously expensive).
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PostPosted: Sat Oct 04, 2014 3:07 am    Post subject: Reply with quote
Tatsunoshi wrote:
Bethetsu, what's the name/isbn of that book? I collect books on the siege and it sounds like something I'd want (if I don't already have it or it's oop and outrageously expensive).
戦国合戦絵屏風集成 第四巻 大坂(sic! 大阪 is later)冬の陣図 大坂夏の陣図 中央公論社 1980. B4-size pages. Then it was ¥15,000, but for a book like this probably normal price. The library had the whole set.
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PostPosted: Sat Oct 04, 2014 7:10 am    Post subject: Reply with quote
Bethetsu wrote:
I got out a book that has the Osaka Winter and Summer Jin screens. The WINTER screen is in the National Museum and dates from late Edo, but was probably an accurate copy of a screen made soon after the campaign. The screen (right screen) has several clear examples of the "quilt" armor--small square- or round-patterned coverings on the neck and rump like the examples in the above post. Two horses are in the upper right, in front of Hidetada's headquarters, one is crossing a bridge in bottom middle, and two are attacking Sanada. One of those is under the 井 banner, and one is just above it. Maybe more, but I haven't looked everywhere. But most horses do not have those coverings. There is also a photo in the book of that "armor" 馬鎧 with many small squares in the Osaka Tenshukaku Museum.

With the great interest the warriors had in display, one would think the coverings would be at least painted, but all the ones on the screen, as well as those posted or linked on this thread, are plain. I wonder why. Also, most pictures of horses do not seem to have such coverings, in fact, apparently this screen was unusual in that, but was that because the artist wanted to display the muscular parts of the horse and the mane?

The explanation by Wakisaka Atsushi in the screen book says that according to the Kuroda Kafu, on Hideyoshi's Kyushu campaign in 1587, the horses of the capital-area (Kamigata) warriors wore masks (馬面), but the people of the area (inaka) did not realize that, and so they thought that the things the capital-area warriors were riding were not horses, but must be some kind of fearsome dragon snakes 龍蛇の類.


Can you post a shot from the book?
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PostPosted: Mon Oct 06, 2014 4:27 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote
Try this

This is the scene in front of Hidetada's headquarters, at the upper right-hand corner of the right screen from the Winter Campaign screen.
The armor made of small squares is clearly visible for two horses. You can see the horses' manes also, though I don't know whether that is artistic license. Most of the horses though just have the colored chest strap and a decorated rump strap.
The horse on the right has no rider yet, so you get a very clear view of its accouterments. It may even have something on its forehead.
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PostPosted: Tue Oct 07, 2014 6:40 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote
Bethetsu wrote:
戦国合戦絵屏風集成 第四巻 大坂(sic! 大阪 is later)冬の陣図 大坂夏の陣図 中央公論社 1980. B4-size pages. Then it was ¥15,000, but for a book like this probably normal price. The library had the whole set.


Thanks, just picked one up for Y2500.
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PostPosted: Wed Oct 08, 2014 5:46 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote
Thanks Bethetsu, I have searched though several screens looking for evidence of either tatami armor or horse armor in use but I did not find any.
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PostPosted: Tue Oct 21, 2014 10:20 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote
Bethetsu wrote:
戦国合戦絵屏風集成 第四巻 大坂(sic! 大阪 is later)冬の陣図 大坂夏の陣図 中央公論社 1980. B4-size pages. Then it was ¥15,000, but for a book like this probably normal price. The library had the whole set.


Really glad you came across this book-just got my copy and it's great. Excellent close ups and detail of all kinds of screens, fold outs, macro views with labels of the different forces depicted, etc. Huge book with a slipcase, an outer box, and lots of little extra addendum documents tucked inside. I liked it so much I just picked up the first volume with Kawanakajima and Nagashino. Might end up getting all five volumes-the Shimabara one looks interesting.
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PostPosted: Thu Feb 05, 2015 2:33 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote
Tatsunoshi wrote:
OK, I read the bits in Japanese Armor 2. Nothing to contradict anything we've been saying here. Basically, they're saying leather/quilted kit (which they term as armor-I suppose it has some protective value) was used on horses, which it was (the tasseled neck and rump 'blankets' you see-nothing near as elaborate or encompassing as the stuff on the figure on The Miniatures Page). The artwork of the horse with the 'dragon' mask was shown to be Hideyoshi's from his Taiko era (and there was no basis in history for it mentioned), so it was a horse that would never be seeing battle. As to the Osaka screen (which was only mentioned, not shown), it only said that warriors competed to make their horse decorations (it doesn't say armor-even the English translation doesn't say armor) finer than that of others-more colorful tassels of richer fabric, gold embroidery, etc. Which of course, they did. It went on to say that in the Osaka Screen you can see many horses decked out in elaborate finery-the aforementioned tassels, fancy saddles, embroidered blankets, etc. It doesn't say anything about horse armor being pictured on the screens (unless you consider the leather and quilting as armor). Later on it states that horse armor and masks became much more common 'after the age of battle and cavalry' in the Edo period but were used for ceremonial and processional purposes.

Both volumes of Ritta Nakanishi's armor books arrived last week and I noticed two pages on horse armor. Were you describing the Japanese text or the uneven English caption?

Caption pg. 59:
Quote:
Uma-yoroi armors for horses had been existed since Sui to Tang dynasties in China, Koguryeo dynasty in Korea, and in Japan, they were deployed to Nara peroid's armies in the name of Bamen horse mask or Uma-yoroi horse armor. The Adsuchi-momoyama peroid saw the zenith of Uma-yoroi, and fashionable generals such as Nobunaga or Hideyoshi and their vassals vied with each other for their gorgeousness to the utmost. They were made of leather and the surface was painted with lacquer and sometimes gilt.

As for the Bamen horse masks, dragon faced type was popular. In the folding screen pictures of the winter and summer campaigns of Oosaka, there are many examples of them reflecting each rider's taste elaborately. The illustration shows totally gilt Uma-yoroi of Hideyoshi.


Caption pg.61:
Quote:
Initially, the Uma-yoroi covered horse neck only, but the type that covers whole body became typical in the Warring States period.


Aside from the illustrations and a few pages of information, I hadn't known about, the two volumes are somewhat of a disappointment - better presented in the the Saga of the Samurai series - and some of the material seemed like nonsense.
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PostPosted: Thu Feb 05, 2015 2:40 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote
Bethetsu wrote:
Try this

This is the scene in front of Hidetada's headquarters, at the upper right-hand corner of the right screen from the Winter Campaign screen.
The armor made of small squares is clearly visible for two horses. You can see the horses' manes also, though I don't know whether that is artistic license. Most of the horses though just have the colored chest strap and a decorated rump strap.
The horse on the right has no rider yet, so you get a very clear view of its accouterments. It may even have something on its forehead.

I've seen quilted armor in books, barding for horses too IIRC, and the ones in this pic look decorative instead of protective, especially against arrows.
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