AR#520521 KAGA GUSOKU
This matching armour comprises a sixteen plate ‘goshozan hoshi kabuto’ (helmet) signed:
加州住宗孝作 (Kashu ju Munetaka saku). The exterior of the bowl is decorated with extremely fine ‘yasurime’ (file marks). The ‘tehen kanagu’is made of six tiers of mixed soft metals. The ‘mabisashi’ (peak) and ‘fukigaeshi’ (turn backs) are wrapped with imported ‘kinkarakawa’ (embossed, gilded leather) probably from Holland and trimmed with scrolled, gilded copper. The heraldry is probably that of a branch of the Aoki clan. The ‘maedate’is a typical Kaga style, gilded brass ‘inome’ (boar’s eye). The ‘manju shikoro’ (rounded neck guard) is made of five lames of iron plate, four lacquered black, the bottom lame is wrapped in leather. The interior of the neck guard is covered in gold leaf.
The exterior of the ‘hanbou’ (half mask) is decorated with very fine ‘surichigai yasurime’ (file marks going in different directions). The ‘asenagashi no ana’ is delicately carved in the form of a cherry blossom. The interiorof the mask is lacquered red. The three lame iron plate throat guard has two lacquered black and the bottom one wrapped in leather.
The six plate cuirasse is made from ‘nerikawa’ (molded leather), the breast plate is decorated with Aoki clan heraldry and a large ‘ho-ou’ (phoenix) carved from copper and spattered with ‘sahari’ (pewter). The ‘saihai no kan’ applications above the phoenix are made of mixed soft metals in the form of clouds. The back plate is decorated with a large ‘agemaki no kan’ in the form of wisteria made from the same materials as the breast plate. The interior of the cuirasse has been applied with gold leaf. The ‘watagami’ (shoulder straps) are wrapped with the same embossed, gilded leather as the helmet. The ‘kusazuri’ (skirt) is divided into seven sections each of five lames. Four of them lacquered black, the bottom lame is wrapped with leather.
The russet iron sleeves are made in ‘koshino gote’ style with extensive cherry blossom and Aoki clan heraldry ‘kirigane’ applications on the upper arms with more on the back of the hands.
The ‘karuta haidate’ is made in typical Kaga style with alternating black lacquered and gilded leather card shaped rectangles.
The russet iron ‘suneate’ are made in ‘shino’ style and lined with floral designed silkas per throughout the armour.
A ‘saihai’ (commander’s baton) also accompanies this charming piece.
Housed in paulownia wood armour box.
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