May 5 is Children's Day in Japan. It's a national holiday during the Golden Week period. Until recently, May 5 was known as Boy's Day-- a day for all the little guys. Girls had their own holiday, too. For Boy's Day, it was and still is common to hang carp streamers and display samurai dolls or armor. The carp is a symbol of success, hence the significance of hanging the streamers. Displays of samurai dolls or miniature samurai weapons and armor is a time-honored tradition that symbolizes…
Armor with the features of a tengu (tengu tōsei gusoku), by Kiyotoshi, Munekiyo, and Ryūsuiken, late Edo period, 1854. The astonishing helmet of this armor represents the head of the menacing creature tengu (karasu tengu) with its characteristic beak, golden eyes, and striking eyebrows. The chest armor and sleeves imitate human muscle structure. Atop the helmet is a small black hat resembling ones worn by mountain warrior-monks (yamabushi), practitioners of Shūgendō.
24 ken suji bachi kabuto signed "Masanobu", 18th c, lacquered black and finished in katajiro style with four gilt metal plates radiating out from the three-stage shakudo, copper and gilt Buddhist wheel tehen kanamono and carved on the surface with scrolling vines, the bowl mounted with a wide, manju-style, four-lame shikoro finished with shakudo hardware, gilt-copper kuwagata and a black and gold lacquer oni maedate, russet-iron menpo with wrinkles and mustache.
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Helmet bowl signed Saotome Ietada | Armor (Gusoku) | Japanese | The Met
This example comes from the armory of Date Yoshimura (1703–1746), daimyo (lord) of Sendai. The helmet bowl, signed Saotome Iye[tada?], dates from the sixteenth century; the remainder of the armor was constructed in the eighteenth century
Tokugawa Clan Crest Kabuto. Mid Edo period. The Mon / crest of the Tokugawa Clan, the ‘triple hollyhock’. Any helmet painted with butterfly and dragonfly design can usually be associated with...