Antique Late Edo Period Menpo Face Guard for Samurai Armor
Menpo (面頬) is a Japanese word that means the face guard of Samurai armor. Various types of Menpo were hand-crafted during the Samurai period (1185-1868). A Menpo itself has rich facial expressions depending on its designs. By wearing a furious-looking Menpo, we believed its wearer could gain courage and fighting spirit.
In addition, Menpos were required to be light yet strong. Lightness was needed to reduce the burden on the wearer’s body and increase agility so that Samurai warriors could move as lightly as possible on the battlefields. It goes without saying that since Menpo is protective gear worn on battlefields, it must be durable.
Now please look at the pictures. This type of Menpo is called the Ressei Menpo (烈勢面頬), and is elegantly colored with black lacquer. It features deep wrinkles on the nose and cheeks, thin cheeks, a mustache, a wide open mouth, gold or silver teeth, and a ferocious expression. It represents the angry face to intimidate enemies. The Orikugi (折釘, L-shaped nail) is attached to each side of the cheek. It is for tying with a string of Kabuto (兜, Samurai helmet). The purpose of Menpo was not only to protect Samurai’s face. But also to hide their true faces so that their psychological states were not affected. It is said that Samurai often wanted to have his Menpo with a mustache to increase its masculine appearance and make himself stronger. This Menpo also has a mustache. By wearing this Menpo, we imagine that even a young Samurai would have looked as if he was a dignified middle-aged man from a distance.
This Menpo was approximately made in the late Edo period based on its style and condition, while silk lacing might have been refurbished. We would like to say this Menpo is a tasteful work. The texture of the iron that has passed through the ages is terrific.
Compared to the previous period, the Edo period was a relatively peaceful time (early 17th-late 19th century). During that time, owning a gorgeous piece of Samurai armor became a social status symbol to show dignity. In other words, Samurai armor also became treated as luxurious artwork. Many armor makers had to improve their technique and use the latest technology available back then to enhance armor’s aesthetic beauty. This trend applies to the crafting of Menpo as well.
You can see beautiful artistry from this Menpo.
*As this item is an antique, there are damages due to aging such as scratches or dents. Please check each photo and ensure its condition. We hope you will enjoy it as the texture of an antique item.
Samurai Museum is located in Tokyo, Japan, exhibiting antique artifacts related to the Samurai history. Samurai Museum Shop is the place for those who are interested in Japanese culture and craftsmanship. We deal with antique Samurai swords/armor, traditional crafts made in Japan and so on.
【Antique Japanese Menpo and Export process】
After receiving the full payment from you, we will apply for its export permit from the Board of Education to legally export the Menpo to other countries. It normally takes around 2-4 weeks to receive this permit. And we would like you to expect at least 1.0-1.5 months for your order to arrive at your given address after you ordered.
We accept payment through Stripe (Credit card), PayPal, Apple Pay or ChromePay, all of which are secure payment methods. Also, you don’t need to make an account on Stripe for the checkout. If you prefer other payment method, please contact us. You may either pay in JPY, USD, AUD, CAD, EUR, CHF or GBP. The price is set in Japanese Yen. Prices in other currencies are automatically calculated based on the latest exchange rate.
We normally ship via EMS (Express Mail Service) provided by Japan Post. It usually takes at least 5-14 days to deliver the package after you place an order. Time of delivery is estimated as accurately as possible by the carrier but does not take into account any delays beyond our control such as by inclement weather, post office holiday seasons.
We offer Free International Shipping as long as we can ship your order by EMS. If you prefer other shipping carriers, please contact us.
We will inform you of the order’s tracking number via email. Please make sure you fill out your valid email address correctly.
【Antique Japanese Menpo and Export process】
After receiving the full payment from you, we will apply for its export permit from the Board of Education to legally export the Menpo to other countries. It normally takes around 2 to 4 weeks to receive this permit. And we would like you to expect at least 1.0 – 1.5 months for your order to arrive at your given address after you ordered.
【How to make sure the condition】
Please keep in mind that what you are going to purchase is an antique item. We uploaded high resolution photos for you to check its condition thoroughly. If you like to see more photos with different angles, please feel free to contact us. We will be happy to send them to you so that you can make informed decision.
It is essential for us to know that you are happy with your choice of Menpo and we are prepared to use the best of our ability to serve you.
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