Antique Samurai Helmet Rokujyuni Ken Suji Kabuto with a family crest
Period; Estimated mid-late EDO period
Prime Material: Iron
The Kabuto (兜, helmet) is a protector for the head. When people started using the Kabuto, it was initially designed for practical use. However, the principal purpose of its design has changed with time; Samurais tried to express their dignity, personality, or religion by wearing the characteristic design Kabutos. According to a theory, these unique designed Kabutos were made from the late Muromachi period to the Edo period. This type of Kabuto is categorized as the Kawari Kabuto (変わり兜), and a variety of materials were used to create them. For example, animal fur, seashells, plants, and papers were used as materials for decoration.
Before the Kawari Kabuto’s production, the Suji Kabuto (筋兜) has appeared during the Nanbokuchou (南北朝, 1337-1392) period. At that time, the tactic was gradually changed from the piggyback fight style to battle with the Tachi (太刀) sword and the Naginata (薙刀, Japanese halberd) on the ground. Therefore, there was a rise in demand for the weight saving of the Kabuto. Also, in order to turn the attack by swords, a new type of structure was invented; it is the Suji Kabuto (筋兜). Its form slides swords’ attacks when weapons hit the Kabuto. It is said that the production of the Suji Kabuto prospered in the Muromachi (室町, 1336-1573) period. The Suji Kabuto production continued in the Edo period also; however, iron plates that Kabuto makers used at that time were thicker than the Muromachi period’s Suji Kabuto. Therefore, it was heavier, and we understand that then people cherished the Suji Kabuto to enjoy the old-style Kabuto, not to wear it on the battlefields.
The Maedate (前立, front decoration) of this Kabuto is the crescent moon motif. It was a trendy design among Samurais due to a belief. According to a theory, the crescent moon design of the Maetate comes from the Myouken (妙見) belief. This religion was born in India. It was mixed with the Polestar belief and was brought to Japan from the Continent. In the Myouken belief, the moon and stars were the symbols of faith. The Myouken Bosatsu (妙見菩薩, 菩薩 means Bodhisattva) fulfills all wishes such as fertility of rich harvest, peace, the prosperity of the clan, healing of illness, longevity, success in business, traffic safety, academic achievement, marriage, etcetera. This theory tells us how the moon motif had a deep relationship with Samurai culture.
Please focus on the Fukikaeshi (吹き返し) part. You will find a golden flower mark is designed. We guess it is a family crest categorized as the Ume Hachi/Bachi (梅鉢) pattern. It is a kind of Japanese apricot blossom design for family crests.
This Kabuto is a set with this Menpo (面頬, face guard).
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, original Japanese sword mounting, traditional crafts made in Japan and so on.
【Antique Japanese helmet(Kabuto) 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 helmet 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. After confirming your payment, we will apply for an export permit. You may either pay in JPY, USD, AUD, CAD, EUR or GBP. The price is set in Japanese Yen. Prices in other currencies are automatically calculated based on the latest exchange rate.
We ship via EMS (Japanese Postal Service). It normally takes at least 5-14 days to receive any packages after you place an order.It might take longer depending on the season or custom clearance. We will inform your order’s tracking number via email.
*Please keep in mind there is possible delay expected in delivery with EMS in some countries due to the pandemic in the world. We offer free shipping only when we can ship by EMS.
【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 a sword. and we are prepared to use the best of our ability to serve you.
【How To Contact Us】
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【How To Preserve Antique Samurai Armor/Helmets】
Dryness, humidity, and bad ventilation might deteriorate the condition of antique Samurai armor/helmet. The best temperature to preserve Samurai armor/helmet is around 20℃ in Celsius, and humidity should be about 60%. Direct sunlight should be avoided. We recommend storing armors/helmets in a room with good ventilation. If you like to display them outside the boxes for a prolonged time, we suggest using a glass case in order for dust not to be accumulated easily. In case you don’t use a glass case, please make sure to regularly dust off from the armor/helmets by using a soft brush made of delicate cloth or brush for painting.
If you like to know more about the preservation of this armor, please feel free to contact us.