Important Cultural PropertyCoat (worn over armor, jin-baori), red felt with crossed sickles

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  • 1 suit
  • yuki52.0L76.6
  • Azuchi-Momoyama period/16th century
  • Tokyo National Museum
  • I-393

 This is a jinbaori (a sleeveless jacket) worn by Kobayakawa Hideaki (1582 – 1602), who sided with Tokugawa Iyeyasu at the Battle of Sekigahara while serving Toyotomi Hideyoshi. The red thick woolen cloth called raxa, which was described as "as red as Shojo," a Chinese fictitious being that loved drinking, was brought into Japan from Europe and became a popular material at the time. On the back of the red jacket, a bold pattern of a pair of crossed sickles made of white and black raxa is created using the kirihame technique (cutting out part of a cloth and then fit in a different cloth to form a pattern). A small heart-shaped design patched on the handles of the sickles is called inome in Japan. On the front side, there is a design of torii (the gateway at the entrance to a shrine) in twill weave brocade and small red buttons like those found on Western clothes. A jinbaori is worn over the armor on a battlefield. The torii may be designed as a symbol of divine protection on a dangerous battlefield. Such a charm can also be found also on the lining: On the lining of the back, the word "eternity" is embroidered in a circle with bluish green silk thread, which seems to mean a prayer for a lasting life. For the lining, white damask patterned with Western plants is used. This jacket shows that samurais regularly used rare European fabrics that the ships from Spain or Portugal brought into Japan during the Azuchi-Momoyama period.