Important Cultural PropertyDômaru Armor with Light Blue Lacing, Helmet, and Wide Arm Protectors

Save Image

image 全画面表示
  • One set
  • Kyoto National Museum
  • E甲286

This is an example of a domaru, a type of medieval armor that was wrapped around the body and fastened on the right side. It is made of horizontal tiers of alternating iron and leather lames that are tied together and coated with black lacquer; the tiers are then tied vertically with light blue lacing. The lacing is a type of indigo-dyed cord known in Japanese as hanada-ito, which can be written with characters that mean “flower-field cord” indicating, according to one theory, that the cords were once dyed with spiderwort flowers. The akoda gourd-shaped helmet has thirty-eight lobes, with gilded trim in the furrows and encircling the base. The fittings are made of gilt bronze with an openwork design of chrysanthemum branches, the flowers wrapped in sheets of gold. The generous proportions of the cuirass and the shape of the helmet suggest a mid-Muromachi period date. This domaru is listed in the armor section of Shuko Jusshu, a late Edo-period compendium of famous antiquities compiled by Matsudaira Sadanobu (1758-1829), lord of the Shirakawa Domain. It was originally owned by the Nasu family, famed for its twelfth-century ancestor, the legendary archer Nasu no Yoichi. The family crests on the metal fittings combining a chrysanthemum flower and the character for "one" are the oldest extant examples of the Nasu family crest.