Info Favorites Register Log in
myArmoury.com Discussion Forums

Forum index Memberlist Usergroups Spotlight Topics Search
Forum Index > Historical Arms Talk > Use of wood in historic Japanese armor Reply to topic
This is a standard topic  
Author Message
Chris Ouellet





Joined: 05 Jan 2009

Posts: 5

PostPosted: Fri 09 Jan, 2009 8:30 am    Post subject: Use of wood in historic Japanese armor         Reply with quote

This question has bled out of discussion on another forum where none of us
are really experts on the topic.

Both sources appear quite credible but neither fully reference their claims
http://www.myArmoury.com/feature_jpn_armour.html
Has the line "Japanese armour never was made of wood (except in the case of some of the earliest cuirasses)"
Whereas the following is adamant that it never happened:
http://www.sengokudaimyo.com/katchu/katchu.html

So who's correct and where's the source of the discrepancy? I have a good library close at hand. Thanks in advance.
View user's profile Send private message
Michael Curl




Location: Northern California, US
Joined: 06 Jan 2008

Posts: 487

PostPosted: Fri 09 Jan, 2009 12:56 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Well I am not an expert in that subject, but I have read both articles several times, and they are actually in agreement as sengokudaimyo talks about how armor from the Heian period and earlier have mostly decomposed.
E Pluribus Unum
View user's profile Send private message AIM Address
Max Chouinard




Location: Quebec, Qc
Joined: 23 Apr 2008

Posts: 108

PostPosted: Fri 09 Jan, 2009 1:42 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

You already know my viewpoint but you'd have more success here: http://www.toraba.com/forum/
Maxime Chouinard

Antrim Bata

Quebec City Kenjutsu

I don't do longsword
View user's profile Send private message Visit poster's website
Gabriel Lebec
myArmoury Team


myArmoury Team

Location: NY, NY
Joined: 02 Oct 2003
Reading list: 32 books

Posts: 420

PostPosted: Fri 09 Jan, 2009 2:37 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Max Chouinard wrote:
You already know my viewpoint but you'd have more success here: http://www.toraba.com/forum/

Hello Max,

I'm not sure who "you" refers to, but I for one don't know your viewpoint. Why not share it here?

Thanks for the link,
-GLL

"The most beautiful experience we can have is the mysterious. It is the fundamental emotion that stands at the cradle of true art and true science." - Albert Einstein
________


Last edited by Gabriel Lebec on Fri 09 Jan, 2009 7:30 pm; edited 1 time in total
View user's profile Send private message
Felix Kunze




Location: Bonn, Germany
Joined: 28 Feb 2007

Posts: 49

PostPosted: Fri 09 Jan, 2009 2:39 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Well, both sources are right. The first does mean, that there are indeed some very early cuirasses in Japan, that were made from lacquered and painted wood, although only a few fragments of them remain.

The second source, sengokudaimyo is also credible. Anthony J. Bryant, the author of this site, can be regarded as an expert for japanese armour construction. He actually means that samurai armour never was made of wood to clarify some myths that are showing up in modern literature like James Clavellīs novel Shogun, were armour made of bamboo is mentioned. (Maybe influenced by the knowledge of japanese sport armour for Kendo, which was actually made of bamboo strips.) But it is a novel, and has several historical inaccuracies. Mr. Bryant is talking about the armour of Heian to early Edo-period with a special focus on the armour of the sengoku jidai.
But in his Osprey title on the early samurai he also shows one of the wooden predecessors of japanese armour, so he is well aware of itīs existance.
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail
Max Chouinard




Location: Quebec, Qc
Joined: 23 Apr 2008

Posts: 108

PostPosted: Fri 09 Jan, 2009 4:44 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Hi Gabriel,

I was actually adressing to Chris as this is a subject which is debated in another forum. I did not knew myself until very recently that wood was used in japanese armor, although that would not surprise me that much considering the dates. But I think the argument was that since it existed at some point it could have been used after this, which, apart from aesthetics purposes, curiosities and sparring protection, I find unlikely. The other possibilty is that the only army who used this protection was so totally oblitarated that no traces are left of them Wink....

Maxime Chouinard

Antrim Bata

Quebec City Kenjutsu

I don't do longsword
View user's profile Send private message Visit poster's website
James Arlen Gillaspie
Industry Professional



Location: upstate NY
Joined: 10 Nov 2005

Posts: 563

PostPosted: Fri 09 Jan, 2009 6:16 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I have seen armour made during the time of the Tokugawa Shogunate that was laquered wood, but this was merely costume; warfare was largely a thing of the past. I have been told (and we all know how iffy that can be!) that it was mostly worn by older gentlemen.
jamesarlen.com
View user's profile Send private message Visit poster's website
Gabriel Lebec
myArmoury Team


myArmoury Team

Location: NY, NY
Joined: 02 Oct 2003
Reading list: 32 books

Posts: 420

PostPosted: Fri 09 Jan, 2009 7:39 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Thank you Max (and others!), that was helpful.

FWIW I had originally interpreted our own article to mean something along the lines of "isolated examples in early history can be found, if one is annoying enough to go looking for them." Wink I have found that it is very often the case that if you state some absolute rule of history, there will be an example, however extremely unusual, to break it.

I can easily believe that no "samurai" armor has been made of wood. Of course, then we'd have to define "samurai." Wink Anyway I am more of a nihonto enthusiast myself and find this discussion interesting for my own edification on katchu.

Cheers,
-GLL

"The most beautiful experience we can have is the mysterious. It is the fundamental emotion that stands at the cradle of true art and true science." - Albert Einstein
________
View user's profile Send private message
Douglas S





Joined: 18 Feb 2004

Posts: 177

PostPosted: Tue 13 Jan, 2009 10:09 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I suspect that a lot of this rumor is spread by those who glimpse an old kendo suit with the bamboo slats exposed on the inside.

Many are the karatekas who think that their kicking was developed to break the samurai's wooden armor. Eek!
View user's profile Send private message
Lafayette C Curtis




Location: Indonesia
Joined: 29 Nov 2006
Reading list: 7 books

Posts: 2,689

PostPosted: Sun 18 Jan, 2009 8:25 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Funny. I recently heard that some scholars have cast doubt upon the utility of the wooden armor--the most popular theory in this camp seems to be that the wooden cuirass was a civilian/ceremonial imitation of metal or leather combat armor, much in the same way that quilted coats in China and India were ceremonial versions of battlefield brigandine. Let me poke a few people first and I'll try to get back later with some answers about this theory.
View user's profile Send private message


Display posts from previous:   
Forum Index > Historical Arms Talk > Use of wood in historic Japanese armor
Page 1 of 1 Reply to topic
All times are GMT - 8 Hours

View previous topic :: View next topic
Jump to:  
You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum
You cannot vote in polls in this forum
You cannot attach files in this forum
You can download files in this forum






All contents © Copyright 2003-2020 myArmoury.com — All rights reserved
Discussion forums powered by phpBB © The phpBB Group
Switch to the Basic Low-bandwidth Version of the forum