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Michael Curl




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PostPosted: Fri 05 Aug, 2011 12:47 pm    Post subject: Japanese armored head band         Reply with quote

Hello all,

I have come across pictures of what I can only describe as an armored head band, does anyone have any info on these?

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Timo Nieminen




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PostPosted: Fri 05 Aug, 2011 2:36 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I haven't seen much on these. I've seen them called hachimaki (headband) and hachigane (which, technically speaking, might only mean the armour plates, but I've seen used for the whole thing, whether correct or not). Hachigane is also used for other types of forehead armour.

I have seen their function described as:

1. Police armour, Edo period. See, e.g., http://www.e-budokai.com/weapons/armor.htm (this text appears to be from Don Cunningham's Taiho-jutsu.

2. Secret armour for duels, Edo period. Obviously only for examples where the plates can't be seen.

They are also described, less plausibly IMO, as

3. Ninja armour.

I don't have any info on thicknesses, weights, etc. I don't know whether they were ever worn with a helmet, as additional forehead armour - all of the usual stories have them as the only head armour being used.

"In addition to being efficient, all pole arms were quite nice to look at." - Cherney Berg, A hideous history of weapons, Collier 1963.
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Michael Curl




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PostPosted: Sat 06 Aug, 2011 8:21 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Hmmm, so it sounds like these are only Edo period then?
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Jean Thibodeau




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PostPosted: Sat 06 Aug, 2011 9:09 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I remember seeing one of these in " The Seven Samurai " movie: Basically covering the forehead and a bit of the frontal sides of the head.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Seven_Samurai

This clip of the movie trailer shows one at the end in a big close up:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xnRUHtSgJ9o

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Timo Nieminen




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PostPosted: Sat 06 Aug, 2011 5:01 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Michael Curl wrote:
Hmmm, so it sounds like these are only Edo period then?


I've only heard of Edo period usage. And very little of that, too. I've only run into these things in passing, and haven't looked for specific evidence. Maybe a close look at art, especially of warriors without helmets, might be of use. Warrior monks? Of course, much of the art is Edo period, too, so might be anachronistic when depicting earlier events.

AFAIK, the partial skullcap type hachigane were used pre-Edo, but I don't have any evidence at hand for that. Also, hachimaki is used to described the unarmoured headband used as helmet padding/lining. So literary evidence might be ambiguous.

"In addition to being efficient, all pole arms were quite nice to look at." - Cherney Berg, A hideous history of weapons, Collier 1963.
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Boris Bedrosov
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PostPosted: Sun 07 Aug, 2011 11:51 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Jean Thibodeau wrote:
I remember seeing one of these in " The Seven Samurai " movie ........


You could see them worn during the final battle in "The Last Samurai" movie
As far as I remember, they were quite well visible in a couple of occasions.

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Lafayette C Curtis




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PostPosted: Mon 08 Aug, 2011 11:11 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

It seems like the most productive period when you're looking for this kind of defence would be the late Edo period, especially between the Black Ships (Commodore Perry) and the Meiji Restoration. This was an era of widespread urban warfare (or brawling) between the various pro-Western, anti-Western, pro-Shogun, and pro-Emperor factions, and the hachimaki appears to have been regarded as a useful defence that wasn't as cumbersome as a helmet, especially when one had to duck past low doorways and the like.
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Eric S




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PostPosted: Thu 11 Aug, 2011 11:42 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Michael Curl wrote:
Hmmm, so it sounds like these are only Edo period then?
The Edo period lasted from 1600 to the 1860s and I do not know of any research that pins down the use of forehead protectors to any particular period. Hachi-gane hitai-ate were quite common and came in many varieties, from very plain to quite elaborate.

http://s831.photobucket.com/albums/zz238/estc...?start=all











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