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Eric S




Location: new orleans
Joined: 22 Nov 2009
Reading list: 8 books

Posts: 802

PostPosted: Tue 10 Jul, 2012 3:29 am    Post subject: Riveted kusari (riveted Japanese mail) or karakuri-namban         Reply with quote

The rarest Japanese armor that I am aware of is riveted Japanese mail. There were up until now only two images available in the world of this armor type. Recently I purchased three matching armor items for the extremities (sangu) consisting of haidate (thigh armor), suneate (shin armor) and kote (armored sleeves). These historical items were being sold in three different auctions and would have been split up never to be seen again. I know of only two reverences to riveted kusari, one in late 1700's book "The manufacture of armour and helmets in sixteenth century Japan" = (Chukokatchu seisakuben) Author :Sakakibara, Kozan,Translated by T. Wakameda ; Rev. by A. J. Koop and Hogitaro Indada, 1912 ; Rev. and edited by H. Russell Robinson, 1962.
Publisher London : Holland Press, 1963. pp 83-85.

Quote:
"karakuri-namban (riveted namban), with stout links each closed by a rivet. Its invention is credited to Fukushima Dembei Kunitaka, pupil, of Hojo Awa no Kami Ujifusa, but it is also said to be derived directly from foreign models. It is heavy because the links are tinned (biakuro-nagashi) and these are also sharp edged because they are punched out of iron plate."
.

George Cameron Stone mentions a "kote with riveted European-style 4-in-1'' image # 475.10 in his book "A Glossary of the Construction, Decoration and Use of Arms and Armor: in All Countries and in All Times". The only image of rivered kusari I have seen published is in "Japanese Arms & Armor Introduction by Robinson, H Russell", 1969 P.58 , the image is listed as being an "Early 19th century breastplate from Museo Orientale Venice", in addition Dave Thatcher told me that he has seen this type before in Sasama's big book which I have do not have a copy of and have not seen.

The remaining question is whether this example was of Japanese manufacture or was this some foreign type acquired by an Japanese armor maker and used to make this particular armor. The links are not lacquered black as other types of Japanese mail, the links have the appearance of being possibly tinned or galvanized and as to the comparison of other types of riveted mail, the links do not look like eastern riveted mail samples that I have seen or like European riveted mail links. I showed some images of the links to Ian Bottomley and he was kind enough to give an opinion the this looks like it may be riveted mail of Japanese manufacture due to the fact that in Eastern mail the riveted links are connected by solid links and with European riveted mail the links are riveted with a wedge shaped rivet. The mail I have was made with eastern type rivets but all the links are riveted with no solid links.

Indian riveted mail


European wedge riveted mail

[/quote]


Sangu


Kote


Haidate


Suneate




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William P




Location: Sydney, Australia
Joined: 11 Jul 2010

Posts: 1,436

PostPosted: Tue 10 Jul, 2012 8:35 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

oh HELLO there my pretties (the maile,) , good find, eric.
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Bob Haynes




Location: Mount Perry, Ohio
Joined: 06 Apr 2008
Likes: 16 pages

Posts: 56

PostPosted: Tue 10 Jul, 2012 4:59 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Wait, you're not Dan Howard!
Just jesting, Eric, for that is how very interesting and informative a read on riveted mail it was. What's more it is that used by the Japanese, one of my personal favorite historical topics of study.


Last edited by Bob Haynes on Wed 11 Jul, 2012 3:51 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Eric S




Location: new orleans
Joined: 22 Nov 2009
Reading list: 8 books

Posts: 802

PostPosted: Tue 10 Jul, 2012 10:03 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I was very lucky to have found these, I watch auctions in Japan and what dealers have in stock for rare and unusual items such as this. I try to at least get copies of the images but in this case I was able to buy the item. In Japan many completely matched suits of armor are broken up and sold as individual items. The three matching armor pieces I bought would have been sold separately and probably would never have been seen again.
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William P




Location: Sydney, Australia
Joined: 11 Jul 2010

Posts: 1,436

PostPosted: Tue 10 Jul, 2012 10:54 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Eric S wrote:
I was very lucky to have found these, I watch auctions in Japan and what dealers have in stock for rare and unusual items such as this. I try to at least get copies of the images but in this case I was able to buy the item. In Japan many completely matched suits of armor are broken up and sold as individual items. The three matching armor pieces I bought would have been sold separately and probably would never have been seen again.

thats a shame in itself... what period is the maile btw
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Eric S




Location: new orleans
Joined: 22 Nov 2009
Reading list: 8 books

Posts: 802

PostPosted: Thu 12 Jul, 2012 1:31 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

William P wrote:

thats a shame in itself... what period is the maile btw
William, as with many Japanese armor items its very hard to determine the age. If the links were copied from European mail that would probably have been sometime after the Portuguese first arrived in Japan (1543) . Without seeing the rest of the armor that originally went with these three items I think some sort of lab testing would be necessary to accurately date them. I have been told of a complete Japanese armor that used riveted mail in its construction but the owners have not released any images of it so far.

Last edited by Eric S on Thu 12 Jul, 2012 9:52 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Ruel A. Macaraeg





Joined: 25 Aug 2003

Posts: 306

PostPosted: Thu 12 Jul, 2012 11:03 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Eric,
At some point you'll have to come over from NOLA to DFW with your armors and do a photoshoot with me at our Japanese Garden:
http://fwbg.org/gardens/japanese/
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fort_Worth_Japanese_Garden
It's a large space (7.5 acres) with great landscaping and architectural features, and makes the perfect backdrop for a samurai duel. Of course, I just can't seem to find anyone around here who also has samurai armor, though last year my friend and I did samurai vs. ninja there:


http://www.forensicfashion.com/1568JapaneseSa...Ninja.html

My armor is only the "Oda Nobunaga" formerly made by Hanwei, though it does perfectly well to dazzle the visitors to the Spring and Autumn festivals held there. With two armors, we'd be able to produce pictures for an article for some publication. You have some great stuff, and it deserves to be published somewhere!

http://ForensicFashion.com/CostumeStudies.html
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Eric S




Location: new orleans
Joined: 22 Nov 2009
Reading list: 8 books

Posts: 802

PostPosted: Fri 13 Jul, 2012 10:11 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Ruel A. Macaraeg wrote:
Eric,
At some point you'll have to come over from NOLA to DFW with your armors and do a photoshoot with me at our Japanese Garden:
Ruel, actually an exhibit of some type, showing samurai clothing, armor and weapons etc with some sort of written history guide/catalog would be more appropriate, any ideas?
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Ruel A. Macaraeg





Joined: 25 Aug 2003

Posts: 306

PostPosted: Sat 14 Jul, 2012 11:36 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Something like that would require significant financial sponsorship (tens of thousands for production, insurance, etc.etc.). Do you have a network in place that could front the money? You'd also need a team of specialist researchers and conservators to handle and write up all the material for display, which would add thousands more to the cost.

Even more important, though, is the wait. Successful planning for museum exhibits takes many years of advance preparation, and that long timeframe runs counter to my own goal of publishing articles at a relatively quick pace. I wouldn't mind being involved, but don't want to do that at the expense of short-term productivity.

http://ForensicFashion.com/CostumeStudies.html
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Eric S




Location: new orleans
Joined: 22 Nov 2009
Reading list: 8 books

Posts: 802

PostPosted: Sun 15 Jul, 2012 3:06 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Ruel A. Macaraeg wrote:
Something like that would require significant financial sponsorship (tens of thousands for production, insurance, etc.etc.). Do you have a network in place that could front the money? You'd also need a team of specialist researchers and conservators to handle and write up all the material for display, which would add thousands more to the cost.

Even more important, though, is the wait. Successful planning for museum exhibits takes many years of advance preparation, and that long timeframe runs counter to my own goal of publishing articles at a relatively quick pace. I wouldn't mind being involved, but don't want to do that at the expense of short-term productivity.


Ruel it depends, museums and other institutions have insurance already, and I have access to the research, armor, weapons, clothing, saddles etc, all it takes is someone associated with the proper organisation who has an interest in the subject and the drive to make it happen.
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Ruel A. Macaraeg





Joined: 25 Aug 2003

Posts: 306

PostPosted: Sun 15 Jul, 2012 12:07 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Eric S wrote:
all it takes is someone associated with the proper organisation who has an interest in the subject and the drive to make it happen.

I've no doubt it can be made to happen, but it needs much more than interest and drive -- you have to convince people with specific knowledge and skills to invest time, money, and effort into your project, and this means investing your own time, money, and effort in convincing them. My own experience of having been involved in planning similar long-term projects -- conferences, pageants, banquets, festivals, etc. -- has made me realize some sobering facts about these things:
1) Because so many people have to be brought in, you end up losing creative control of the project.
2) There's very little accountability unless you pay people for their contributions of time, material, and effort, including a full time manager to coordinate everyone.
3) They always take a whole lot more time and money than you ever expected, and still almost never meet your initial expectations.

If you're determined to do it, you should start by drafting a proposal and a budget, documents you can use to pitch your idea to potential sponsors. But again, doing this -- taking a cold hard look at the costs involved in a quality production, and realizing how many years it would take to pull it off -- should convince you that your efforts would be better spent writing articles and presenting lectures (and doing the photoshoots to support them).

http://ForensicFashion.com/CostumeStudies.html
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