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Eric S

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

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PostPosted: Sun 03 Apr, 2011 9:52 pm    Post subject: Japanese riveted kusari (mail)         Reply with quote

I recently posted a reply to an old thread on butted verses riveted mail.;start=44
I posted the only picture of Samurai armor were riveted kusari is used that I knew of. Someone saw the picture I posted and sent me another picture of what is supposed to be riveted kusari of Japanese manufacture.
Here is all the information I have gathered on this subject posted on one thread. If anyone else has a picture of more information on the subject please post.>>>>>>>>

After looking at hundreds (at least) of detailed pictures online and searching images in every book I could get my hands on I finally found one picture of riveted mail being used in Japanese (samurai) armor. From: JAPANESE ARMS & ARMOR [Hardcover] INTRODUCTION BY ROBINSON, H RUSSELL 1969 P.58;sr=8-1 The image is listed as being an Early 19th century breastplate from Museo Orientale Venice. There is no way of telling if this is European mail imported to Japan or Japanese manufactured kusari.

There is a Japanese variety of mail as described in this book: Author :Sakakibara, Kozan., Title: "The manufacture of armour and helmets in sixteenth century Japan" = (Chukokatchu seisakuben) 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.
"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".;f=false
Unfortunately the picture in Stones book which is labeled as being riveted mail is not detailed enough to see the actual mail.

I have asked Trevor Absolon the noted expert and author of a new book on samurai armor "The Watanabe Art Museum Samurai Armour Collection (Kabuto & Mengu, Volume I)", Trevor Absolon (Author);sr=1-4
if he personally has seen any Japanese riveted kusari among the thousands of pieces he has come into contact with and he said that there has only been one example that he has seen.

Upon hearing of my interest in the subject another well know authority on the subject of samurai armor and armor in general sent me an additional picture of what is supposed to be riveted kusari of Japanese origin. The person who sent me the picture said
it has the appearance of being punched out of a thin sheet of iron and then riveted, it lies reasonably flat on the backing.

Here are both pictures.

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