Samurai Helmet


From: Japan

Curatorial Section: Asian

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Object Number 7381
Current Location Collections Storage
Culture Japanese
Provenience Japan
Period Edo Period
Date Made Edo Period
Section Asian
Materials Lacquer | Paper
Technique Lacquered

Fireman's hat (kaji kabuto). Paper mache hat crafted to emulate the appearance of a 18-plate hat with vertical ridges. Each ridge is made of built up paper mache and likely was painted gold, though now the ridges have a brown appearance. Surfaces of the "plates" between the ridges were likely also painted gold, though now these have faded to a grayish color. A five-stage fixture (tehen-no-kanamono) sits atop the apex of the hat with the four lowest tiers designed to look like chrysanthemum flowers. The tehen-no-kanamono appears to fit poorly over the ridges of the hat bowl and may not be original. The visor (mabizashi) is split into two sections. The upper section is formed from the "plates" of the hat bowl extending down and show the same evidence of faded gold paint. The lower section is coated with black lacquer and three billowing clouds done in gold paint. Five wide, scalloped edges decorate a rim protruding from the lower edge of the entire hat bowl. This rim also shows remnants of gold paint. A large metal ring protrudes from the back of the hat bowl where a purple, decorative, silk bow (agemaki) hangs. The hat lining (ukebari) is missing but there are holes where a cloth neck protector (hikeshi shikoro) would have attached. Two forward-facing wings (fukigaeshi) are attached to the sides of the hat bowl. Each fukigaeshi is painted gold and has a ridge along its length separating it into a wider section and a thinner section. Toward the top of the fukigaeshi are remnants of circular crests that cannot be discerned.

Height 20 cm
Length 35 cm
Width 30 cm
Credit Line Gift of Francis C. Macauley, Esq.,1890

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