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Kabuto Information

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Hi All,

 

Just received my recently purchased Kabuto and was wondering if any of the members can suggest more information than I have. From my reading it appears to be a Etchu Zunari with a hineno shikoro that was made in the Edo period. The appeal of this kabuto are the raised rivets, brow wrinkles and the "decorative" additions to the bowl which I haven't seen often on other Zunari. Also could it kabuto shape be classed as a Tenkokuzan nari when looking at the side photos?

 

So I was wondering, can the photos narrow down the options of possible school, area of and/or date of manufacture or any other points of interest?

 

Thank you in advance for any information.

 

John C. 

 

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John, the applications, or kirigane have a long history. Your kabuto looks like an edo , west Japanese item. The school? Only a few schools used kirigane, and according the style of the hachi, I think you have a nice Haruta helmet in your collection.

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Congrats John, well done!

I can only echo the above said. BTW, the protruding rivets are called “za-boshi” in this case, because of the incised washers. A feature, frequently seen on Kaga pieces.

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Thanks guys for the additional information and help.

I think that is great looking kabuto!

 

Regards

 

John C.

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By coincident I just found a similar kabuto in an exhibition catalog of the historical society of Izumi township. It is described as a zaboshizunarikabuto 座星頭形兜, Momoyama period.

post-12-0-28805500-1543728685_thumb.jpg

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Here are four examples from the book "Rare Kabuto", all called Tenkokuzannari, including one very similar to John's. The tenkokuzannari is a more specialized form of the the basic zunari and is most identifiable by the pronounced depression in the middle of the kabuto and raised rear area which the normal zunari does not have.

 

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Thanks Guido and John,

 

Great to see some other similar examples. Is there a "translation" for Zaboshizunari and Tenkokuzannari that determines the differences from one and the other?

Also wondering if that Rare Kabuto book is available somewhere?

Could anyone suggest if the hachi is finished in urushi or is a base metal finish?

 

I am grateful for all the input from everyone. It's all very interesting.

 

Regards

 

John C.

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John,

 

Zunari means "head-shaped" and I seem to recall that tenkokuzan means "heavenly mountain valley" or some similar poetic meaning.

 

Your kabuto seems to be covered in sabi nuri or lacquer made to look like russet iron (as opposed to tetsu sabiji, which is actual russet iron).

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John, here's a breakdown of the kanji:

 

(kashira) zu = head

(kata) nari = shape

座星 zaboshi = "seated" star
天谷山 = heaven & valley & mountain. "Tenkokuzan" seems to be a special, armor related reading, I would have pronunced 天谷 “amaya” or “amadani”.

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A quick note on Guido's translation above.

 

Hoshi (-boshi) is a star indeed, but in Japanese heraldry a star is generally traditionally rendered as a ● or ○ round polka dot, not the familiar Western ★ mark.

 

Thus a hoshi-kabuto is a 'starred' helmet, ie a standing rivets kabuto. Display the same rivet on a lotus or chrysanthemum base and it becomes a 'seated star' or Zaboshi helmet, as he says.

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Further to Piers' comments. Years ago when writing a book which Dr. Sasama kindly agreed to advise on, came across the term an 'hour of the dog' helmet. The answer to a query was that by that time of day te stars are visible - so its a helmet with visible rivets.

Ian Bottomley

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Further to Piers' comments. Years ago when writing a book which Dr. Sasama kindly agreed to advise on, came across the term an 'hour of the dog' helmet. The answer to a query was that by that time of day te stars are visible - so its a helmet with visible rivets.

Ian Bottomley

Is this where the "hour of the hare" came from, the dawn, when the stars are not visible, and thus, no rivets?

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Piers, I assume so yes. There are rivets of course but they are countersunk. Terms like go-sho-zan, hei cho zan and the like are proably all inventions of Edo armour makers to glam up their products.

Ian Bottomley

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That’s why I think that the nomenclature is a not so important and subjective. It changes over the years, and this evolution is still going on. It is more interesting to know where to situate the item in time and region.

On the other hand, the ‘hour of the dog’ is a poetic description.

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