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Kabuto and Menpo


Tengu1957
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On 1/8/2021 at 8:24 AM, Iekatsu said:

I don't think we should be condoning the practice of cutting windows in Ukebari.

it's a common practice during the centuries.  Finish the edges with a nice egawa, and there is nothing wrong with it.

I am almost sure that signed kabuto had those windows at the beginning.   the kabuto smith did not sign to see his signature dissapeared after a liner.

I also have kabuto with intact ukebari I don't want to open, but to study seriously, you must see the inside to understand the construction details.   

 

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On 1/6/2021 at 9:28 PM, Tengu1957 said:

I will see what I can do to make a window. Please educate me and tell me the Haruta features. I would have mistakenly thought it was Myochin. Thanks. 

1  on the profile , the remnants of the akodanari shape are still present.  This is nothing for the early Myochin.

2  the style of the mabezashi

3  the use of a tsunamoto, not a haraidate.

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The mabezashi is interesting with the nawame fukurin on the inner edge only, which I have never seen before. I wonder if it once had the same fukurin on the outer edge which has since been lost (in fact, I don't recall ever seeing fukurin like this anywhere except the outer edge).

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7 hours ago, Luc T said:

it's a common practice during the centuries.  Finish the edges with a nice egawa, and there is nothing wrong with it.

I am almost sure that signed kabuto had those windows at the beginning.   the kabuto smith did not sign to see his signature dissapeared after a liner.

I also have kabuto with intact ukebari I don't want to open, but to study seriously, you must see the inside to understand the construction details.   

 

A common practice does not mean its a good practice, it's generally done with very little care, primarily to facilitate sale. Given that there is a large portion of signed kabuto that do not have windows in the Ukebari it was clearly not a universal practice. A borescope can be inserted through the Tehen to look into the interior without damaging the Ukebari.

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I have several boroscopes and you can usually squeeze the 3 mm dia light head in through the 2 cm opening in the tehen and then spend an hour or two figuring out which way is up and the kanji. Remember to thoroughly clean the endoscope first in case Granny has used it for the purpose it was originally designed. 

 

I also restore armour and it takes about 500yds of hemp thread and  4 days to make a decent Ukebari, followed by a week in rehab from going insane!

 

Why would anyone in their right mind cut an ukebari. May as well take a grinder to the kabuto to cut a hole or use the above posted method (love it!).

 

Nice kabuto.

Rog

 

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The kabuto chop video was really great. Thanks Luc,

 

I was surprised the zunari kabuto withstood the rather large katana blow if the video was genuine. The cutter was only wearing a pair of glasses and the spectators pretty close by, so safety in the work place was a little lacking.

 

Kind of throws the Kotetsu legend of cutting a kabuto in half out of the window.

 

Incidentally I have an early Edo kabuto with a horizontal sword cut in the back that cuts into one of the high? carbon ridges to a depth of about 2mm. I suspect the wearer would have been surprised, and knocked to the ground for sure. Whilst both the cuts (video and this one) demonstrate the protection afforded by a helmet, the blows would probably render your opponent with a sore neck if not in hospital. Similarly with arm protection - might stop a deep cut and glancing slices, but doesn't stop a bone fracture.

 

 

Rog

 

 

 

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Hello all,

 

Let me preface what I'm about to say with the fact that I'm not one to wade into a controversy (and not that I think that this topic is particularly controversial), especially when one considers that at the end of the day, what one chooses to do with items in their collection is personal and reflects their own approach to study preservation and collecting .

 

The subject I'm referring of course, is that of whether one should or shouldn't open an ukebari in order to examine the interior of the hachi. For many - especially it seems many here on the NMB - this is sacrilegious and tantamount to destroying part of the heritage of the kabuto itself. However, for many of us whose main focus is the study and appreciation of armour, opening an ukebari (and I do mean opening, whether it be by detaching it from the koshimaki (preferred) or gasp (!), making an incision in the precious ukebari, but not destroying it - which again many seem to think is synonymous with the aforementioned procedures), is the only way to truly gain access to the insights revealed by the interior of the hachi. Of course, the first thing that one looks for inside a kabuto is the existence of a mei. However, it is the interior of the kabuto that reveals the most information even in the absence of a mei, allowing one to deduce period, school, maker and the very history of the particular piece (i.e. repairs, alterations, enhancements made are very telling).

 

One also has to consider that rarely is the ukebari itself ubu, with the kabuto in question likely having several replacements throughout its lifetime.

 

So, for certain collectors of armour, it is much more important to know the kabuto than to have a perfectly pristine and intact ukebari.

 

But, then again - to each his own...and don't get me started on the subject of shikoro...

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If someone wants to study the construction methods there are plently bare Hachi, or kabuto with compromised Ukebari that can be purchased, I am appalled that ranking members of the Japanese armour society are casually advocating vandalism, we are after all only temporary custodians of these objects.

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14 hours ago, Iekatsu said:

If someone wants to study the construction methods there are plently bare Hachi, or kabuto with compromised Ukebari that can be purchased, I am appalled that ranking members of the Japanese armour society are casually advocating vandalism, we are after all only temporary custodians of these objects.

Sorry, we are not advocating vandalism.  But how can one seriously study swords without seeing the nakago?   How can one seriously study kabuto without seeing the inside of the hachi?  
There are clean ways to see the inside, without damaging the kabuto.

 

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this is how yo can make the inside visible.  Sorry but this ukebari is seriously damaged due to it's age.   Notice the skillful finishing of the rivets on the inside, the perfect carved mei, the high number of rivets per plate, etc...2096118661_neomasanobumei.JPG.70dd1e479fead2137774ee9a154d4e74.JPG

All these   fine details would be lost with a closed ukebari.    Even important museums such as the Ueno in Tokyo are opening ukebari if they expect to find more information.   This has nothing to do with destruction.

 

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1 hour ago, Luc T said:

this is how yo can make the inside visible.  Sorry but this ukebari is seriously damaged due to it's age.   Notice the skillful finishing of the rivets on the inside, the perfect carved mei, the high number of rivets per plate, etc...2096118661_neomasanobumei.JPG.70dd1e479fead2137774ee9a154d4e74.JPG

All these   fine details would be lost with a closed ukebari.    Even important museums such as the Ueno in Tokyo are opening ukebari if they expect to find more information.   This has nothing to do with destruction.

 

Exactly.

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If you are going to create a nicely lined window in the ukebari, like the one in Luc's example, you have to know where the Mei is first, i.e. at the front, or at the back. 

Two of my kabuto have no Tehen no Ana, so I will have to consider how to see inside without creating unnecessary damage.

(Naturally if there is no Mei, I will not want to have left a large hole.)

 

In the old days, ukebari were considered expendables, like the tsuka ito on a sword handle, perishable, and fairly easily changed whenever necessary. Today there are few who can do this work, so it is not so easy to have it done. I guess it depends whether one sees an old ukebari as a valuable and instructive antique in its own right.

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5 hours ago, Bugyotsuji said:

 

In the old days, ukebari were considered expendables, like the tsuka ito on a sword handle, perishable, and fairly easily changed whenever necessary. Today there are few who can do this work, so it is not so easy to have it done. I guess it depends whether one sees an old ukebari as a valuable and instructive antique in its own right.

An ukebari must have been changed very often during intensive use.   Most kabuto have heavily damaged ones, so when you make a new one why not make a window in it?    
When I was a shinsa member, the Japanese were very suspicious when we saw a  closed ukebari.   Not at least in the case of a  kawari with brand new urushi...  but if the owner wanted it to stay closed, a proper judgment was impossible.

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I also have some medieval European helmets.   It is unthinkable that someone make a new liner for these old boys.

it is also unthinkable to destroy an old one as they are very rare.   
the approach is completely different.

 

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