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Mempo dating


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Now I have ordered in lots of books on the basis of expanding my knowledge base, on the Mempo I can see that there are distinct styles and designs that are attributed to some of the highly regarded armourers. However I can't see that there is a style or design (beyond a specific armourer) that would link a particular Mempo to a date range other than some of the very early pieces. Are there stylistics features and designs that were only introduced after a certain period. I have attached the image of the one I have as I have looked a 100's of examples and I can't place it. It is the Hana that is throwing me just the shape of it. Real or fake I have no idea? Any guidance as to rules of what to look for would be gratefully received, I am guess it is by way of building a mental encyclopedia of other works and referencing them.  




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No worries  Graham, you are in good company!

Dating menpō is very difficult and in most cases, especially when not signed, all one can do is setting a time frame. Something like early/mid/late Edo, for example. Good books about the subject are rare and mostly written in Japanese. “Katchūmen-Mononofu no kasō” by Katsuo Iida could be a recommendation. Some mistakes inside but quite a good book!


Back to your mask. Unfortunately I tend to agree with Thomas and Simon here. The model was obviously a so called “Nara-men”. This type was made in large numbers back then (more or less always similar, with recurring features) and goes allegedly back to the Haruta school...


There is a lot more to say, but that should be enough for today. Beer is waiting.... ;-)

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