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Good evening All,

A friend who is usually an Indo-Persian collector with somewhat eclectic taste and who does like Japanese arms and armour recently sprung an iron kabuto in a general auction minus the shikoro.  It was 'painted' a golden-brownish colour, which on judicious cleaning turned out to be a red-lacquered kabuto.  In conversation he asked if I had any idea what it would cost to restore the kabuto, and indeed whether it was even worth restoring it 'as is', or restoring with a replacement shikoro.  Having myself a russet Momoyama Hirata Yoshihisa Zunari kabuto I have wondered myself about costs.  So I turn the question over to the Board for anyone with knowledge of 'ball park' restoration costs.


The first two pictures below are of my Zunaru kabuto and the next two are of my friend's red-lacquered acquisition.  The ukebari is intact in the latter red helmet, though just hanging on in a couple of places.  No mei can be seen anywhere.  To me this kabuto almost looks 'top heavy', but perhaps that perspective is altered by the very small fukigayeshi.


With thanks,


aka Barry Thomas.


1473529622_HarutaYoshihisaZunarikabutofrontqutrview.thumb.jpg.a7939f8e194e74e890102d8963a4a3d4.jpg   1729064694_HarutaYoshihisaZunarikabutorearqutrview.thumb.jpg.02db1dcf40b53464596b0f481aacb143.jpg


726749047_Redkabuto-frontview.thumb.jpg.21f24f50e5817d2f0e873fd8c9bffa83.jpg   1922655235_Redkabuto-sideview.thumb.jpg.c897fdc5a5663b924fedb6dc79151e7b.jpg

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Hello Barry,

It looks like it needs quite a bit of work as I am sure that the urushi is lifting further under the exposed parts.

I am interested to see what other comments will will be made and the costs to repair it will be!  

Also, which materials will be used to restore it.


Bazza, I think you can work out who I am!



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First advice from me is not to rush anything. These Kabuto are not in a hurry to go anywhere, so move when you have a clear picture in your mind.

You have the option of doing nothing to the Kabuto (many collectors like them showing their age) or simply stabilizing the peeling areas, but I would start to look around for a spare set of shikoro of the right size. This will not happen immediately, unless you are very lucky!

In that spirit, good luck! :thumbsup:

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17 minutes ago, Iekatsu said:

I'm sure it was a typo but your kabuto is by Haruta Yoshihisa, its a nice example of the type and definitely worthy of restoration.


I hate it when I do that!!!  Having a Hirata utsushi tsuba and a Haruta kabuto mis-spelling is an easy trap for the tired and unwary.  I should go to bed earlier ...  Thanks for the correction.



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Hi Barry,


do you have a picture of the mei? Hirata (平田) would be also possible….

Very good Zunari, BTW!


The red suji-bachi could be an earlier Haruta work. Worth a slight restoration, but no hurry like Piers suggested ;-)


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