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NANBAN Kabuto momoyama


Alainalain
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I share with you another kabuto from my collection, it is a Korean helmet dating back to the momoyama era, I also send you the state of my research on this Kabuto, do not hesitate to correct or complete :

 

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The helmet consists of 4 plates by 4 metal bands riveted with 32 rivets, a mount found on many North Asian Mongolian-shaped helmets. Inside the base of the original Korean stamp there are multiple openings originally intended to secure a neck protection.
The bowl is topped with a tehen no kanamono at the top reported during reassembly, as is the koshi-maki and the tsunomoto. The mabizashi which replaces the original visor is bordered with a braided edging of silver copper wire (I have not found this type of decoration on any other kabuto ?).


the openwork iron mon in the shape of a golden melon flower (shiho-mokko) is applied to the mabizashi. Mon used by the IKEDA clan (Settsu-Ikeda branch).

 

image.jpeg.d9bee4acd37fb26d49d8a139329ed277.jpeg

 

The helmet was most certainly brought back from Korea during the Imjin wars (1592-1598), samurai of the IKEDA clan participated in the second invasion under the command of IKEDA Hideuji (池 田秀氏) who was one of the 6 generals (2800 men) of the right wing army under the command of MORI Hidemoto during the second invasion of Korea (1597-98). Stephen Turnbull, Samurai Invasion Japan Korean War 1592-1598, p240).

 

A Joseon kabuto reassembled with an identical helmet that belonged to TORII Mototada (heroic commander of The defense of the castle of Fushimi prelude to the battle of Sekigahara) is kept at the Seichu shrine in Mibu-cho, Tochigi prefecture (Illustrated Sengoku armor collection - definitive edition (2) (Gunzo history series) ISBN: 405603642X (2005)

 

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A Korean helmet with a similar stamp that belonged to Ryu Seong-ryong (state councilor)who wore it during the Imjin war (Advanced Center for Korean Studies, Cultural Héritage Administration Trésor n° 460)

 

image.jpeg.58e24aaf6b4a668f5b558dce510dd3ec.jpeg

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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You mentioned a Korean stamp or mark. May we (wife and me) see it?

As your title said, it looks much more Namban <=> Spanish / Portuguese influenced than the original korean pillarheads. Bluntly:  yours is more elegant than most of the Korean helmets. 

 

Katchu is not my usual venue. Please be patient with someone who half knows the Korean side and half knows the Japanese side of armor.

 

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Hello, Uwe, Curran,

 

Sorry the term "timbre" is not the correct one (translation problem) in French the word "timbre" can also be used to refer to the helmet "boshi". there is no mark on the Kabuto.

 

About the attribution of Mon to the IKEDA clan of Settsu province: I found information and the representation of Mon from Settsu-IKEDA on the following link:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ikeda_clan

 I did the same google searches on Japanese sites using the Settsu IKEDA kanji (  池田 ) and found the same results:

http://www2.harimaya.com/sengoku/html/s_iked_k.html

 

I find that my are very similar to that of the kabuto, but obviously this is only a guess.

 

On the Korean origin of the helmet: I found two arguments in favor of this hypothesis:

- The boshi comes from "RUNJEET SINGH" a British antique dealer from Asia who attributed to it a Korean origin.

- It is very similar to Korean helmets from the same period, like the one that belonged to Ryu Seong-ryong, the mounting of the helmet is very similar; a four piece bowl of russet iron, joined vertically by means of riveted winged straps with a median ridge, a method that can be found on many north Asian helmets of Mongol form.

image.jpeg.5c5dcc85f924fbfa9095d6d740307c43.jpeg

Finally, the presence of samurai from the IKEDA clan under the command of IKEDA Hideuji ( 田秀氏), one of the 6 generals of the right-wing army during the second invasion of Korea (1597-98) is confirmed. in two books that of Stéphane TURNBULL (Samurai Invasion Japan Korean War 1592-1598, p240) and that of Georges Sansom (A History of Japan, 1334-1615. Stanford University Press. P. 353), these books are available, in part , under google book and a search can be done using the name "IKEDA Hideuji" under google book.

 

there is a Nanban helmet which is completely identical to this one (except the parts reassembled in Japan). This named Kabuto having belonged to TORII Motodata is exhibited at the Seichu shrine which honors Mototada in Mibu-cho, Tochigi prefecture.

image.jpeg.3efcca5b38e62038364401f7c380d2f6.jpeg

This is what I was able to find in my research.

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Hi Alain,


I’m almost convinced  it’s an Korean hachi!

The mon is more tricky. I’ve checked my mon-books (admittedly a little shallow) without getting a connection. Well, that means not much, but you also shouldn’t “blindly” trust the net in this case.

Let me dig a bit deeper as soon I can get some spare minutes tomorrow….

 

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Thank you Luc,

The ressei menpo, from momoyama / early Edo period is made of natural iron with yasurime, mustache and beard in silver lacquer and non-removable nose typical of the early Iwai school, maybe by Iwai Yozaemon imself ,the Tokugawa Ieyasu armourer, (we can dream :).).
An amazing feature of this menpo (which I haven't, yet, found on others) is that it doesn't have a sweat-draining hole under the chin, probably it was more intended for presenting an armor than intended for use in the field.

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Hmm,

 

after some hours of digging I in fact came across something....

 

IM2.jpg.1b6a1c29d3a30dab0601ad067223dd0a.jpgIM.jpg.b6bd7f831a5d8c2513af57d087febea1.jpg

 

 

Not saying it is a useful evidence, but at least a connection to the family in question. Although I'm not good (ie. totally incapable) when it comes to sôsho, it seems that the uppermost mon referes to "Ikeda Mitsumasa" (光政 - however, spelled diffrently)
 

 

Does it become more interesting....;-)

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this is one of the more scarce Iwai men.   Are there file marks on the teeth?

One of the characteristics of this variation is the lack of the nagashi no ana, and the file strokes on the teeth.

I don't know if it is objective to link it to Yozaemon, but it is one of the finest Iwai one can find.

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Mine shares many of the same characteristics as Alain's, including the lack of ase-nagashi-no-ana. No file marks on the teeth. Here's a pic underneath the chin. Besides Alain's very plausible idea that these were made for show or display, I'd like to hear other theories as to why there is no ase-nagashi-no-ana.

UnderChin.jpg

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7 hours ago, Alainalain said:

Luc in fact I had not noticed, it have file strokes on the teeth, very interesting..

it is a kind of Yasurime.   This is the only type of men I know with this feature.

very rare.

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Thanks for the images Alain, I agree with you, it looks like it was originally a Korean helmet that was converted into a kabuto, likely during the Momoyama period. The Shikoro looks to be a later addition?

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23 hours ago, Alainalain said:

there is another menpo which has the same file strokes on the teeth as it is presented in the book Samurai: The Flowering of Japan by Andrew Mancabelli (sorry for the photo I have no better)


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As Luc mentioned, this menpo is included in Masked Warriors and belongs to Aymeric. According to the book, this menpo is an example of a "3rd variation" Iwai yasurime. I've held it in my hands and the remarkable thing about it is how the nosepiece is flush with the base mask, like how a screw might be countersunk.

 

Alain, I think your menpo would be an example of the so-called "2nd variation".

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There are obviously many designations out there for this kind of me no shita men:

Etchū-men, Yasurime-men, Iwai-men (which variation ever), Hineno-men (never heard that before)…..etc.

It’s a bit confusing, isn’t it?!


To make things even more confusing I like to claim, that there is not a single evidence, a least as far as I know, that these masks are in some way related to the Iwai-school of armor makers. If somebody has profunde information towards a connection with the Iwai, please share here and we can probably lifting the mist around this pieces….

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Hello Uwe,

i have found what could be a connexion  A source which attributes this kind of menpo to the iwai school in the book of Robert BURAWOY (p 141 Armurier du Japon étude du Meikô zoukant) a drawing is represented in the Meikô zukan,  it presents these which "would" be the characteristics of this school: ressei, the non-detachable nose (in earlier versions), the yasurime.

 

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Hi Alain,

 

yes, I know the entry about the subject in the copies of the "Meikô zukan" and I think the popular belief is based on the information given in "this book" (or better in the copies and their copies... ;-)). Also Iida san's book relies on this work.

 

 

What makes me wonder are two "facts".

 

1. It is said that the Iwai (岩井), going back to Yozaemon (与左衛門) and Genbei (兵衛), been made mainly two styles of menpô. The Oie-bô and the Etchû-bô. Like mentioned in the MZ.

 

Well, that means, that they had focused on the one hand of the high quality (and rarely seen) Oie-bô and on the other hand of the Etchû-bô. An menpô in a competely diffrent form, adorned with yasurime (the Hosokawa thing) and executed in diffrent qualities. Thus totally contrary to the fine and feminin Oie-bô, IMHO.

 

 

2. The latter ones, or at least the basic shape of this type are seen very often. Therefore it can be assumed, that they were made in large quantitys, probably during the whole Edo period. Admittedly, also without their trademark, the yasurime.

 

The above in turn forces the comparison with the so called Nara-bô of the Haruta (春田) school. A "mass produced" menpô which could be adepted to the respective customer's request.

 

Unfortunately, almost all extant specimens are not signed. That makes an accessment considerably more difficult. Furthermore, and that is my main problem, the few signed pieces all refer to Haruta...:!:

 

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6 hours ago, uwe said:

Hi Alain,

 

yes, I know the entry about the subject in the copies of the "Meikô zukan" and I think the popular belief is based on the information given in "this book" (or better in the copies and their copies... ;-)). Also Iida san's book relies on this work.

 

 

What makes me wonder are two "facts".

 

1. It is said that the Iwai (岩井), going back to Yozaemon (与左衛門) and Genbei (兵衛), been made mainly two styles of menpô. The Oie-bô and the Etchû-bô. Like mentioned in the MZ.

 

Well, that means, that they had focused on the one hand of the high quality (and rarely seen) Oie-bô and on the other hand of the Etchû-bô. An menpô in a competely diffrent form, adorned with yasurime (the Hosokawa thing) and executed in diffrent qualities. Thus totally contrary to the fine and feminin Oie-bô, IMHO.

 

 

2. The latter ones, or at least the basic shape of this type are seen very often. Therefore it can be assumed, that they were made in large quantitys, probably during the whole Edo period. Admittedly, also without their trademark, the yasurime.

 

The above in turn forces the comparison with the so called Nara-bô of the Haruta (春田) school. A "mass produced" menpô which could be adepted to the respective customer's request.

 

Unfortunately, almost all extant specimens are not signed. That makes an accessment considerably more difficult. Furthermore, and that is my main problem, the few signed pieces all refer to Haruta...:!:

 

Totally agree with both points Uwe, especially your argument about the Oie-bô and the Etchû-bô, which as you say are so stylistically different. To me, I see more of a stylistic connection between the so-called Kaga-bô and the Oie-bô, given the prominent feature of the piped or raised ridge line along the jawline of the Kaga-bô being a possible ancestor of the unpiped ridge line along the jawline of Oie-bô. As well, many examples of each of these masks also share an extended "back jawline" (not sure what this area below the ear is called), whereas I've never seen this feature on an Etchu-bô.

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don't forget that the Meiko zukan was written around 1730, Matsumya Kazan must have known the schools and their work.

The Oie-bo is a evoluted remant of the early hoate.    And if the Tokugawa shogunal family wanted to distinguish themselves, the oie-bo was a perfect way to  express their undisputable status.

 

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hanbo.PNG

 

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