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Question regarding "Maedate"


Louise
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Hello, I'm a complete ignorant about this theme, I don't know absolutely anything, so I beg your pardon if the following interrogative may be kind of dumb, but I'm out of resources.

I've been doing this small research over this specific shape of maedate, I would like to know if it has any type of significance or meaning, since not all maedate have the same shape.

Maybe something about era, clan, class, role, family, deity related? even if it's just cosmetic I would be definitely happy to know, I'm at the verge of collapse!

 

Thank you so much for your time, if you have any book recommendations I would appreciate it

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Hi Louise,

 

at the quick. It’s a Kuwagata-Maedate. Modified over time, the oldest form of tatemono for Japanese helmets. Nothing to do with a clan or family.

There is one book dealing with maedate, as far as I know. Unfortunately only in Japanese language.

I can go more in detail this evening if nobody chimes in….

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Also the word Kuwagata indicates a Japanese horned beetle. https://www.google.com/search?q=kuwagata+beetle&oq=Kuwagata+beetle&aqs=chrome.0.0i355i512j46i512j0i10i22i30j0i390l4.4784j1j7&sourceid=chrome&ie=UTF-8

 

The word for beetle in general is Kabutomushi or 'helmet insect'. Japanese children are fascinated by these rhinoceros beetles and play endlessly with them.

 

There was probably an ancient belief that adding an animal shape to your head somehow helped you to take on some aspect of that creature. Note that although the word is Kuwagata, the shape has become stylized, incorporating in your case these Inome (boar's eyes) ('heart-shaped' to Westerners) sukashi openings.

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There is also another theory that this shape references the shape of a hoe used by farmers. As Uwe and Piers have mentioned, this is the most classic of maedate shapes dating back to the earliest yoroi and its variations are innumerable. The kuwagata is still the most iconic shape of samurai armour, recognizable to even those with no knowledge of this field.

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