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My yoroi display set up has finally come together....


waljamada
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After moving into the new old house the literal last thing I set up was my yoroi display.  They've sat in boxes over a year except my menpo which I just had on top of my desk.  I never saw them all together until now.  I'm sure it's not perfectly set up on the stand and they are not a true matched set but this is what I've managed to figure out while keeping it all standing mostly as it should.  Definetly a somewhat DIY approach.  I still have no idea what that horizontal bar behind the menpo is used for.  Over all I'm pleased and only wish it had a better space to go rather than the guest bedroom.  At least it's up.

 

Pieces are a possibly Momoyama era five piece Do with a bonus extender plate for a previous huskier wearer.  Menpo with chain link tare, sode and zunari kabuto that are all late Edo I believe.  The skull/snake carved wood maedate I believe is vintage rather than antique. 

 

None of these are true pairs and all seperate pieces I've collected.  

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Mark, It's in a guest bedroom.  Doesn't fit in my office because of the bookshelves/desks/statues/swords etc.., wife won't let me put it in the living room and it gets too much direct light anyways.  The side in the guest bed is on my wife's side though.  So my guests will have to determine who sleeps next to him....

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11 hours ago, waljamada said:

Mark, It's in a guest bedroom.  Doesn't fit in my office with all my bookshelves/desks/statues/swords etc.., wife won't let me put it in the living room and it gets too much direct light anyways.  The side in the guest bed is on my wife's side though.  So my guests will have to determine who sleeps next to him....

 

My apologies Adam, I notice that you said as much in your initial post and I missed it somehow.

 

I understand the difficulty of finding places for things, it's always difficult.

 

While an unconventional display, it's clear that you put a lot of time and effort into arranging the room. I think it works nicely as an overall composition.

 

There's someone a little strange about how the armour is sitting, the neck looks quite elongated and the sode are touching the neck; can it be adjusted a little on the stand?

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Piers and Mark, I cannot actually find a way that the sode can connect to the Dou as it appears to be missing those kohaze knobs for it.  I could connect them to the stand itself but a string or shoe lace would be showing.  As-is gravity won't hold them if I move them much further off the stand.

 

Simon, thanks.  It's definetly got some frump and inconsistencies.

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Aside from Piers' and Mark's comments and suggestions, I also noticed that the two dō sections on the right are incorrectly overlapped - the rear section should overlap the front section, not the other way around as you have it.

 

Also, do you have pictures of the back of the dō?

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John, here is a photo of the back.  The Dou itself is slightly bent out of shape.  I tried to overlap the back plate over the front but it's shape seems to fight that and I get worried about the way and what it hits.  This Dou is kinda rough and I worry about its brittleness trying to force it to do anything.  Also there is an extension plate on the side that also changed how the armor matches up on the other side.  Not sure what to do....

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Hi Adam,

 

yes, suitable space is a real problem, also for me. Especially when you have to keep the peace at home 😉


Hmm, interesting “extension plate”. Such modifications are seldom seen!

When it comes to the placement of the sode (like Piers suggested). Try to put the shoelace loops under the watagami and tie each sode to the stand, right above the shoulder bar (or directly together). This way, the largest portion of the laces will be hidden by the watagami and the kobire…

 

Keep us updated!

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Thanks for the additional pictures, Adam. After seeing these pictures, I would tend to agree with your statement that this dō could date to the Momoyama, which itself is notable since pre-Edo dō are not common. As well, the extension plate makes it even more interesting and rare, as Uwe mentioned. The condition seems to be quite good, considering! Well done!

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John and Uwe,

 

Thank you.  Got these all on a tight budget and while I know they are lower end pieces but I like their grit.   I just bought some nylon to attach the sode correctly and I also got some foam blocks and will use both the nylon and blocks to support the armor as best as possible. 

 

I will attach some pics with the results once completed.  Hopefully it will be better set up for it's conservation whike displayed and look a bit more appropriate afterwards.

 

Also, just for my own knowledge what are the potential aspects of this Dou that point to possibly being Momoyama?  Never had anyone share what thier eyes see with it.

 

As a bit of a side note, any solutions of home product mixtures that are best suggested for cleanings of the urushii portions or even the exposed metal parts?  Wouldn't mind taking a bundle of qtips and cleaning each part if I can find the responsible way to do it to remove the collected dust.  There's probably 30 year old plus dust on it.  Also there's a couple parts of the lacquer that have come off that I have been able to place back but they aren't adhered...is there any recommended way to re-adhere them?  Or like nihonto is it just best to leave them be?  I did have a glue recommended to me once but it was so long ago I can't remember it and where opinions fell on whether or not to attempt such things.

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Adam,
 

adjusting the display is a good idea. Try to take the load from the watagami (and the lacing as such) as good as possible. It will be tricky because your dō is flexible due to the sukage lacing.
 

Momoyama or not is a longer story. It has to do with the overall construction of the piece, the shape of muna-ita, watagami….etc.etc.
Dividing between Momoyama and early Edo is in general very difficult, even for experienced collectors!

If you like to know more, pm me.

 

As for maintenance: No abrasives for cleaning!
Though urushi is solvent resistant, use little warm water on a cotton wool pad to remove the old dust. Be careful and avoid under all circumstances that the liquid gets under the lacquer and comes in contact with the bare metal! Consider not only the flaking areas or the tiny cracks in the lacquer but also the holes for the lacing! If necessary you can add a little soap to the water.

The exposed metal gets a thin oil cover, for the time being….

Gluing back the lose urushi parts is possible. A well known gentleman recommended super glue. It works well, but I don’t like it. I’ve tried paraloid. It’s reversible but has less “power” and ist not so easy to handle…..hence super glue ;-)

 

It will become a cumbersome job and I don’t envy you….:roll:
 

 

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I don't think that the Dou is Momoyama period, I would be interested to hear peoples thoughts on the elements that they consider align with that attribution. The additional extension plate is an interesting feature though.

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Dating armours is never easy, especially when trying to draw the line between Momoyama and early Edo, since Momoyama was such a relatively short time frame (and hence my comment that this dou "could" be Momoyama). In any event, I was looking at the shape and composition of the mune-ita, the waki-ita, the oshitsuke-no-ita and the shape of the dou itself to form an opinion. In doing so, I would say that the dou isn't "strongly" Momoyama and could also very much be early Edo (first part). After all, who can say if something was made in 1613 vs. 1618?

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I agree that similar elements can be seen in early production, but this particular Dou has features that that don't really align with a Momoyama attribution. It has detachable Kusazuri, which appear to be original, at least there are no ana visible where lacquer has flaked away (if present it would imply a later modification). The Oshitsuke-no-ita lacks the distinctive concave center and the the Waki-ita are rather flat. To me at least this points to an early Edo attribution.

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37 minutes ago, Iekatsu said:

I agree that similar elements can be seen in early production, but this particular Dou has features that that don't really align with a Momoyama attribution. It has detachable Kusazuri, which appear to be original, at least there are no ana visible where lacquer has flaked away (if present it would imply a later modification). The Oshitsuke-no-ita lacks the distinctive concave center and the the Waki-ita are rather flat. To me at least this points to an early Edo attribution.

Thomas,

 

Indeed, the points you mention could mean that the dou is from the Early Edo and not Momoyama. The kusazuri could be replacements and there might be ana underneath the lacquer (I have a Momoyama dou with removable kusazuri, but there are ana beneath the lacquer which accommodated the original gessan). However, the shape of the oshitsuke-no-ita and the waki-ita flanges (the lack of the central yama shape notwithstanding) and the existence of gangi-shino are consistent with Momoyama dou. To be sure of course, would require a closer examination of all of these - and other - features.

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20 minutes ago, Shogun8 said:

and the existence of gangi-shino are consistent with Momoyama dou.

The use of Gangi-shino continues well into Mid Edo, but I agree that it is also a feature seen on Momoyama Dou.

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