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Need help dating/researching pieces


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Hi all,

I'm trying to find some dates/reputable source of some pieces that I've seen online.

Context: I am starting out as a fighter in the International medieval combat federation (IMCF), and I'm interested in fighting in katchu to pay respect to my heritage as I'm half Japanese. Im able to make my own armor but the IMCF has an authenticity committee that approves armor pieces to be used in fights and they require that all armor need to be historically accurate to 14th - 17th centuries with credible sources such as publications, museum pieces, authentic dated artwork, and scholarly articles.

I've been able to find sources for almost all the armor pieces I've found so far except for a couple of kotes and a suneate.

I have done a reverse image search on these and all it leads to is quora where folks post them using them as examples or pintrist with absolutely no context or information. I emailed the business that has the watermark and all they have told me is that it's from the Edo period and nothing else.






I am looking at kotes with the most coverage/protection so my elbows don't get smashed so if you've seen other ones that has a credible sourse and are just as covering I'd appreciate a link to the source.


Any and all help is appreciated, thank you for reading.

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Copy of my answer on the katchû-forum!



Hello Kevin,

the pictured kote above are most likely late Edo period pieces, probably made of leather (nerikawa). As already mentioned, dating kote more precisely as Muromachi, Momoyama or Edo is in most cases very difficult. You can get closer if you have a mei (inscription of the craftsman who made the sleeves). Dated kote are very rare, so mostly you have to rely on referenced specimens or the mei itself. There are a lot of types made over a long timespan.


Here some are listed:


Fukube-gote (Oda-gote)
Kusari-gote (Etchû-gote)
Namazu-gote (Yoshitsune-gote)



Do I got you right, you want to build your own kote based on an original model with the main focus on protection of the ellbows?!
Then please bear in mind, the denser the armor and the more plates you have, the greater the restrictions on mobility....


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Hi, I am familiar with those pictures,especially the first one as I have more saved from the original  piece. They are all Edo, as it is the case with 90% of the pictures you can easily find online. If you want some extra protection for the elbow you might want to have the same long hinged sode found in one of Katō Kiyomasa armor, as the plates reach over the elbow. You might need some modification for safety, but if is for "buhurt" or similar, is not that their armor is accurate either. 


The illustration is from Satō Masataka armor book,ビジュアルポーズ集 図説 戦国甲冑武者のいでたち , I think it has a good visual representation of how this sode should sit on the arm.


As for suneate, any tsutsu suneate with some solid tateage should fit. There are plenty of examples in art of the period like  Hosokawa Sumimoto portrait.




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