The Kura - Japanese Art Treasures

Robert Mangold has been working with Japanese antiques since 1995 with an emphasis on ceramics, Paintings, Armour and Buddhist furniture.

Kusari Katabira Genuine, Edo, Japanese Samurai Armor Chain Mail

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Directory: Antiques: Regional Art: Asian: Japanese: Swords and Related: Pre 1900: Item # 1487186
The Kura
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23 Murasakino Monzen-cho
Kita-ward Kyoto 603-8216
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 sold, thank you 
sold, thank you

An Edo period coat (haubergeon) and “kote” (mitons) of linked chain over layers of indigo dyed blue cloth decorated with family crests in gold. The chain, Kikko collar, outer layers of cloth and leather piping are all in overall excellent condition, the original pale blue lining is much worn away. This is made for an adult.
In Japan, mail is called kusari which means chain. When the word kusari is used in conjunction with an armored item it usually means that mail makes up the majority of the armor composition. Kusari jackets, hoods, gloves, vests, shin guards, shoulder guards, thigh guards, and other armored clothing were produced, even kusari socks. Kusari gusoku or chain armor was commonly used during the Edo period 1603 to 1868 as a stand-alone defense. According to George Cameron Stone: Entire suits of mail kusari gusoku were worn on occasions, sometimes under the ordinary clothing. In his book Arms and Armor of the Samurai: The History of Weaponry in Ancient Japan, Ian Bottomley shows a picture of a kusari armor and mentions kusari katabira (chain jackets) with detachable arms being worn by samurai police officials during the Edo period. The end of the samurai era in the 1860s, along with the 1876 ban on wearing swords in public, marked the end of any practical use for mail and other armor in Japan. Japan turned to a conscription army and uniforms replaced armor.