I am sorry I haven't been that active for a while. I just sold my house and the plans are that I am going to move 3 times this year. Quite a nice time you can imagine.
Anyway, it has been a while I got my armor out of the bitsu, I have no idea anymore what was the right way to store the armor? Kabuto in the dou? turning kusazuri inwards... but stil the do is to high to close the bitsu...
Is there anyone who can please help me out? Best regards Mischa
One alternative to squeze the armor in the bitsu, risking to damage both the armor and the bitsu, is to pack the armor in a strong cardboard box made for transport. I would do that using plenty of bubble plastic. Safe, minimal damage.
It always seems strange to me but the Dou is first inserted upside down, with the kusazuri hanging outside the box sides, then the sangu etc, and finally the Kabuto, with the Maedate and small bits wrapped up on top. The kusazuri/gesan is folded over to complete the package before closing the lid, right? Must admit a sweaty time and not yet second nature to me.
While the hitsu are great to just store armors and armor parts, they most often are too small for shipment or moving as there's too little space for the additional bubble wrap.
I'd suggest you pack the individual parts into enough bubble wrap and then in one or two bigger cardboard moving boxes padded with bubble wrap as well.
Here's how it worked for me.
For the sangu try to avoid sharp folds. You might want to put some rolled bubble wrap into the folding area as well.
On some dou you'll be able to separate them relatively easy by just removing the hinge(s) holding the individual sections together. Then again bubble wrap on the individual sections. Kusazuri on the inside of the sections. If the kusazuri are fragile, you might want to bubble wrap each individual section and tie it with a string. Put the front dou section (in case of a ni-mai dou) inside the rear section.
On mengu it's good to take care of the sections where the pins to hold the helmet cord might push into the tare. One often sees damage like this because people don't care of this risk. Again, you might want to use some rolled bubble wrap between the chin area and the tare so the mengu can be packed relatively flat. If it's a menpou, it's good to make sure there's no force on the nose area. It might work that you put the mengu inside the hachi of the kabuto but it depends on your packing.
On the kabuto you should take care of the fukigaeshi (make sure they don't bend) and put some extra bubble wrap around the mabizashi in case of an impact in this area.
Anthony, I actually did that with a kaga dou i have, works fine.
Pierce, I think you have a good point there, i was thinking the same, its imposible working from the above downwards. Having some fear though if the shoulders hinges could handle the weight having him upside down...
Oh that went well! Easy job. Upside down works very fine. Peter thank you so much for explaining and sharing your experiences, valuable information. To all: thank you, much appreciated! Have a good weekend. Mischa
Incidentally, for a short time is probably fine, but bubble wrap is not recommended for long-time storage by at least one Katchu-Shi, who told me it causes or encourages rust. He recommends a certain type of Japanese paper, which increases breathability. (I have forgotten the name of it...) He also said that mothballs (chemical insecticides) are generally not good either, recommending placing a handful of Togarashi hot red peppers into the yoroi-bitsu, which harmful insects seem to dislike.
I have a set of bags for the parts of an armour when putting it in the box. They are made of sheets of old documents pasted together and fitted with paper-string fastenings. There is one bag for each section of the gessan, for the sode and kote. I have also seen them in hemp cloth dyed yellow. I make bags out of cloth if I am intending to store an armour in its box. They do not add much but stop scratching. Ian B
Piers, I think the advice to not store parts in bubble wrap might originate from the much higher humidity in Japan which probably results in humidity collecting inside the packages.
I should have noted that I store items in bubble wrap within a temperature and humidity regulated area. However, me too I'd prefer to have another layer between part and bubble wrap. The Japanese paper you mentioned sounds very interesting to me. - Any chance of getting more information on it?
Yes, the quickest way would be to contact Morisaki San in Okayama directly, as he it was who gave me these tips. There is a Japanese stationery, calligraphy and paper shop 50 meters down the road from his building where they might have stocked it as I remember, but I am in Europe right now. To some extent he can handle English. (There used to be a link somewhere on this site.)