Hello dear members, I hope all of you are doing well. I created this thread to ask a brief history in the development of Samurai armor, from the classical Oyoroi to the modern Tosei Gusoku. Is there any book that focus on this topic with precision (it would be nice if translated)? I would like to learn these details if possible:
when the shift from Oyoroi and Doumaru happened?
when Tsubo Sode were introduced?
Was there any further development in the shape of the Doumaru during the century it was used?
When Kiristuke Zane and Ita mono started to be used?
How hard Nanban influenced the development of Tosei Gusoku?
In which period we could start to see Tosei Gusoku for the first time (early models)?
When the Okegawa Dou was invented (or eventually when kiritsuke zane started to be riveted instead of laced)?
Luca, A lot of questions. It is difficult to give exact dates because little armour from these period survives and what does has often been changed and altered later. Let me start with Namban influence. Some pieces of Italian and Flemish armour was imported into Japan between about 1550 and 1630. All that survive are breastplates and backplates, gorgets and open helmets that were built into Japanese armours - not because they were better but because they were a novelty. Kiritsuke zane and ita mono were introduced after the Onin war - say around 1490 -1500 when tosei gusoku began to replace hon kozane armours. Look up things like haramaki and things on the internet and you will be able to answer some of your questions yourself. Ian B
Thank you so much Mr. Bottomley for your fast answer! I Know that look on the internet is a good starting point, but I'd rather ask here, talking with people who are true scholars and gentleman, instead of reading the wikipedia page about samurai armor (which in my opinion need an update): I was under the same impression with nanban gusoku, but the mainstream idea on the web is that Tosei Gusoku started to appear later in the 16th century, thanks to the nanban influences, while the reality is totally different. By the way thanks for your time, Luca!
Post by Dave Thatcher on Dec 17, 2016 22:30:22 GMT
I was doing a little research on hosokawa armour. Early versions of the etchu do were hon iyozane in maru design, this then developed into ni-mai Iyozane. The maru versions were tosei, 1500 yet never followed the teppo paranoias of solid plates. I think the most widely produced tosei do is the okegawa.
Thank you so much Dave for your precious informations! I do agree with you that the Okegawa Dou is the widely produced tosei do, and for this reason, maybe the most iconic tosei dou in my humble opinion. Luca
Luca, Yes, plates were really introduced because sane yoroi were too expensive and too easily dirtied and maintained during the longer campaigns of the Sengoku Jidai. Plates appeared long before the gun arrived but proved valuable when it did. Another very important reason for changes to armour which is not often recognised is that as the number of common soldiers increased the use of yari increased because it was a cheap and easy to use weapon to arm them with. Before that armour had mainly to defend against cuts - from a sword, maginata or a nagamaki. The only protection it need against being penetrated was against arrows and the odd tsuki with a sword. Arrows are light and don't have that much kinetic energy except at very close range. With a spear, there is a lot of energy behind a thrust and a good spearman can aim for gaps that a cut with a sword cannot get into. Hence the gaps between kusazuri were reduced, the muneita was made more to the shape of the neck and the shikoro was made closer to the head to reduce the gap between it and the head. All these things were important in the change to gusoku. Ian B