I was looking at pictures of Do and Sode recently, and I noticed that some of the rolled edges looked a little different, possibly because of the thickness of the laquer applied over them. This got me wondering, were all edges on armour rolled the same way as in Europe, or did the Japanese invent their own techniques for doing it? If so, is there any info out there about it?
Here are some of the images I was looking at, the rolled edge on the Do looks similar to a European cuirass, the edges on the Sode look a little different to me. What do you guys think?
Another quick question while I'm posting, what's the average size for lacing holes? I've estimated about 3mm, is that about right?
Thanks guys! Look forward to reading your replies!
Ben, There were two ways of finishing the edges. The first was to add a separate soft-metal rim or fukurin held on by tiny rivets through the rim and plate. They used these in places like the peaks of helmets or where the plate was covered in leather, the rim holding the leather in place around the edge. On ordinary lacquered plates, the rim is really lacquer. About 2mm or 3mm of the edge of the plate was bent up about 30 degrees to act as a support for a line of kokuso (lacquer filled with rice flour and often fibres such as chopped hemp or fine sawdust). This then gets covered with the usual lacquer top coats together with the rest of the plate. In the above pictures, the roped edge is a fukurin, probably of iron. It would be unusual if it was forged from the plate itself. Ian B
Thanks for the answers guys, that's incredibly useful! Good to know what size hole to punch, thanks for that info Luca!
Thanks for the photos Dave, that's really interesting! Didn't realise that appearance was achieved that way, and for a mainly aesthetic reason, interesting stuff. Did the kokuso provide any benefit besides it's look?
Ian, thanks for that info! Didn't realise modern armours used fukurin too, do you know of any good resources for researching them? I really like the roped edge look on the image I posted and would love to have a go at replicating it
Ben, it's important to note that the odoshi hole size depends on the width of the odoshi you want to use. If you go with 2.5mm holes, you will have to use 8mm wide odoshi, otherwise it just won't look right. The rule of thumb here is that hole size ~= 1/3 odoshi width. Don't worry if you got started already: making holes bigger is always easier than making them smaller
Kokuso- its really about where its being applied, as filler or for dry lacqure sculpting. Sometimes it can be made to be flexible, other times ridgid. Most of the kokuso I mix for armour dries like concrete. Its very strong.