All edo jindai. You can see that there is a special insert for the base pole (wedge) that prevents the pole from turning in the gattari. The pole sections have a tetsu bar between joints. The bamboo outers are wrapped at intervals with what looks like paper, which is then coated with kon urushi.
Dave, that is a really rare item, as of right now the only one I know of, can you take some better pictures of it when you get a chance?
All, I suspect the problems Piers described has always existed. Judging from images on battle screens I get the impression that many of the hata sashimono (nobori) worn during the Sengoku period were rather smaller than those being worn for modern displays. This is definitely true of the flags used in the Soma Matsuri which are enormous. The screen depicting the Battle of Nagakute is interesting. Almost all the participants are shown wearing gilded 3D objects rather than flags. I wonder whether this was because it was a particularly windy day and flags would have been a hindrance. Ian B
LOL, that reminds me of those Samurai movies with troops running or riding horses along paths through the woods. To get those shots the film crews must have lopped off thousands of branches all along the path to allow them through, otherwise it would surely have been total chaos, the battle completely lost long before reaching any battlefield.
Funny you mentioned the Nagakute-screen, Ian. Me and Piers is trying to get our heads around the chinese sign for "well" that the Ii:s used as a mon. In the Nagakute-screen there is an Ii banner man in the upper right corner with a banner showing the well-insignia. This one has the corners of the well slightly bend. In the Hikone museum they have a big banner with the same insignia belived to have been used at Sekigagara. That well insignia have straight rather thin lines. I was told this model was the early form. But Nagakute was 16 years before Sekigahara. Is this a case of artistic freedom from the Nagakute-artist? Which came first
Jan, We borrowed a Nagakute screen, and its pair showing the Battle of Nagashino, for an exhibition at the Royal Armouries. They belonged to Osaka Castle Museum, who dated them to the early Edo period. As you say, the Ii contingent have a nobori with a cursive character on it. There is also a tall white nobori with the tachibana kamon and red stripes. This would be the one in use in 1584. In the book 'Feudal Warlords' No 118 in the Gekkan (?) series, The Ii family are recorded as using the tachibana in a circle as a family kamon, and it shows the two nobori - one with the cursive kanji and the one now in Hikone. The first is decribed as Naomasa's war flag, the larger one is described as Naomasa's 'hon jin hata' war banner and says it was used at Seki ga Hara. Ian
May or may not be applicable, but Kato and some other lords were Nichiren Buddhist, and the symbol was either the well head or the well head with the tachibana in it.
I believe the well head is a symbol of life giving (water) or an eternal filling spring. I don't know what Naomasa's religious affiliation was, if someone knows, and it was Buddhist, that would be my guess as to why. Kato went as far as to have Namu Myoho Renge Kyo (Devotion to the mystic law of the lotus sutra) on some of this battle flags, the mantra of the Nichiren Buddhist.
Just reading up on that Justin, and my Mon book here ends the description of the *three Ii Mon by by saying that Ii Naomasa was a Zen Buddhist, and not a believer in Nichiren. It just happens that Nichiren himself also used the same Tachibana Mon passed down from a common family link.
*Thin frame well, thick frame well, and Tachibana flower.
Good intel regarding Naomasa being a zen buddhist, Piers! There is a lot of dif models of the Tachibana-mon with minute differences amongst them. So one must study them very careful before trying to identify the possible clan behind any artifact bearing this mon. If not placed on a red background, at least it's not Ii
You should see the Inoue Mon page. I thought it was the Ii page, with a thin-rimmed well mouth on their sashimono flag, and a separate thick-rimmed well mouth, until I looked closely to check the caption. Inoue's third Mon was a display of bird feathers, the only thing different from Ii.
All, I have a number of types. Three are like Piers' Daikoku mallet one that fit on top of a pole in the ukezutsu. All are of carved wood covered with bright gold lacquer on top of a short piece of bamboo with a hole through it. One is a three sided fan, one is a drum on a stand and the other a tiger with glass eyes leaping onto a giant piece of bamboo (sadly having lost its tail so I suppose a Manx tiger). All have two discs below the ornament that had hair or fabric strips between them. The next type is a black lacquered pole with gilded fittings that ends in a trefoil shape with slots around the edge. I have made a set of paper and bamboo 'feathers for it which I'm sure is what it had originally. This ends in a square tapered section that fits into the ukezutsu. It also has a hook near the top which obviously took a cord that fastened to the armour to stop it being blown back. The last is just a simple hata sashimono I made a bamboo pole for as Piers described. If you want to see what else was used, get a look at the Battle of Nagakute screen. Almost all the samurai are wearing gilded 3D objects rather than flags. I've said above I think the weather may have dictated what was worn, a flag in fine weather without much wind, a 3D object in bad weather. Ian B
I once planned to outfit one of my armors with a life sized human skull at the top of a bamboo pole. But learned that day that even the most understanding girlfriend got a line in the sand, best not crossed
Did you have documentation to support bamboo sashimono? I have been trying to look for authentic documentation for my reenactment group to use and it is really doing my head in. Logic screams at me that bamboo was plentiful therefore why not use it? Yet I cannot find any documentation to support that theory. I am also looking for documentation for Cotton and materials used for sashimono fabric other than silk. Anything you have I would extremely appreciate and be forever grateful for.
Documentation? I have seen many genuine old ones made with bamboo, most commonly with broad black horizontal stripes. Some of our reenactment group in Japan use original antiques that come up in auctions or on the net.
I've seen bamboo originals exactly as Piers described. I have also seen them in bamboo with metal sleeve joints so that the upright pole can be separated into sections like a fishing rod and could then be packed in the armour box. These metal joints were black lacquered as was the top joint. In this case it was a metal tube with a flange about half way down that was permanently fitted to the top of the main pole. at one point was a small block above the flange. The horizontal rod had a metal fitting in the form of a tube with a ring on the end that fitted over the main pole piece and rested on the flange. The ring had a notch that allowed it to fit over the block but when rotated locked it in position. I assume the main pole was fitted to the uchizutsu so that the block faced forward so that as the wind blew the flag back it was locked in place. Ian B