kabuto

About

Kabuto is a form of head armor. This Traditional Keshiki Armor is worn by samurai. They feature a strong bowl, the hachi, which protects the crown of the head. They also have a suspended series of articulated plates, the shikoro, to protect the neck and often the crest, or mon, of the clan.

The average kubuto is made from three to over a hundred metal plates, riveted together. The plates are arranged vertically and radiate from an opening in the top called the tehen. The purpose of this hole is to pass the topknot through. This ring is decorated with the tehen kanamono, a ring of intricately worked soft metal bands that surround the opening. The rivets that secure the metal plates of the kabuto to each other could be raised, creating a form known as hoshi-bachi, or hammered flat, leaving only the flanges of the plates protruding, a form known as suji-bachi.

Most kabuto incorporate a suspended neck guard called a shikoro. This is composed of semi-circular lacquered metal or ox hide lamés, attached and articulated by silk or leather lacing. This system of lamés is the standard defense employed, along with mail, for body protection.

Kabuto are adorned with maedate or front crests, wakidate or side crests, and ushirodate or rear crests. These can be family or clan emblems, or flat or sculpted objects representing animals, mythical entities, prayers, or other symbols. Horns are particularly common, and many helmets sport kuwagata or stylized deer horns.


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Note the kabuto on display.

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kabuto

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