Helmets' Beauty Stands OutHistory Traced in Hikone Castle Museum, Shiga Prefecture5 August 2016 - Tradition/Culture
"Various Styles of Helmet, from Riveted Dome to Flamboyant Ornaments," an exhibition to trace the history of helmets, is being held at Hikone Castle Museum, Konki-cho, Hikone City, Shiga Prefecture. This is the museum's first themed exhibition to focus on helmets.
In a suit of armor, the helmets are to protect heads. Their styles and roles changed over time according to changes in forms of warfare. Until the Muromachi Period, their practical utility was more valued, but in the Sengoku Period, or age of warring states during the latter part of the Muromachi Period, helmets with unusual designs began to be produced for the purposes of grandstanding and intimidation.
Twenty-two items, including helmets and pieces, are on display demonstrating that transition.
"Tetsuji Rokuju Yonken Kohoshi Kabuto" is a helmet produced by Nobuie Myochin, an armorer in the Sengoku period of the later Muromachi Period. Each of the 64 elongated iron plates are riveted to the "Hachi" or head-covering part, and the rivet heads that appear on the surface of the "Hachi" are called "Hoshi" or stars, which is the reason for its name.
The helmet called "Kurourushi-nuri Tatsunami-nari Kabuto" is a historical material which had been passed down in the Ii clan. It is a "Kawari Kabuto," or strange helmet, and was seemingly produced in the Momoyama Period or the early-Edo Period. The cresting waves that rise up from the both sides of the "Hachi" are papier-mâché made of paper and other materials. The conspicuous design is considered to have been for asserting a strong presence on the battle field.
The exhibition will continue until August 30. It is open every day. There is an entrance fee. For more information, call the museum at 0749-22-6100.(translated by Galileo, Inc.)