Samurai Armor

Emily's armorSamurai wore elaborate suits of armor to protect themselves in battle. Four distinct styles were worn—the showier, fancy armor generally saved for ceremonies –oyoroi and domaru-gusoku — and the two that were more often actually worn in battle, haramaki and tosei-gusoku (in case you haven’t already, you can see samurai armor on view at the museum through September 20). Armor was made of materials such as iron, bronze, metal, leather, lacquer and braided silk, and  constructed in pieces so the samurai could move easily when fighting their enemies. Among other pieces, samurai armor consisted of the breastplate (dō), which protected the samurai’s heart and guts, and the tassets (kusazuri), which protected the hips. Like the helmets samurai wore, breastplates were often decorated with elaborate designs that distinguished them from the other samurai, guardian figures that protected them and creepy imagery that frightened their opponents. Ever wondered what it’s like to wear samurai armor? Make your own and find out!

3 Responses to “Samurai Armor”

  1. Rochelle  on August 11th, 2009 at 8:10 am

    Samurais were real warriors. Fighting was only a tiny fraction of the task. They were seen as leaders in their communities and treated with much respect. Its great to see the Samurai culture continues to live on hundreds of years later.

  2. bittermelon  on August 12th, 2009 at 2:32 pm

    That’s a really good looking armor!

  3. namastenancy  on August 12th, 2009 at 3:02 pm

    That darling young lady doesn’t need any armor. She disarms with the power of the cute and adorable.


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