Important Cultural Property
(Some of the works of theNanban (Western style) Armor/Armor with black lacing, body part made of two plates
Helmet H14.5 body H39.0 tassets H24.5
Edo period/17th century
Tokyo National Museum
This is the armor that Sakakibara Yasumasa (1548 – 1606), one of the four best vassals of Tokugawa Ieyasu, used to use. The crown of the helmet has 62 vertical lines and there is an inscription, "Made by Yoshimichi," inside the crown. This cuirass is a two-piece type with black-lacquered iron boards bound with X-shaped stitches, hinges on the left side and seven five-tiered kusazuri (a protective skirt that hangs from the bottom of the cuirass). There are ornamental metal fittings with a pattern of Genjiguruma, the family crest of the Sakakibara family, on the breast and teko (a covering for the back of the hand and wrist) of the kote (armguard). This is a black-themed cuirass and the helmet has a maetate (an standing decoration found on the front of a helmet) of copper-plated sankoken (a sword with a handle topped by three prongs) in front. A design of a scrawling dragon is depicted via gold makie (lacquer sprinkled with gold/silver powder) on silver foil on the waist of the cuirass and a tatsunamimon (a wave pattern) is depicted on the bottom two tiers of the kusazuri. Although originally black leather strips were used to bind lames to the cuirass, the current shikoro of the helmet and the kusazuri are tentatively bound with purple thread.
The armor had been handed down to the Sakakibara family together with a portrait of Yasumasa in this armor, flags and uma-jirushi (lit. horse insignia; a flag used to identify a commander on the battlefield).