Author Topic: Japanese War Gear - (pics)  (Read 46644 times)

Offline Ron Losey

  • Master
  • *****
  • Posts: 4418
    • View Profile
Re: Japanese War Gear - (pics)
« Reply #30 on: August 03, 2009, 09:37:57 pm »
Note on armor penetration, added to that:

You don't necessarily have to "penetrate" armor to cause damage.  The odds of actually putting a weapon through any laminate armor are pretty low.  However, sufficient impact can still cause damage.  Same with plate-type armors - creasing the metal and injuring the wearer would be a lot more common than actually penetrating it. 

In that case, the leather scales mixed in with the iron ones would serve to increase the padding effect.  Hardened leather is a lot like plastic - tough, but more flexible and shock-absorbent than most metals under normal conditions.  This would reduce the trauma transferred to the wearer.  So while it might be somewhat easier to cut than metal, the odds of injury to the wearer could actually be reduced, depending on the weapon.

Note on materials:
While there are no surviving Japanese armors using bamboo or bone scales from earlier than Edo period (i.e. probably mostly for show), both lacquer-hardened bamboo and bone were used across Asia.  Lacquer-soaked bamboo proved particularly effective in southern China - performing at least as well as similar volumes of hardened leather.  So the myth of the bamboo armor was not a total myth ... Japan at least must have known about the practice.  But officially, none of those suits have survived, so it cannot be confirmed in Japan.  Some of the Chinese bamboo scale has survived, and since a lot of people can't tell the difference anyway (the designs are similar, especially very early - they were neighbors and trade partners, after all), an urban legend was born.

Note on "ceremonial armor":
Everything the samurai did was somewhat ceremonial.  That's part of military life - modern armies spend as much time saluting and marching in parades as they do fighting.  Japan really had very few distinctions between the two - they wore their most outlandish decorations all the way to the battlefield.  With the exception of a little bit of late Edo-period stuff, most combat armor was ceremonial (excluding concealed maille and some ashigaru junk), and pretty much all ceremonial armor was intended for combat.

The modern military "dress uniform" is a product of the early 20th century.  Even as late as the 1800's, there was no noticeable distinction between combat and formal uniform in most cases.  (Even European "tournament armor" was not formal - it was just specialized sporting goods, and as such, too heavy and restrictive for social wear.)  Reading that back into history is a common mistake, especially with armor, which was usually much too expensive for anybody (even kings) to have much selection.

Offline Ichimonji Hidetora

  • Master
  • *****
  • Posts: 505
    • View Profile
Re: Japanese War Gear - (pics)
« Reply #31 on: August 04, 2009, 06:11:03 pm »
that site of Anthony Bryant is genius ! Even better than my book !
He got lots of illustrations, in color, how to build your own armor
So everything is explained in detail !
Now I understand about the plates and the lacing. Still some part I don't understand. His illustration for the "boards" is a cutaway, not 3D, so I still don't undetrstand where the wooden board  (or other material to replace the wood) go in there
(that for ione of the piece, shoulder plate I think - the cuirass is different)

Yeah that website is really great for people who are new to the subject.
The "boards", he is not talking about a wooden board or anything, when a number of scales are laced together horizontally they are referred to as a board, an example is shown on his website.
The scales that make up a board are made of leather and steel, alternating, as in side by side ;) (so you had the right idea).
The lacquer is there to protect the armor against moisture, as moisture will rot the rawhide and the iron/steel will corrode, the lacquer does not glue the scales together, that's what the lace is for.
A finished board of scales would be laced to another board of scales with suspencory lace so they overlap eachother, then another board will be laced to the second board, and another to that one, they will form the cuirass and tassets.
Just keep reading the website, it has all the information you need (but if you do have questions, just ask).

The thing with composite suits is this: someone (a collector or dealer) sees a nice cuirass for sale and buys it for a low price, then he buys some armored sleeves and leg armor that originally belonged to another armor set, then he buys some cheap kabuto and puts the whole set together.
An expert can see if the armor is a composite, but other people won't have a clue, composite armors are avoided by serious collectors and museums as they are historically worthless and antiques that are incomplete are just not very desireable to own, an old matching suit like my armor is what is valuable and worth collecting.
Sometimes, a composite suit ends up looking like a clowns suit with different colors of lacquer and mismatching lace or cloth backing, it's always good for a laugh though :P

Samurai never mismatched their armor, if something was damaged it either got repaired or properly replaced in matching style.
Do note that it's not uncommon for a helmet bowl to have originally belonged to another armor, that sort of thing happened when a samurai ordered a new armor but wanted to use the helmet bowl that originally belonged to his father or grandfather.
It was also common for an armorer to use old helmet bowls that were popular, those suits are considered matching suits.

I was watching this today: Awsome! :green: 
"The arrow which felled the boar... belonged to Lord Ichimonji. Drink to him!"

Offline Ichimonji Hidetora

  • Master
  • *****
  • Posts: 505
    • View Profile
Re: Japanese War Gear - (pics)
« Reply #32 on: August 07, 2009, 08:29:10 pm »
Hey! Hang on... where the hell did SantasHelper go?
I wanted to reply to a couple of his PM's, but it said the profile doesn't exist :shock:
And now I see all of his posts are gone  ???
Did he delete everything himself or did he get banned?

Ok, this thread on Taleworlds makes it obvious that SantasHelper stopped modding and deleted all of his work, posts, threads and his profiles both here and there.

Deleting the posts here was a bit over the top unnecessary, now the last couple of posts look out of context, good thing I quoted him a lot.
I wish I found out about all of this before I tried to reply to his PM with a long post, oh well :green:

All of this was rather unexpected, considering I had quite the PM conversation with him about Japanese armor and modding.
Well SantasHelper, if you ever need more info about the subject for some reason, you know how and where to reach me.
« Last Edit: August 07, 2009, 09:40:01 pm by Ichimonji Hidetora »
"The arrow which felled the boar... belonged to Lord Ichimonji. Drink to him!"