Browse Items (21 total)

Armor.jpg
Japan was in a state of turmoil, struggling in the tension between the traditional Tokugawa samurai and the Emporer. Samurai fought against the new regime's muskets and Gatling guns with their hand-crafted armor, swords, horseback archery, and their…

Woman.jpg
Tomoe Gozen (1161?–1184?) was one of the few examples of a true female samurai in all of Japanese history. Her main weapon of choice was the Naginata.
 
This picture was drawn by Kikuchi Yosai (1781-1878). As the son of a samurai, he was…

NNaginata blade.jpg

Naginatas were often used by foot soldiers to create space on the battlefield. They have several situational advantages over a sword. Their reach was longer, allowing the wielder to keep out of reach of his opponent. The long shaft offered it more…

Sword Guard.jpg
By Tsuchiya Yasuchika .


Kurokawa Institute for Ancient Cultures, Hyōgo Prefecture.

Bukan, who lived in China during the Tang dynasty, is said to have traveled on the back of a tiger he had tamed, the animal's ferocity having yielded to the…

Eboshi-Shaped Kabuto (Helmet) with Maedate (Crest) in the Form of a Mantis.jpg
This helmet was commission as a family heirloom to represent their power as samurai. Its large form is crafted from an iron base, with paper-mache covered in gold, laquered, then sprinkled with more gold dust. The huge crest resembles the shape of a…

Haramaki.jpg
 
This particular peice of armour was influenced by not only comabtive requirements, but religion as well. The stylized antlers would normally embody an animalistic spirit, but these resemble kaji leaves, revered since ancient times and often used…

Helmet (Suji Kabuto).jpg

The bowl of the helmet, constructed of fifty-two ridged plates, is inscribed with the character Kami, used by the Haruta school of armorers in Nara. The badge on the turnbacks of the neck guard is that of the Sanada family, daimyo of Ueda. This…

Early Mounted Short Sword.jpg
by the artist Rai Kunitoshi .

The golden age of swords in Japan is commonly considered to be the Kamakura period. During this time there were many great smiths in the schools of Yamato, Bizen, and Yamashiro that were the common grounds of many…

Blade for a Tantō (Dagger).jpg


A Tanto is a handheld dagger used most commonly by women and peasants, in fact the only weapon a woman was allowed to posses during this period. However, the most well-crafted of them went to the samurai as secondary weapons to thier swords.…

Dai Hannya Nagamitsu.jpg
By the artist Nagamitsu.

"Esteemed as being meibutsu, or a "famous piece," it was given by Ashikaga Yoshiteru (r. 1545–65) to Miyoshi Nagayoshi, a powerful daimyo. Later Oda Nobunaga gave it to Tokugawa Ieyasu to honor his success at the Battle…
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