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The Odoshi-hai-date, of which the thigh pieces are made of metal scales overlapping and fastened with silk thread in the same manner as the Sode and Kusadzuri. Either the Kebiki or Sugake kind of sewing is used, there being three rows of scales and a bottom border (hishi-ita). The upper apron-portion, which is always called Koshi-tsuke-no-n6, is of damask or silk, with the crest of the wearer woven or embroidered upon it, and in all respects treated as the Hakama, having slits at the sides to be used as pockets and called Muchi-gashi-no-ana.
The Igo-hai-date, of which the lower portion is covered with very small plates sewn upon a cloth or silk body. This kind is worn mostly by horsemen, as being more flexible and less inconvenient in riding.
The Yechiu-hai-date, which forms a complete covering for b6th the front and back of the thighs, the thigh-pieces being of chain mail with small metal plates attached. The upper portion consists of a regular "Hakama " of plaited silk. On the inside are various bands of leather used to stiffen the whole and suspend the heavy weight of the lower portions. There are several different kinds of the Yechiu-hai-date.
The Hodo-hai-date, which is so called from the resemblance in shape which its upper apron-shaped portion bears to the Hodo-bata, a religious flag. It is somewhat similar to the Odoshi-hai-date but more complicated, the thigh pieces being in several overlapping flaps. The upper flap of each thigh is in one plate, composed of closely arranged scales, and under this, hanging considerably below the larger plate and as a fringe, are four small separate pieces. These lower pieces hang over the knees, where their detached form allows free movement.
SUNE-ATE—GEEAVES OE GEEVIEBES.
The defences for the lower parts of the legs, corresponding to the greaves of European armour, are called Sune-ate, of which there are various kinds. For the most part they are of curved plates following the modelling of the calf of the leg, being fastened by clasps or strings, very much like the old Greek and Roman greaves. In some cases they are of more flexible material, more resembling thick padded gaiters.
The Bishamon-sune-ate is the special name given to that kind of greviere which is composed of three continuous metal plates bound together, the central one being prolonged upwards for the protection of the knee cap, this upper portion being called the Kakudzuri. The metal plates are lacquered in different ways, or are engraved or inlaid.
Shinotate-sune-atc.—This kind is composed of a number of long parallel
metal plates divided by strips of chain mail. Tsutsu-sune-ate.—This kind is composed of two curved metal plates
hinged in the middle, having no lining, but worn over the inner
leggings, which act as a soft padding. To this kind the Kokudzuri
is not fixed, but is sometimes added separately. Nitco-sHne-ate.—This kind is the same as the former, but is lined. Kiyahan-sune-ate.—This kind is made entirely of chain mail sewn upon
a padded lining, and has no Kakudzuri. The lower portion ends
in a rounded pad without mail, which partly covers the foot. Sudare-sune-ate.—This kind is covered alternately with strips of chain
mail and long metal plates, about eight in number.
The greaves, when of long narrow plates and mail intermixed, had those plates at the inner ankle curtailed in order not to cause pain or inconvenience in walking. The Kakudzuri were generally in one of two principal shapes, named respectively Yama-gata and Juwo-gashira.
As a covering for the feet were worn shoes with curved pointed toes, completing the dress of an armed warrior. These were, however, only worn during ceremonies or by the leaders whilst riding, the ordinary straw sandals being preferred for marching or fighting dismounted. The soles of these shoes were of stiff leather and the uppers of bear's skin, lined inside with handsome silk brocade.
The Kata-ate were pieces of some soft padded material put over each shoulder to cover the top of the Watagami. Sometimes they were both united to the Yeri-mawari, which was a kind of gorgette going all round the neck, made of padded cloth or leather covered with metal plates or shark skin.
The Waki-biki, which were sometimes called Waki-date, consisted of two pieces of padded material, sometimes covered with chain mail, which were hung to the sides under the armpits to form an extra protection under the body armour or to form a padding for it. Some of the Waki-biki are oiodoshi, some of chain mail with small shino, some of large metal plates hinged together. They are mostly rounded at the bottom and always hollowed at the top, leaving two horns provided with cords and buttons for fixing round the shoulders.
The Manjiyuwa was the name given to a combination in one piece of the Kata-ate, Yeri-mawari and Waki-biki.
JIM-BAOBI—HABABD OB SUBCOAT.
The Jim-baori was a kind of habard or surcoat worn over the armour for purposes of display. Some kinds have large sleeves and are called Sode-baori; some have merely openings for the arms and are called Hampi. The shape is similar to the ordinary Japanese haori, being, however, slit up behind for convenience in riding. It is generally made of some highly ornamented fabric,—silk, damask, or brocade.
The Karako-baori was a curious kind of surcoat, having no sleeves but a curious frill round the arm openings.
The clothes worn under the armour will be separately described.
A curious additional defence was worn over the armour, which, as far as we know, has no equivalent in the defences of any other nation, and which went by the name of Hard. It consisted of a large cloth or Vol. ix. 36
bag, generally attached loosely to the back of mounted warriors so as to fill with the wind and form a large pillow-shaped projection at the back while riding. Sometimes it was kept filled with air by means of a light oval core of wicker-work attached firmly to the back of the armour. This curious device was supposed to shield the wearer from arrows shot from the side or behind.
The ordinary length is nearly six feet, and made out of about five strips carefully sewn together lengthwise and strengthened by plaits. Upon the centre, top and bottom the crest of the wearer is worked, and both the upper and lower edge are provided with a fringe. Near the top and bottom, each side is provided with a cord, the top cords being attached either to the helmet or to the large ring at the back of the body armour, which is otherwise used for the Agemaki or handsome silk tassels. In some paintings the huro is shewn as supported upon a rod fixed into a socket on the back; but no particular authority is known for this mode. The lower cords were fastened round the waist. In some cases the horo was worn at the front, hung from the helmet across to the forehead of the horse, being kept in this position by long cords tying it to the stirrups. It thus formed a screen to the face and front of the body, considerably impeding vision.
The Sode jirushi was a small silk or cotton cloth about the same length as the sode, which was attached to it by cords tied to two rings fixed to the sode. Its other end was left loose and allowed to flutter in the wind. It generally bore some crest or the name of Hachiman, the god of war, in some fixed colour. The device upon this badge was fixed by the general, being different on different occasions, as it was used for the purpose of distinguishing friends and foes, and only put on on the eve of some action.
The Kasa-jimshi was a similar cloth badge attached to the hat or helmet, for which a ring was provided on the helmet. It was somewhat longer than the Sode jirushi, measuring about one foot four inches in length. Sometimes, intead of being hung by a ring to the back of the helmet, it was attached to a small rod about one foot eight inches long, fixed vertically to the front of the helmet. That of the general was usually of some rich brocade, with the device in gold or silver thread. That of the common soldiers was of white silk or cloth, with the device in black.
Another kind of the Kasa-jirushi distinguished by the name of Chiukasa-jirushi, is similar to the former, but has cords at its bottom end by which it is attached loosely to the bottom of the helmet. The top edge is held up above the front of the helmet by means of a metal rod with three prongs. This kind was made for use in stormy weather.
The Sashi-mono was a small banner worn attached to the end of a long rod, which was fixed into sockets at the back of the armour, reaching higher than the head behind. Such banners were not worn before the Tensho period (1578).
Much as the different armours herebefore described vary in the degree of ornament bestowed upon them, it is not supposed that the ordinary soldiers wore defences anything like them in completeness.
The armour worn commonly by the lower class of retainers was called Nuko or Ban-gusoku, and in earlier times, Tonoi-no-Haramaki.
Such armour consisted generally of a capel-de-fer or small helmet and a corselet, for the rest the soldier being clothed in usual travelling dress, with gaiters and sandals. Of the common helmet there were three kinds, namely Kusari-kabuto (chain mail helmet), Kawagasa (leather hat) and Akagane-gasa (copper hat). The Kusari-kabuto or Tatami-kabuto was made of small pieces of iron plate, connected with double chain mail sewn on to padded cloth or leather stuff, both the the skull-piece and the couvre-nuqtie being made in the same way. The shape as nearly as possible resembled the ordinary padded fire-bonnet still worn by firemen. There was a hole in the top for the cue of hair to protrude from. The shikoro or couvre-nuque was slit up in the middle. The Kawa-gasa was a leather hat which was best made of a particular kind of leather called Nari-gasa, and the best class of hat thus made was considered superior to the mail helmet. The leather was perfectly stiff, and was well lacquered on both sides so as to produce a hard, tough material, which in the best kinds would stand tho test of long immersion in water. The crown was generally brought to a point and the brim was broad. The usual colour outside was black, with a gilt crest in the centre.