Japanese chain garments as armor or kusari gusoku.
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Posted on Thu Feb 25, 2010 10:05 pm
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And as for ANCIENT...what do you consider ancient??
Anything more than 65.4 million years old.

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...geologists - they'll draw their hammer and start with artificial erosion
What is this "mountain" you speak of? All I see is a very large accumulation of mineral grains and fluid inclusions. Wink

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The reason so many people are fixated on European armor and weapons???...because thats what they learned about and were brought up with...knights in shining armour and all that stuff....there were no other choices available
Not really true. A LOT of people are into Japanese stuff these days, to the point where it's sometimes difficult to find European replicas of certain items.

But I think I misunderstood you. You've included pictures of actual period (1500-1800) Japanese armor, correct? Or are these replicas? Sorry if you've already said it--my brain is addled by work and cold weather.

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Posted on Thu Feb 25, 2010 10:11 pm
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awesome thread.. this really should be an article! the amount of historical japanese maille info out there seems scarce.

kim


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Posted on Thu Feb 25, 2010 11:13 pm
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An article will be too short. This should be a real publication - a book.

---------------------

american samurai wrote:
This armor was obviously not meant to be worn underneath any other armor, it was not meant to be hidden under some other clothing, it is constructed almost entirely of round butted rings and not oval and the chain was fully exposed and was never covered. It is a complete set of stand alone chain armor. Thats a lot of contradictions in just 1 picture.

I have a few thoughts about this:
If I compare your description of this chain-armour with a "typical" japanese armour, your armour was manufactured much faster than the "typical" ones.
- it is not sewn between two sheets of cloth. From what I can see it is only sewn to one sheet.
- the production of oval rings needs one more working step than the production of round rings.
- if it was not meant to be hidden under any other armour, the "other armour" had not to be built.

By comparing your description and my thoughts with the production of medieval armour in Europe I'd say that this armour is not "armour for a samurai", but munition armour for an ordinary soldier.

What do you think?

Achim

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Posted on Fri Feb 26, 2010 1:01 am
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I'm a bit skeptical about this armor as well. It looks legitimate, but the japanese started using firearms in the mid-1500s. And even before that they did a lot of fighting with spears and horseback archery, which would fairly easily penetrate maille, especially japanese maille which wasn't riveted like european maille. And there's no reason that such a large amount of full maille suits should have only recently come up. Along with the fact that none or very little information exists on these, I'd need a bit more evidence than some pictures of what might or might not be historical japanese maille and your word to be convinced otherwise. There is no reason for any historians, especially those that work with warfare, weapons, and armor to be selective about what they research.


Learn to value yourself, which means: to fight for your happiness.[Ayn Rand]
I swear by my life and my love of it that I will never live for the sake of another man, nor ask another man to live for mine.[Ayn Rand]

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Posted on Fri Feb 26, 2010 1:05 am
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By comparing your description and my thoughts with the production of medieval armour in Europe I'd say that this armour is not "armour for a samurai", but munition armour for an ordinary soldier.

What do you think?


There's also two other possibilities:

1)I need armor. I have some wire. Uh......I have......a rod.......Fine, I'll make it work! (I've seen many suits of armor built under those conditions.)

2)Repair jobs that merge into a whole. (Again, seen multiple suits of armor built that way.)

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Posted on Fri Feb 26, 2010 2:12 am
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Dinwar wrote:
Quote:
By comparing your description and my thoughts with the production of medieval armour in Europe I'd say that this armour is not "armour for a samurai", but munition armour for an ordinary soldier.

What do you think?


There's also two other possibilities:

1)I need armor. I have some wire. Uh......I have......a rod.......Fine, I'll make it work! (I've seen many suits of armor built under those conditions.)

2)Repair jobs that merge into a whole. (Again, seen multiple suits of armor built that way.)


I agree it is not what we traditionally think, but if american samurai is correct there were not many people around that had direct contact with these things and wrote about what they observed from a distance. Also if I understand Japanese history when they "modernized" all the old ways were thrown out so documentation on some of these things could have been lost. Something thing I was thinking on this is that it could also be something that:

1) was more for the foot soldier
2) was used as more of an every day protection

but I am just typing off the top of my head from what I have seen (t.v.), and read.


DaegonPhyn - I believe you are correct they did have fire arms in the mid-1500's, but I believe they were also outlawed soon after and thought to be a cowards weapon.


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MailleCode V2.0 T5.3 R4.4 E0.0 Feur MFe.sBr Wg Cwb G.7-5.1 I3.1-11 N20.5 Pj Dcdjt Xa1w2 S08

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Posted on Fri Feb 26, 2010 2:24 am
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I believe you are correct they did have fire arms in the mid-1500's, but I believe they were also outlawed soon after and thought to be a cowards weapon.


Yes, you are right. My mistake. They were banned in the early-1600's after Japan finished fighting other nations and closed itself off. But they did come back in the late 1800's. But that does put a limit on the time period that this sort of armor would have existed. Maybe because of the huge civil war that ended the shogunate many records were lost of this maille armor. But I still think that of the numerous people looking into japanese warfare history would have found something. At the least this kind of maille armor would have been mentioned.


Learn to value yourself, which means: to fight for your happiness.[Ayn Rand]
I swear by my life and my love of it that I will never live for the sake of another man, nor ask another man to live for mine.[Ayn Rand]

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Posted on Fri Feb 26, 2010 4:03 am
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Catweazle wrote:
An article will be too short. This should be a real publication - a book.

---------------------

american samurai wrote:
This armor was obviously not meant to be worn underneath any other armor, it was not meant to be hidden under some other clothing, it is constructed almost entirely of round butted rings and not oval and the chain was fully exposed and was never covered. It is a complete set of stand alone chain armor. Thats a lot of contradictions in just 1 picture.

I have a few thoughts about this:
If I compare your description of this chain-armour with a "typical" japanese armour, your armour was manufactured much faster than the "typical" ones.
- it is not sewn between two sheets of cloth. From what I can see it is only sewn to one sheet.
- the production of oval rings needs one more working step than the production of round rings.
- if it was not meant to be hidden under any other armour, the "other armour" had not to be built.

By comparing your description and my thoughts with the production of medieval armour in Europe I'd say that this armour is not "armour for a samurai", but munition armour for an ordinary soldier.

What do you think?

Achim
Achim, this picture would be more like the low grade chain armor you are talking about, the cloth is rougher the chain is lighter, the glove is very light as well, just basic protection. The chain armor in the other picture is much higher quality. The armor used by lower level samurai or ashigaru would most likely have belonged to the high level samurai who the ashigaru worked for.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ashigaru

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Posted on Fri Feb 26, 2010 4:11 am
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DaegonPhyn wrote:
I'm a bit skeptical about this armor as well. It looks legitimate, but the japanese started using firearms in the mid-1500s. And even before that they did a lot of fighting with spears and horseback archery, which would fairly easily penetrate maille, especially japanese maille which wasn't riveted like european maille. And there's no reason that such a large amount of full maille suits should have only recently come up. Along with the fact that none or very little information exists on these, I'd need a bit more evidence than some pictures of what might or might not be historical japanese maille and your word to be convinced otherwise. There is no reason for any historians, especially those that work with warfare, weapons, and armor to be selective about what they research.


one thing you have got to remember here, Japanese metal in this time period was far superior to any thing else available, and also the Japanese perfected metal working while the rest of the world was was still going through the bronze age. as to why this armor is relatively unheard of you have got to look at the Japanese sociaity as a whole. the Japanese believed in family honor above all else, the Tradition of Supuku (ritualized suicide) has continued even into the 20th century, when a family member either dishonored themselves, or there family name, it was that members responsibility to atone for the dishonor by committing supuku, no matter what rank they held in in sociaity, also family heirlooms were considered prize possessions until recently, there are documented cases of Japanese swords passing down the family tree for century's, so is it hard to believe that a family members armor they wore would be any less of a prized possession? armor that there family member wore in service of there master who was a direct link to there god (there emperor). granted this might not be a high honor for some family's higher up in the social hierarchy but for a simple laborer family, this would be a high honor, that one of there family members as granted the privilege of serving there Warlord, shogun and Emperor.

So to me what american samurai, dose make sense, because from what i have heard lately, and the influx of achient japanese swords and armor lately i have seen available on the net and at certain auction houses.

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Posted on Fri Feb 26, 2010 4:59 am
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http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Boshin_War While its true that during the Edo period the great wars between clans ended it was anything but peaceful, there were thousands of displaced samurai who's employers lands had been seized, (a common punishment ) civil unrest due to regulations imposed on the average citizens by a virtual police state and the fact that the average citizen had to supply the ever growing ranks of the samurai class did not help, even the high ranking families were heavily taxed to keep them weak, spies, police and security forces were needed and used to keep control. Japan was not the peaceful happy backwards society we have generally been told it was. After the fall of the samurai the Japanese frantically started to modernize, the country was artificially kept in a primitive state compared to the rest of the world and the old traditional armor and weapons were stored away in favor of uniforms and guns. When European collectors started to buy samurai objects, chain armor was obviously not seen as being near as interesting as the gaudy old traditional armor and the chain armor was left to rot in store houses and put away as keep sakes, while the chain was very rust resistant the cloth was easily damaged by the Japanese environment, bugs, mice etc and the Japanese were very much into recycling as resources were scarce. The chain armor that was not stored was probably converted into some other use as it just did not have a value at that time to collectors. That is until the internet and a bad economy in Japan started a major flow of artifacts being sold to the whole world instead of just a few ambitious collectors and dealers who traveled to Japan and hand picking the objects they decided to sell to the few galleries and museums in the world that carried samurai antiques. . http://japanesehistory.info/edo.htm

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Posted on Fri Feb 26, 2010 5:17 am
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Actually dravin, you are somewhat incorrect. The japanese did not begin metalworking until significantly later than most other regions. The first metal tools only began being used around 200 BC. The rest of the world was millenia ahead of that. What the japanese do have is ingenious metalworking...but that didn't come till later as well. The first katanas weren't made till the 1400s along with other commonly known japanese weapons. That's for the same reason why most older japanese armor doesn't have much metal at all. They weren't able to produce steel till later and iron was too heavy for japanese style combat.

And as for the keepsaking and storing away it's still fairly unlikely that the knowledge was so widely lost and no evidence showed up till recently of this maille armor. I'd understand if the armor was from millenia ago, but it supposedly only existed 200-300 years ago. I would accept this armor being something very rarely used and more of an armorer's personal experiment, but I personally would need more evidence to be convinced that it was legitimate, fairly widely used armor.


Learn to value yourself, which means: to fight for your happiness.[Ayn Rand]
I swear by my life and my love of it that I will never live for the sake of another man, nor ask another man to live for mine.[Ayn Rand]

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Posted on Fri Feb 26, 2010 5:53 am
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http://forums.samurai-archives.com/viewtopic.php?t=1393&highlight=ronin+chain+mail The Japanese know that they used to have chain armor, its just the American and European researchers who were clueless I guess. Scroll down 7 frames on this one http://forums.samurai-archives.com/viewtopic.php?p=7028 Look at the birth and death date of the owner of this armor. http://wiki.samurai-archives.com/index.php?title=Oishi_Kuranosuke 1659 - 1703

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Posted on Fri Feb 26, 2010 6:10 am
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Heres another one, does it look like a "low level" armor to you..it looks pretty nice to me! And here is another full complete suit of chain armor http://www.japanauctioncenter.com/view2.php?seturl=http://page22.auctions.yahoo.co.jp/jp/auction/l16034344 ..does this look like someone sat down with some "wire" and made themselves a suit of chain armor in their spare time while bored?

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Posted on Fri Feb 26, 2010 6:44 am
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Well here's my question. Why are all three of those armors using a european 4-in-1 pattern, but the armor you own uses a japanese pattern? Or at least that's what it looks like to me. That's a bit odd. In my opinion the three with the european pattern may have been gifts to coerce the japanese higher-ups to allow friendlier trade relations, which was a major issue during the 1600s. So that's still not convincing.

Sorry if I seem thick-headed. It's just I don't like being shown something and then just being expected to accept it right off the bat. I prefer hard evidence from multiple sources. I don't think that's been shown yet.

I think it would be very cool if the japanese had had full suits of maille. I just don't see it as making sense. It doesn't suit their combat styles. In my opinion, at least.


Learn to value yourself, which means: to fight for your happiness.[Ayn Rand]
I swear by my life and my love of it that I will never live for the sake of another man, nor ask another man to live for mine.[Ayn Rand]

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Posted on Fri Feb 26, 2010 7:33 am
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DaegonPhyn wrote:
Well here's my question. Why are all three of those armors using a european 4-in-1 pattern, but the armor you own uses a japanese pattern? Or at least that's what it looks like to me. That's a bit odd. In my opinion the three with the european pattern may have been gifts to coerce the japanese higher-ups to allow friendlier trade relations, which was a major issue during the 1600s. So that's still not convincing.

Sorry if I seem thick-headed. It's just I don't like being shown something and then just being expected to accept it right off the bat. I prefer hard evidence from multiple sources. I don't think that's been shown yet.

I think it would be very cool if the japanese had had full suits of maille. I just don't see it as making sense. It doesn't suit their combat styles. In my opinion, at least.
DaegonPhyn, all the chain armor I have shown uses a 4 in 1 pettern some have round connecting rings and some have oval connecting rings but it is all 4 in 1 1 ring with 4 connectors....take a close look here is another one
Those armors were not gifts, they are just what they seem to be, complete sets of JAPANESE chain armors, you can tell by the construction, they look nothing like the mail Europeans would have sent as gifts. You cant accept that people have just been blindly repeating over and over the same tired old research??? It would not be the first time that something that was said to be true was found to be false...
You trust the words that someone wrote but you wont trust your eyes??
You do not think it makes sense and does not suit their combat style, If you were facing an uprising of lightly armed civilians or rogue disaffected samurai or a band of criminals would you need more than this light weight transportable armor? a full suit of chain armor from hood to shoes weighed around 20 lbs, and could be easily carried as compared to iron plate armor which was at least twice as heavy, and very bulky, harder to transport and much more expensive and time consuming to produce...trust me on that one I have picked up many boxes of traditional armor and it IS heavy and needed a large wood box to transport it, a horse or several men would be needed for to carry it any distance. Different armors and weapons for different times and situations, you see that in all cultures, adaptability....

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