Helmet in Shape of Zukin Hood

Helmet in Shape of Zukin Hood
Height 16.7 cm, front to back 23.3 cm, left to right 21.0 cm; Edo period, 17th century; Hikone City Cultural Asset; Gift of the Ii Family

Kawari-kabuto—“unconventional” warrior helmets—were made in such curious shapes as deities, animals, and insects to assert the wearer’s presence to both friend and foe on the battlefield. This example is made of two iron plates joined together to make the helmet look like a hood (zukin), with a conspicuous projection made of bear hair attached at the back. The helmet is thought to have been worn by Kondō Sadamochi (1606–1696), grandson of Kondō Hidemochi, who was daimyo of the Iinoya area of Tōtōmi Province (now Shizuoka Prefecture).

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