Samurai Armor Glossary
Samurai Armor is a brilliantly conceived and intricately crafted functional work of art. The armor was not just a protective gear, but also a visual statement about the Samurai within. It was designed to psychologically intimidate an enemy while simultaneously emboldening the warrior who wore it.
Trying to understand deeply about samurai armor could be a difficult task if you don't speak Japanese. This Samurai armor glossary provides a comprehensive understanding of the different components of Samurai Armour, We hope it will serves as a valuable resource for researchers and historians studying the Samurai armor and culture.
We will constantly update the glossary with more detailed explanation of each term and with photos, remember to bookmark this page for future reference.
Samurai Armor Glossary:
Abara Dou 肋骨胴
Also known as the "Ribbed Cuirass," is a type of cuirass designed to resemble the ribs of the human torso. It achieves this effect through either embossing or the application of lacquer, resulting in a grotesque yet captivating form.
Aida No Kanamono See Hasso No Kanamono refer to the same thing.
Agemaki 総角 is a sizable bow that is hung from an Agemaki No Kan, which is attached to the back of a Dou. The cords used to regulate the movements of the Sode (sleeves) are fastened to the Agemaki. It is predominantly used as an accessory on Tosei Dou.
Agemaki No Kan 総角付の鐶 is a type of Kanamono that takes the shape of a swivel ring. Its main function is to serve as an anchoring point for fastening cords. It is typically installed at the rear of a Dou, providing a convenient and secure attachment point.
Aibiki No O refers to a set of four cords, either Kohaze or Seme Kohaze, that are strung together to form the shoulder strap fastening on a Tosei Dou.
Akabe Yoroi 頸甲is a specific type of gorget that was commonly worn together with the Tanko and Keiko forms of cuirass in feudal Japan. It provided additional protection for the neck and throat region.
Asa refers to hemp, a natural fiber material.
Ashigaru were foot soldiers in feudal Japan who held a lower rank among the samurai class. The term Ashigaru translates to "light feet."
Aya is a type of twill fabric.
Aya Odoshi Ge is a lacing method used in armor construction, where twill fabric or a twill sheath is wrapped around an inner core made of a different fabric.
Boko No Ita refers to the topmost solid horizontal plate component that spans across the rear of a cuirass. It is specifically designed to serve as the mounting point for the Wadagami on a Tosei Dou.
Bushi Haniwa are terracotta statues of warriors that were crafted in Japan between the 3rd and 6th centuries AD. These statues depict figures from the ancient Japanese military.
Byakudan refers to a technique where clear lacquer is applied over a layer of gold leaf, resulting in a luxurious golden-yellow finish. This method is used to create decorative and ornamental objects with a distinct aesthetic.
Byo Doume is a term used to describe the technique of joining armor pieces together using rivets. It literally means "rivet stopped." This method is particularly associated with early forms of cuirass, like the Tankou, that were prevalent before the 10th century. By utilizing rivets, the armor components are securely fastened to create a robust and interconnected structure.
Byo Toji, which literally means 'rivet closure,' is a Tosei Dou term used to describe a cuirass assembled from 'Ita Mono' pieces securely fastened together with rivets.
ChiDouri is the Japanese term used to describe a pattern that resembles a plover, a type of bird. This pattern typically features motifs or designs that evoke the appearance or characteristics of a plover, such as its shape, feathers, or flight patterns. The ChiDouri pattern is often used in various traditional Japanese arts and crafts, including textiles, ceramics, and lacquerware.
Chirimen 縮緬 is a unique Japanese silk weave that produces subtle wrinkles in the fabric, known as crepe silk. It is commonly used in traditional garments like kimono and obi, adding an elegant and textured appearance to the fabric.
Chirimen Gusari 縮緬鎖 - This refers to a very fine chain that resembles "Chirimen"
Chotsugai refers to a knuckled hinge, which is a type of hinge that has knuckles or interlocking sections. It allows for smooth movement and flexibility between two connected parts, such as doors or panels.
Chotsugai Kugi specifically refers to the hinge pin used in a knuckled hinge. The hinge pin acts as the central pivot point, allowing the knuckles of the hinge to rotate and facilitate the movement of the connected parts.
Chouki 長旗 - A long flag that was used from the Heian period to the Muromachi period.
Daimyo refers to a feudal samurai warlord who held the position of ruler over an independent "kuni" or "country" in feudal Japan. Daimyo were answerable only to the Shogun, the supreme military commander. The kuni governed by a daimyo were typically hereditary domains, passed down within their families from generation to generation. Daimyo wielded significant political, military, and economic power within their territories and played a crucial role in the feudal hierarchy of Japan.
Dangae, which translates to "step changing cuirass," refers to a specific style in armor construction. In this style, the method of lacing abruptly changes from one style to another between the top and bottom halves of the armor piece. This transition in lacing style creates a distinctive visual effect and adds variation to the overall design of the cuirass. The dangae style is often utilized in traditional Japanese armor to enhance its aesthetic appeal and showcase the craftsmanship involved in its creation.
Dangae Dou refers to a specific type of Dou, which is a piece of Japanese armor, where the lacing pattern changes between the top and bottom halves of the cuirass. For example, the lacing may transition from Sugake Odoshi to Kebiki Odoshi, resulting in a distinct visual contrast between the sections.
Dan Odoshi is a lacing pattern characterized by the use of two different colors of Odoshi Ge, the cords used in armor construction. These cords are strung in a repetitive pattern of alternating horizontal bands, creating a visually striking effect with the contrasting colors. This pattern adds decorative appeal and showcases the attention to detail in the armor's design.
Dansen Osame No Kan is another term for Tenugui No Kan. They both refer to a specific type of Kanamono fixture.
De Hasso is a term used to describe a Kanamono fixture that has a generally rectangular shape, with the horizontal ends protruding outward in soft arrowhead-shaped points. It is a versatile term that can be applied to various types of fixtures.
Dou refers to a cuirass, which is a piece of armor that protects the torso. The dou is an essential component of traditional Japanese armor, providing vital protection to the wearer.
Dou Saki no O 胴先緒 - This is a cord taken from the lower part of the front body of the great armor or belly wrap.
Dou Jime is a length of sturdy cord that is anchored around the kurijime no o no wana to tie a cuirass closed around the waist in traditional Japanese martial arts. It serves to provide additional security and a snug fit, preventing the armor from shifting during movement.
Dou Maru refers to a type of scale armor that was prevalent during the late 14th century. It was characterized by its design, which involved the armor wrapping around the torso and closing vertically down the right-hand side of the body. It is worth noting that before the late 14th century, this particular style of armor was referred to as the "Haramaki."
Doumaru Yoroi was a short-lived hybrid version of the Haramaki (later Dou Maru) cuirass, produced during the late 12th to early 13th centuries. It featured a design that closely resembled the Yoroi armor, with square sides and a tsurubashiri fitted to the frontage of the cuirass. This combination resulted in a unique and distinctive appearance for the Dou Maru Yoroi.
Ebira 箙 - is a tool used to carry arrows on the shoulder or waist.
E Gawa 絵韋 is a type of leather that is adorned with a printed or stenciled decorative pattern or design on one surface. It adds visual appeal and artistic elements to the leather material.
Emishi is a term used to describe the predominantly non-Japanese descendants of the early indigenous peoples who inhabited the northern regions of the Japanese island of Honshu from the 8th to the 14th century AD. These people had a distinct cultural and ethnic identity and played a significant role in shaping the history of the region during that time period.
Eri Dai is a type of padded shoulder yoke that was commonly used in historical armor. It provided additional protection and support to the shoulders. Eri Dai were often made with an integrated Eri Mawashi brigandine collar, and in some cases, they also featured Kobire.
Eri Mawashi refers to a specific type of brigandine armor collar. It typically consisted of outline-stitched kikko or kusari (chainmail) that was sandwiched between layers of fabric. This construction provided both flexibility and defense to the collar area of the armor.
Etchu Gusoku -越中具足- refers a type of Tosei Gusoku. It was completed by Hosokawa Tadaoki and named after him because he preferred to use it. It is designed with minimal defense to allow for easy movement.
Echuu Jikoro 越中ジコロ - refers to a type of Shikoro, which is used in the Echuu Zunari Kabuto.
Ezuru 柄絃- a type of pointer attached to the back of tosei gusoku.
Fudo No E Gawa refers to a unique type of E Gawa leather that features depictions of the warlike Buddhist deity FuDou Myo O and his attendants. This distinctive variety of E Gawa showcases artistic representations of this deity and the accompanying figures.
Fukigaeshi 吹返, are erect flanges that are attached to or extend from the upper bands of a Shikoro, which is part of a traditional Japanese helmet known as a Kabuto. These flanges stand upright along either side of the visor, providing additional protection and decoration to the helmet. Fukigaeshi can serve as extensions or additions to the upper bands of the Shikoro, enhancing the overall appearance of the Kabuto.
Fukurin refers to a decorative edge trim molding that is commonly used on various pieces of armor. It can be made of leather or metal and is often applied to enhance the aesthetic appeal of armor. Metal Fukurin is frequently gilded and may feature intricate etched designs, adding a touch of elegance to the armor.
Fusedake Yumi 伏竹弓 - A bow that was improved around the end of the Heian period to extend the shooting range.
Fusebe Gawa, on the other hand, is a type of smoked leather that comes in shades of yellow or brown. It is known for its distinctive appearance and is sometimes adorned with decorative patterns. The smoking process gives the leather a unique coloration, further adding to its visual appeal.
Fusegumi is an ornate and intricate form of decorative silk thread piping. It is specifically used to stitch together and cover the seam where a section of Kobire Gawa, a type of leather, meets a section of E Gawa, another type of leather. This technique enhances the visual appeal of the armor by providing an elaborate and decorative finish to the seam, adding to the overall aesthetic quality of the armor.ticular style of armor was referred to as the "Haramaki."
Gakibara Dou is a unique style of Tosei Dou that embodies a grotesque representation of the bloated and skeletal torso of a traditional Japanese ghost known as a Gaki. This style is achieved through various techniques such as embossing or the application of lacquer.
Gattari 合当理 is a bracket commonly positioned between the shoulder blades on the back of a cuirass. Its primary function is to secure the upper end of the holder, which enables the attachment of a sashimono battle flag to a dou.
Gessan: During the mid-16th century and onwards, the term "Gessan" was commonly used to describe the protective hip armor tassets that were hung from the lower edge of a Tosei Dou.
Goken No Kusazuri:The term "Goken No Kusazuri" denoted a distinctive arrangement of five kusazuri, which were protective plates, suspended from a Haramaki.
Go Mai Dou:A Go Mai Dou referred to a cuirass made up of five separate yet interconnected vertical sectional pieces of armor.
Gumi Kanamono refers to a type of hardware used in traditional Japanese armor. For detailed information about Gumi Kanamono, please refer to the entry for Sode Tsuke No Kuda, as it provides more specific details on this particular component.
Gusoku is a comprehensive and complete set of armor worn by warriors. This term primarily applies to armor developed and used after the mid-16th century. It encompasses various components of protective gear, including the helmet, cuirass, gauntlets, greaves, and other pieces necessary for comprehensive body protection in battle.
Gun-sen 軍扇 - a fan that was used by military commanders to direct troops on the battlefield
Gunpai uchiwa 軍配団扇 - a type of fan used by military commanders to direct troops on the battlefield
Gyoyo 杏葉 refers to small protective plates, typically in a leaf shape, originally created to safeguard the upper shoulders. These plates were suspended from the wadagami (shoulder straps) of non-yoroi types of dou (body armor) starting from the 13th century. Their purpose was to protect the shoulder strap cords and enhance the overall defensive capabilities of the armor.
Gyorinzane Gusoku -魚鱗札具足- This refers to a type of Tosei Gusoku that uses scales similar to fish scales.
Hachigane 鉢金 - refers to a piece of armor that covers the front half of the head, omitting the back half of the helmet bowl (Hachi).
Hagiita 矧板 - refers to a long, narrow metal plate that is a component of the bowl (Hachi) of a Hoshi Kabuto (star helmet) or Sujikabuto (muscle helmet).
Haidate is a type of thigh guard armor that takes the form of a bifurcated or split apron-like structure. It is designed to protect the upper thighs and provide flexibility and mobility during combat. The haidate typically consists of two separate pieces that are connected and fastened around the waist, covering the front and sides of each thigh. This design allows for ease of movement while maintaining adequate protection for the lower body.
Hajikami Gattari is a distinctive type of gattari consisting of two separate pieces that have the ability to scissor or pivot on themselves. This design allows the bracket to be easily removed when it is not being used to hold an uke zutsu (a weapon rest or support). The hajikami gattari provides flexibility and convenience by allowing the removal of the bracket when it is not needed, providing more versatility for the wearer of the armor.
Hamiawase is a method used for assembling kusari, which is a type of chainmail armor. In this method, the severed ends of the individual rings are aligned and brought together in a butt joint. The ends of the rings are placed side by side and connected by either riveting, weaving, or other means to create a continuous chainmail pattern. This technique helps to ensure a strong and secure connection between the rings, resulting in a durable and effective armor construction.
Han, in the context of feudal Japan, refers to a domain or territory governed by a feudal dynastic warrior clan. It is a term closely linked to the territories controlled by these clans and the membership within them. The han system was a fundamental aspect of the feudal social structure in Japan, where powerful clans held control over specific regions and exercised authority over the inhabitants. The size and influence of a han varied, ranging from small domains to large territories, depending on the power and status of the clan governing it.
Hanakami Bukuro 鼻紙袋, literally translated as "nose tissue bag," refers to small pockets that are attached to either the front facade of a dou (body armor) or to the reverse side of one or more gessan (protective hip armor tassets). These pockets serve various purposes and are alternatively known by other names such as Mae Bukuro (front bag), Kusuri Ire (medicine holder), or Tsuba Ate (hilt touch).
Hanare Yamamichi Gashira, literally translated as "separated mountain paths leading edge," is a poetic term used to describe a specific pattern found along the upper horizontal length of a section of Ita Mono. This pattern features an undulating or meandering edge cut that resembles the winding paths of mountains.
Hanbo 半頬, also known as a "half mask," refers to an early form of mengu, which is a type of facial armor worn in traditional Japanese warfare. The hanbo specifically covers and protects the chin and cheeks while leaving the upper part of the face exposed.
Hara Ate refers to an abbreviated form of cuirass, a type of body armor, that provides coverage specifically to the front and sides of the torso. Unlike a full cuirass, which offers protection to the entire torso including the back, the Hara Ate focuses on shielding the front and side areas of the body.
Haramaki, during the late Heian and Kamakura periods, refers to a specific type of dou primarily worn by retainers. It was characterized by its wrap-around design, encircling the body and fastening down the right-hand side of the torso. However, starting from the 14th century onward, the term Haramaki came to represent a different style of cuirass. This updated Haramaki wrapped around the body and closed down the middle of the back, providing comprehensive protection to the torso.
Haruta is a renowned school of Japanese armor makers, known for their craftsmanship and expertise in the art of creating katchu (Japanese armor). It is considered one of the oldest documented working guilds of katchu shi (armor artisans) and holds a significant place in the history of armor production in Japan.
Hasso-no-Byo 八双鋲 is a type of rivet known for its large split shank and dome-shaped head, often resembling a chrysanthemum. It was originally employed to secure sections of Sane-ita to the Kanagu Mawari."
Hasso-no-Kanamono 八双金物 is a rectangular washer that is frequently adorned with intricate decorations. It is commonly used in conjunction with the Hasso-no-Byo rivet. It is also occasionally referred to as Aida-no-Kanamono.
Hata 旗- A flag with mark of a warrior's army since the Heian period.
Hatomune: A cuirass distinguished by a prominent central medial ridge running down the front.
Hatsuburi 半首 - This is an iron-made piece of armor used to protect the forehead and both cheeks.
Hidari Dou no Ita is an independent sectional piece of armor designed to protect the left-hand side of the torso. It is specifically crafted to provide coverage and defense to that particular area.
Hidari Waki Dou is a component known as the Left Hand Side Armpit Plate. It is an integral part of the Kanagu Mawari.
Higo yumi 弓胎弓 - A representative bow used during the Sengoku period.
Hiito Odoshi 緋絲威 - refers to the lacing made with threads dyed in a vibrant red color with a slight yellowish tint, using the roots of the madder plant as the dye.
Hikae no O refers to a cord located on the lower right-hand edge of a Kyubi no Ita. Its purpose is to prevent the plate from swinging.
Hikiawase no O 引合緒 is a term that literally translates to "draw together cord." These cords are attached to both sides of a cuirass and are used to pull the dou closed where the two edges come together.
Hikimawashi 引廻 - refers to a ring made from the hair of a yak from the Tibetan region or the tail hair of a horse, which is wrapped around the lower part of the bowl (Hachi) with a cloth or leather string.
Hinawajyu, also known as Tanegashima, refers to a matchlock gun that was introduced to Japan in the 16th century. Tanegashima is named after the Portuguese ship Tanegashima, which brought the firearm to Japan. It played a significant role in transforming warfare and had a profound impact on Japanese history.
Hineno Jikoro 日根野ジコロ - refers to a type of Shikoro (the part of the helmet that protects the back of the neck) used from the late Muromachi period.
Hioi 日覆 - A cloth attached to the back of the "Jingasa" (a type of helmet) used by Ashigaru.
Hira Kozane 平小札 - This is a flat small plate (Kozane) that does not have any raised parts, seen in the Heian and Kamakura periods.
Hira Yamamichi Gashira is a term that literally translates to "even mountain path leading edge." It is a romanticized name used to describe a specific pattern of undulating edge cut along the upper horizontal length of a section of Ita Mono. This pattern adds an aesthetic appeal to the piece and is often used in traditional Japanese craftsmanship.
Hiro Sode 広袖 - This is a type of sleeve that widens from top to bottom and curves inward.
Hishinui is a term used to describe a cross knot. It serves as both a structural binding on scale armor and an aesthetic detail on plate armor. This type of knotting technique is used to secure the scales or plates together, providing strength and stability to the armor. Additionally, the hishinui knot adds a decorative element to the overall appearance of the armor, enhancing its visual appeal.
Hishinui no Ita 菱縫板refers to the lowest suspended Sane Ita on a scale armor. It is the section of the armor that hangs down the furthest and is typically adorned with the hishinui cross knot. This decorative knot not only adds visual interest to the armor but also helps secure the scales in place, ensuring the overall integrity and functionality of the armor.
Hishi Toji refers to structural cross knot bindings found anywhere on an item of armor, excluding the Hishinui No Ita. These cross knots are utilized to securely fasten sections of plate or scale armor together. They serve a structural purpose, enhancing the stability and durability of the armor while also adding an aesthetic detail to its overall design.
Hishiki Gessan refers to the two rearmost Gessan on a Tosei Dou. The Gessan are horizontal metal plates or scales that make up the body of the armor. The Hishiki Gessan specifically denote the plates located at the back of the Tosei Dou, providing protection to the wearer's lower back region. These plates play a crucial role in ensuring the armor's defensive capabilities and overall structural integrity.
Hitaiate 額当 - This is a piece of armor used to protect the forehead.
Hitsushiki no Kusazuri refers to the two rearmost Kusazuri on pre-Tosei Dou designs of a cuirass. In the context of armor, Kusazuri are protective hanging plates that hang from the bottom edge of the cuirass to safeguard the lower torso and upper legs. Hitsushiki no Kusazuri specifically denotes the two plates located at the back of the cuirass. However, it's worth noting that in the case of a Yoroi, Hitsushiki no Kusazuri refers to a single Kusazuri instead of two.
Hokei Ita refers to a generally rectangular plate that is used to construct Tanko. Tanko is a type of Japanese armor that consists of multiple overlapping rectangular plates, known as Ita, which are attached together to form a protective armor piece. The Hokei Ita specifically refers to one of these rectangular plates used in the construction of Tanko armor. These plates are carefully designed and arranged to provide effective protection while allowing for flexibility and movement during combat.
Hoko 鉾 - A weapon that has a long handle attached to a sword with blades on both sides.
Hon kozane 本小札 - This is a small plate made of leather or iron, about 5 to 7 cm in length. Compared to the single plate ""Itazane"" and the simplified ""Iyozane"", this name was used to mean the original small plate "Kozane"
Hooate 頬当 - This is an old term for ""Half Cheek"" (Hanpo). It is a piece of armor that protects from both cheeks to the chin, without the nose part.
Hoshi kabuto 星兜 - Means "star helmet", refers to a helmet where the rivets (Byou: metal fittings) that hold the long, narrow plates (Hagiita) made of iron or leather protrude from the bowl (Hachi) that covers the head.
Hotei Dou, also known as the "Buddha Cuirass," refers to a type of Tosei Dou armor that has been skillfully embossed or finished to imitate the appearance of a smooth, bare torso of a plump male figure, particularly resembling a Buddhist deity. Although Hotei Dou shares some resemblance to Gakibara Dou in terms of its visual aesthetics, it lacks the depiction of exposed or protruding ribs.
Hotoke is an aesthetic style that involves fabricating or finishing a Tosei Dou armor to achieve a smooth facade. In this style, the armor is carefully crafted to have a sleek and polished appearance, devoid of intricate patterns or textures. The emphasis is on creating a clean and minimalistic design, enhancing the overall elegance and simplicity of the armor.
Hotoke Dou 仏胴 refers to a Tosei Dou armor that is specifically fabricated or finished with a smooth external facade. The emphasis of Hotoke Dou is on achieving a sleek and polished appearance, without intricate patterns or textures. The armor is carefully crafted to have a clean and minimalistic design, enhancing its overall elegance and simplicity. The smooth facade of the Hotoke Dou adds to its aesthetic appeal and gives it a refined and sophisticated look.
Ikaboshi Kabuto 厳星兜: The term "厳星兜" or "Ikaboshi Kabuto" refers to a type of helmet that was popular during the Heian period, often attached to Oyoroi.
Ichimaibari Sujifuse Kabuto 一枚張筋伏の兜 : refer to the kind of kabuto that the bowl part of the helmet was hammered out into a hemispherical shape from a single iron plate.
Ichi Mai Dou refers to any form of cuirass that is assembled as one continuous piece, similar to a Haramaki. In this type of armor, the cuirass is crafted or constructed as a single unit without any separate components. The term "Ichi Mai Dou" emphasizes the unity and seamless construction of the cuirass, where the front and back sections are seamlessly connected to form a cohesive whole. This design provides a streamlined and unbroken appearance, enhancing the mobility and protection offered by the armor.
Ichi Mai Maze refers to a specific method of assembling Sane Ita, which involves the use of leather and iron scales in an alternating pattern, maintaining a one-to-one ratio. In this technique, the armor is constructed by interlocking individual scales made from both leather and iron materials. The leather scales are placed alongside the iron scales, creating a pattern where each leather scale is followed by an iron scale, and vice versa.
Ichimonji Gashira refers to a type of Kozane armor scales that are predominantly rectangular in shape, characterized by a flat upper edge line. These rectangular scales, crafted from materials such as metal or leather, are arranged in an overlapping pattern to form a protective armor surface.
Ichimonji is a rounded, triangular strip that has a cross-sectional shape. It is made of E Gawa sheathed wood and is specifically designed to be fitted to the rear of a scale armor. It serves the purpose of disguising the height difference between the Oshitsuke no Ita and Kesho no Ita, which are two plates of the armor that are laced together.When the Oshitsuke no Ita and Kesho no Ita are connected, there can be a visible height difference between the two plates. The Ichimonji strip is strategically placed at the rear of the armor to help create a smooth and uniform appearance, concealing the disparity in height. By blending the two plates seamlessly, the Ichimonji strip enhances the overall aesthetics of the armor and ensures a cohesive and harmonious look.
Imuke no Kusazuri refers to the kusazuri located on the left-hand side of a yoroi, which is a type of traditional Japanese armor. Additionally, this term can be used to describe the application of two or more kusazuri plates suspended from the left-hand side of any other form of pre-Tosei cuirass design.
Inu Gawa translates to "dog hide" in English. It refers to the use of dog leather in various contexts. The term "Inu Gawa" highlights the specific type of hide being referred to, which is obtained from dogs. Dog leather, like other types of animal hides, can be utilized in the production of various leather goods, such as clothing, accessories, or traditional crafts. The term emphasizes the source of the leather material, which is derived from the hides of dogs.
Iri Hasso is a term that can be used to describe a generally rectangular kanamono fixture characterized by inward incisions on the horizontal ends of the piece. These incisions are shaped like soft arrowheads, creating distinctive indentations.The term "Iri Hasso" emphasizes the specific design feature of the kanamono fixture, highlighting the soft arrowhead-shaped indentations on the horizontal ends. This design adds a decorative element to the fixture and can be found in various applications, such as traditional Japanese armor or other ornamental metalwork.
Isei Dou refers to any form of Tosei Dou armor that does not conform in its method of construction with any of the other major identified styles of cuirass. It represents a category of armor that deviates from the standard construction techniques used in other recognized cuirass styles.
Isei Gusoku refers to a complete set of armor designed specifically around an unconventional cuirass style known as the Isei Dou.
Ita Zane 板札 is a term used to describe a flat board-like section of armor crafted from a solid plate of metal or leather.
Ito Bishi, translated as "cord diamonds," is a term used to describe hishinui patterns formed by weaving cotton, hemp, or silk odoshi cords. These intricate designs are often referred to as "laced diamonds" in English.
Ito Odoshi Ge 威毛, translated as "cord lacing hair," refers to woven lacing made from materials such as cotton and hemp. It is commonly used in the construction of traditional armor to create intricate and decorative patterns.
Iroiro Odoshi 色々威 - A kind of Odoshi made with threads of three to five colors such as red, purple, white, and navy blue.
Ieji refers to cloth in Japanese. It is a general term used to describe various types of fabric or textile materials. Cloth plays a significant role in various aspects of Japanese culture, including clothing, traditional crafts, and ceremonial practices.
Iyozane 伊予札 refers to a broad form of scales used in armor construction. These scales are arranged in a way that minimizes overlap between neighboring scales. Iyozane can feature several different styles of sane gashira, which are the central plates or rivets that connect the scales together. This arrangement allows for flexibility and mobility while providing effective protection.
Jabara Ito, translated as "serpent's belly," refers to multi-colored braided cords used as piping in traditional Japanese garments. It was commonly used during the Edo period as a substitute for fusegumi, which are decorative fabric trims. Jabara Ito added an ornamental touch to clothing, bringing vibrant colors and intricate patterns to the garment's edges or seams.
Jikabari, translated as "directly applied," is a term used in armor terminology. It refers to the practice of adhering leather or fabric directly to the interior surface of a cuirass to form a liner. This liner provides added comfort, padding, and sometimes additional protection for the wearer. The process of jikabari involves directly attaching the material to the inner surface of the cuirass, ensuring a snug and secure fit.
Jingasa 陣笠 - refers to a style of shallow hat that typically has a conical shape. It is a traditional headwear commonly found in Japanese culture.
Jinbaori 陣羽織 - a haori (a traditional Japanese jacket) that was worn over armor.
Kabuto 兜 is a helmet that includes the shikoro neck guard. It is a distinctive headgear commonly worn in traditional Japanese armor.
Kabuto Hachi 兜鉢 - refers to the main body of the helmet, which is made in a hemispherical shape to fit the shape of the head.
Kaga Gusoku 加賀具足refers to a type of tosei dou, which is a modern-style cuirass, produced in the Kaga region of Japan during the period from the mid-17th century to the mid-18th century. The armor makers responsible for crafting Kaga Dou were employed by the Maeda Han, a powerful feudal domain during that time. Kaga Dou is known for its distinctive characteristics and craftsmanship, reflecting the regional style and the patronage of the Maeda clan.
Kabuto Mino 兜蓑 - refers to a decoration that is attached to cover the entire helmet.
Kaburaya 鏑矢 - an arrow with a spherical part shaped like a "Kabura" attached
Kaji Kabuto is a unique form of lightweight fire helmet worn by samurai during fire fighting efforts in the Edo period of Japan. It is specifically designed for protection against fire hazards. The Kaji Kabuto features a protective cloth face and neck guard cape, which shielded the wearer from heat, smoke, and falling debris during firefighting operations. This specialized helmet allowed samurai to actively participate in firefighting duties while retaining some level of protection and mobility.
Kaki Bishi, translated as "brushed diamond," refers to hishinui patterns that have red lacquer applied over them. This technique is used to highlight the presence of the hishinui when they would otherwise be obscured under the urushi coating. By applying red lacquer, the intricate diamond patterns become more visible and add an aesthetic touch to the armor's appearance. The term "brushed diamond" captures the essence of this decorative technique.
Kami Zane, which translates to 'paper scale,' refers to sheets that are composed of numerous layers of recycled paper fused together.
Kamon is a traditional heraldic emblem used in Japanese culture to represent a family or clan. It serves as a distinctive symbol that carries historical and cultural significance for a particular lineage.
Kan Swivel Ring—a revolutionary accessory that offers unmatched functionality and style.
Kanagu Mawari 金具廻, which translates to "metal pieces all around," is a generic term referring to the solid upper body plate portions of a cuirass. Traditionally constructed from metal, the Kanagu Mawari components found on a pre-Tosei cuirass may include the Muna Ita, Oshitsuke No Ita, any existing Waki Ita, and the Wadagami. For a Tosei Dou, the Kanagu Mawari is represented by the Oni Damari No Ita, Boko No Ita, all Waki Ita, and the Wadagami.
Kanamono 金物 is a broad term used to describe any metal fixture attached to a piece of armor. These fixtures, known as kanamono, serve various purposes, including practical and structural functions, as well as aesthetic enhancements.
Kanasai-bo 金砕棒 - It is a rod-shaped object that is reinforced by shaping hard wood such as evergreen oak, chestnut, and oak
Kanmuri No Ita refers to the uppermost solid plate found on a Sendan No Ita, Kyubi No Ita, or Sode.
Kanto Dou is an alternative name for a particular type of Go Mai Dou, a type of Japanese armor. This distinctive variety of Go Mai Dou was originally produced and widely preferred in the northern Tohoku region of Japan. It is also referred to as Oshu Dou and Sendai Dou.
Kara Aya Odoshi is a specific form of Odoshi Ge, a type of armor lacing technique. It is characterized by an inner band of fabric that is covered by an external sheath made of imported Chinese twill.
Karage refers to horizontal or lateral bindings utilized on pre-Yoroi types of armor. These bindings are employed to connect individual Sane (armor plates) together, forming rows.
Kara Kozane refers to a type of Kozane scale that is molded in such a way that it has a subtle S-shaped cross-section, resulting in a scale that resembles a roof tile in appearance.
Karakuri Gusari is a type of Kusari, which is a Japanese chainmail armor. In Karakuri Gusari, the cut ends of the individual rings of mail are closed together using small round rivets. This technique provides a secure and seamless connection between the rings, ensuring the integrity of the armor.
Karami No Ana refers to the uppermost holes in a Kozane, which are used for threading and drawing the connective Kedate portions of lacing upwards towards the next lamellar section. In a conventional Kozane, the top hole in the left-hand column of apertures and the top two holes on the right-hand column of holes are collectively referred to as Karami No Ana. Additionally, on an Iyozane scale, the one additional hole in the upper left-hand column of apertures is also referred to as Karami No Ana.
Katahada Nugi Dou 片肌脱胴, or "bare shoulder cuirass" in literal translation, is a distinctive type of Nio Dou. It is designed to give the appearance of one shoulder being exposed, following the traditional attire of practitioners of Japanese Kyudo (traditional archery). The cuirass is fabricated in a manner that creates the illusion of a bared shoulder, providing a unique and visually striking aesthetic.
Katchu is a generic term in Japanese that literally means "armour and helmet." It encompasses the overall concept of Japanese armor. The term is derived from the Sino-Japanese reading of the kanji characters representing "yoroi" (armour) and "kabuto" (helmet). Together, these components form the foundational elements of traditional Japanese armor.
Karuta Gane 骨牌金 refers to rectangular protective plates of armor. These Karuta Gane plates can vary in size, but they are typically similar in size to playing cards. The name "Karuta" is derived from the Portuguese word "carta," meaning playing card. This term was adopted in Japan in the 16th century when playing cards were introduced to the country. The resemblance in size between Karuta Gane and playing cards likely influenced the naming of these armor plates.
Karuta Katabira is a protective garment that resembles a coat. It is designed with either an internal or external layer of card-shaped Karuta Gane protective plates. These plates, reminiscent of playing cards, offer additional defense. In the construction of Karuta Katabira, the Karuta Gane plates are typically fastened together using intermediate bands of Kusari, a type of chainmail. This combination of Karuta Gane plates and Kusari bands provides a layered and flexible defense for the wearer.
Kasa Jikoro 笠ジコロ is a style of Shikoro, which is a neck guard attached to a Kabuto helmet. The Kasa Jikoro is characterized by its wide and often almost horizontal umbrella-like design. It extends outwards from the base of the helmet, providing additional protection to the neck and upper shoulders. The shape of the Kasa Jikoro resembles an open umbrella, adding a distinctive and visually appealing element to the overall design of the Kabuto helmet.
Kate O 掛緒, meaning "shoulder cord" in literal translation, refers to a cord that is anchored to the Tsubo No O. It was worn over the shoulder and diagonally across the body to assist in keeping a Waidate (a type of armor) in position against the right side of the torso. The Kateo played a crucial role in securing the Waidate and maintaining its proper placement during activities, ensuring optimal protection and comfort for the wearer.
Kata TsumaDouri Odoshi is a lacing pattern used in armor where an upward-pointing wedge is formed down the edge of a laced section. This effect is achieved through the use of one or more contrasting colors of Odoshi Ge, which is the lacing material. The contrasting colors create a visually striking design element, adding a dynamic and eye-catching accent to the armored section.
Kata Yoroi 肩甲: This is a piece of armor used primarily to protect the area from the shoulder to the elbow. It was used in the ""Keikou"" and ""Tankou"" armors during the Kofun period
Katchu Shi is a term in Japanese referring to an armor maker or armorer. These skilled craftsmen specialize in the creation, repair, and maintenance of Japanese armor, known as Katchu. They possess extensive knowledge of traditional armor-making techniques, materials, and design principles. Katchu Shi play a vital role in preserving the artistry and functionality of Japanese armor, ensuring its continued use and appreciation.
Kawa Bishi is a term used to describe Hishinui, which are decorative lacing patterns, that have been bound using dyed lengths of leather. In this technique, the lacing is done using leather cords that have been dyed in various colors. The Kawa Bishi lacing adds an extra layer of visual interest and customization to the armor, showcasing the skill and artistry of the armor maker.
Kawadoro 韋所 This is a general term for the parts of armor made using leather.
Kawa Fukurin refers to a slender strip of leather that is fastened, sewn, or attached in some way around the outer perimeter of a piece of armor.
Kawari Kabuto 変わり兜 - The term "Kawari Kabuto" refers to a general term for helmets that have various decorations applied to the bowl (Hachi) part, such as leather, Japanese paper, and metal, or the shape itself is changed.
Kawa Shiki is a reinforcing leather strip used to provide additional strength and support to various items.
Kawa Toji are leather thongs specifically employed to bind sectional pieces or armor plating together, ensuring a secure and cohesive construction.
Kawa Tsuzumi 韋包, which translates to "leather wrapped," refers to a section of plate or scale armor that features a front panel covered with smoked or dyed leather. This leather covering adds an additional layer of protection and aesthetic appeal to the armor.
Kawa Zane is a term used to describe a scale made from nerigawa. Nerigawa is a specific type of leather derived from the skin of a shark or ray. These scales, crafted from nerigawa, are utilized in various armor designs, providing both protection and a unique visual texture.
Kawa Odoshi Ge, which translates to "leather lacing hair," refers to a narrow strip of dyed, smoked, or stenciled leather that is approximately 1 cm in width. This strip is primarily used for lacing and binding purposes, often employed in the construction and assembly of armor or other leather-based items.
Kebiki Odoshi 毛引威, which literally means "hair spread all over," is commonly referred to as "full lacing." It is a closely spaced method of lacing utilized with scale and replicated scale types of armor. In this technique, the lacing is tightly and evenly spaced, covering the entire surface area of the armor. This method provides secure attachment and allows for flexibility and mobility while maintaining the aesthetic appeal of the armor.
Kebori, known as "hair engraving," refers to the intricate fine line designs that are commonly etched into the facades of the various kanamono (metal fittings) fitted to a set of armor. These delicate engravings add a decorative touch to the armor, enhancing its visual appeal. The term "hair engraving" is derived from the meticulous and intricate nature of the engraved lines, which resemble the fine strands of hair.
Kedate no ana refers to the holes in a kozane or iyozane scale armor through which the connective odoshi ge (lacing) from a lower length of sane ita (scale row) is threaded. In a kozane scale, the kedate no ana are located as the second hole from the top in the left-hand column of apertures and the third hole from the top in the right-hand column. On an iyozane scale, the kedate no ana are positioned as the third hole from the top in both columns of apertures. These holes play a crucial role in the assembly and connectivity of the armor scales, ensuring a secure and functional construction.
Keikou is a form of lamellar armor that originated in the 5th century. It is a type of armor construction where individual rectangular or polygonal plates, known as lamellae, are connected together to form a protective garment. Keikou armor was prevalent in East Asia, particularly in Japan and China, during the ancient period. It provided flexibility, durability, and effective protection to warriors during combat.
Kesho no ita 化粧板 refers to a leather-covered strip of wood that clamps down and covers the sane gashira (edge of scales) of a length of sane ita (row of scales) where it is affixed to a solid plate. This component serves as a protective cover and reinforcement for the edge of the scales, providing additional strength and durability to the armor. The leather covering helps secure the wood strip in place and adds an aesthetic element to the armor's design.
Kikko, which literally means "tortoise shell," refers to a type of brigandine armor. It is constructed using small hexagonal plates made of leather or iron. These plates are typically laced to an internal layer of fabric, which is covered and backed before being outline stitched. This method ensures that the plates are securely attached to the fabric layer. In some instances, if the brigandine is made of metal plates, it is also referred to as Kikko Gane. The hexagonal shape of the plates resembles the pattern seen on a tortoise shell, hence the name. Kikko armor provided protection and flexibility to the wearer while maintaining a distinctive appearance.
Kikko Katabira is a coat-like protective garment that is designed with either a covering of, or an internal layer quilted with, kikko. Kikko refers to small hexagonal plates made from materials such as leather or iron. In the case of Kikko Katabira, these plates are incorporated into the construction of the garment to provide additional protection. The kikko plates may be visible on the exterior of the coat or placed internally and quilted into the fabric. This unique design offers both defensive capabilities and flexibility of movement, making it a practical choice for warriors and individuals requiring protective clothing.
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Kinpaku, meaning "gold pressed" in Japanese, is a technique that involves applying gold leaf to the surface of armor using lacquer.
Kintama Kakushi, translated as "golden ball hiding" in Japanese, appropriately describes the middle gessan that is suspended from the mae dou section of a tosei dou, which serves to cover the groin area.
Kinu refers to silk in Japanese.
Kinu Ito Odoshi Ge, which translates to "silk cord lacing hair" in Japanese, refers to lacing that is woven using silk. Since silk lacing was highly prevalent, the term "Odoshi Ge" is essentially synonymous with the idea of lacing made from silk.
Kiritsuke Kozane 切付小札is a solid plate with a lacquer finish intentionally crafted to give the appearance of a length of sane ita, which is a type of armor plate made from individual scales assembled together.
Kiritsuke Kozane Dou- 切付小札胴 - is a dou make of Kiritsuke Kozane
Kirisaki 切裂 -a type of pointer, such as a small flag, that was either inserted into the back of a torso or held by a servant.
Kiwame Fuda refers to armor appraisal certificates that were first issued in the early 18th century by Myochin Munesuke and his grandfather Kunimichi. Although these certificates hold value in their own right, the historical accuracy of these appraisal certificates is highly questionable.
Kobire refers to small, subtly convex and generally half-oval plates or sections of quilted brigandine that are attached to the outer edges of the wadagami on tosei dou. Their purpose is to protect the upper shoulders.
Kobusa is a small, specially tied knotted bow in the shape of a crucifix. Originally, it was suspended from swivel rings attached to the rear of helmet bowls. However, it is also commonly suspended from fixtures such as the saihai no kan on Edou period gusoku.
Ko Gusoku refers to the items of armor that were worn during a preparatory stage before donning a yoroi (traditional Japanese armor). Initially, the Ko Gusoku consisted of the waidate (waist armor) and suneate (shin guards) only. However, by the late 14th century, it also included wearing a single kote (sleeve) on the left arm and a nodowa (throat guard).
Kokusa is a special thick mixture of urushi (lacquer), often combined with fibers, that was used to build up thick base layers on kozane (individual armor scales).
Komori Tsuke refers to an intermediate band of reinforced leather used to connect one section of the arm armor.
Kon 紺 refers to indigo blue in Japanese.
Konito Odoshi 紺絲威 - Konito Odoshi is one of the types of Odoshi in armor. It is made using threads dyed in indigo blue.
Koshi Gusari are small panels of fabric that can either have mail-covered facades or internal layers of kusari (chainmail). They are suspended by a belt or toggles from the base of a cuirass to provide additional protection for the exposed areas of the lower torso behind the yurugi ito (protective cords).
Kōshi Gusari refers to mail arranged in an open grid-like pattern. This arrangement is commonly used on the inner arm of kote (sleeves) as it allows the arm to flex without the mail binding onto itself or causing bulk on the inside of the armor.
Koshi Kawa Tsuke Gessan refers to removable gessan that are attached to the base of a cuirass by means of toggles or cords. They are specifically designed to provide hip armor. They can take the form of one continuous belt of gessan or several independently attached gessan pendants.
Koshi Makura, meaning "lower back pillow" in Japanese, is a small stuffed pillow made of fabric or leather. It is placed behind the base of a machi uke (waist armor) to absorb some of the reflexive strain placed on the holder.
Koshi O is a length of cord that is fastened to a waidate (waist armor). The purpose of the cord is to secure the waidate to the body.
Koshi Tori, meaning "waist around" in Japanese, is an aesthetic feature found in the lower bands of the nagakawa of a sugake odoshi-laced cuirass with an iyozane facade. These lower bands are fabricated from kozane (individual armor scales) or feature kiritsuke kozane facades and are laced in kebiki odoshi (a specific lacing style).
Koshi Zane, or "waist scale," refers to long specialized scales used to connect the upper half of a lamellar keiko with the lower skirt of the cuirass. They serve as a transitional section between the two parts.
Kote is an armored sleeve worn to protect the arm.
Kote Bukuro is the fabric sleeve bodice portion of a kote, which provides the main covering and structure for the arm.
Kote Ura refers to the inner liner fabric of a kote, which is the material on the inside that comes into contact with the wearer's arm.
Kozakura Gawa 小桜韋, which translates to "small cherry blossom leather" in Japanese, is a type of e gawa (leather) that features a pattern of small cherry blossoms offset against a contrasting colored background field. For example, it could have white cherry blossoms on a blue field or green cherry blossoms on a yellow field.
Kozakura Gawa Kigaeshi Odoshi 小桜韋黄返威 - refers to the Kozakura Gawa (Cherry Blossom Leather) that has been further dyed with yellow.
Kozane 小札, meaning "small scale" in Japanese, refers to a common variety of scales used in armor. They can be made of rawhide or metal and are arranged and linked together to create armor plates.
Kozane Yoroi 小札甲: This is a type of armor made by connecting over 1,000 small rectangular iron plates called ‘Kozane’. It became mainstream around the late Kofun period, replacing the short armor (Tankou) that was used until the middle of the Kofun period.
Kuchi Gane, literally "mouth metal," is a metal end cap that is fitted to the upper end of an uke zutsu (sleeve). It serves as a protective covering for the end of the sleeve.
Kuda is a small tubular metal bead that is threaded over a closed loop of cord. Its purpose is to protect the cord from wear. It is commonly used in the construction of sode (sleeve) armor.
Kumade 熊手 - is a long-handled weapon that has been in use since the late Heian period.
Kumihimo refers to the technique of applying long lengths of leather vertically to the façade of a lamellar armor. In this method, each row of scales has its heads individually laced to the connecting Kumihimo.
Kurijimeo 繰締緒, which translates to "pull cord tight loop," is a term used to describe a closed loop of cord that is securely attached to the base of a dou. This loop serves as an anchor point for attaching a dou jime, which is used to cinch a cuirass tightly around the waist, ensuring a snug fit.
Kurijime no Kan refers to a curved metal tube that is placed over a Kurijime no O no Wana to protect the cord from wear when a dou jime cord is looped around it.
Kusari refers to mail, a type of armor made up of interlocking metal rings.
Kusari Katabira Mabizashi refers to the visor-like portion of a kabuto, which is the helmet worn in traditional Japanese armor.
Kusazuri refers to the protective hip armor pendants that are suspended from the base of cuirasses used before the mid-16th century.
Kusuri Ire is another term for Hanakami Bukuro.
Kurokawa Odoshi 黒革威 - A kind of Odoshi made with leather cords that have been deeply dyed with indigo, resulting in a black leather finish.
Kuwagata 鍬形 - refers to a type of decoration on a helmet, specifically a type of Maedate (front decoration).
Kyubi no Ita 鳩尾板 is a long, narrow protective plate that was suspended from the left hand wadagami of a cuirass. Its purpose was to help protect the left armpit area of the torso.
Mabisashi 眉庇 - refers to a metal fitting that is set up on the front of the helmet bowl (Kabuto Hachi).
Machiuke 待受 - his refers to the part that supports the lower part of the "Receiving Tube" (Uketsutsu), where flags and decorations are inserted.
Mae Bukuro refers to Hanakami Bukuro, which is a type of bag or pouch used in armor.
Maedate 前立 - refers to a decorative object attached to the very front of a helmet (Kabuto).
Maedate Dai 前立台 - a base for attaching a Maedate (a decorative object) to the helmet bowl (Kabuto Hachi).
Mae Dou is the area of a cuirass, such as the front section of a Ni Mai Dou, that protects the front half of the torso. When the Mae Dou is an independent solid piece of armor specifically designed to protect the front of the torso, such as in the case of a Go Mai Dou, it is referred to as Mae Dou No Ita.
Mae Dou No Ita specifically refers to an independent solid piece of armor that is designed to protect the front of the torso.
Mae Migi Dou No Ita" refers to an independent sectional piece of armor that is designed to cover the front right-hand side of the torso. It is a versatile component that can be used with various armor types such as Mai Dou, San Mai, Yon Mai, and Roku Mai Dou.
Mae No Kusazuri" denotes the front kusazuri on a yoroi or the middle kusazuri suspended from a Mae Dou. It specifically pertains to the frontal portion of a pre-Tosei design of cuirass.
Mae Tateage 前立挙 refers to the protective sections of armor located between the top of the Nagakawa and the base of the Muna Ita on pre-Tosei Dou forms of cuirass. It can also refer to the Oni Damari No Ita of a Tosei Dou.
Maki Doume, literally means "wrap tied." These are long cords that are attached to the cuff of a Kote Bukuro. When the sleeve is being worn, these cords are wrapped around the cuff and tied to secure it in place.
Maki E refers to the decorative designs applied to lacquered finishes. These designs are created by skillfully applying sprinkled granules or small individually positioned flecks of gold, silver, and other alloy metals onto wet lacquered surfaces.
Makikomi Fukurin is a rounded edge trim that is formed by rolling the upper edges of solid metal plates over upon themselves. This technique creates a visually appealing and protective trim.
Manchira is a type of brigandine vest specifically designed to be worn under a cuirass as auxiliary armor. It provides additional protection and support when worn in combination with a cuirass.
Maru Gattari is a type of gattari bracket where the central holder is circular in shape. It is designed to accommodate a round uke zutsu, which is another component of the armor.
Maruhimo, translates to "round cord." It refers to a cord or rope that has a circular or rounded shape.
Maruki Yumi 丸木弓 - a single-material bow made by simply stringing a round timber that has flexibility.
Masakari 鉞 - An larger and thicker axe
Mei Mi No Ana is a small opening intentionally tailored or crafted in a liner. It is specifically designed to allow the viewing of an engraved signature, often found in the liners of helmet bowls and cuirasses. This feature enables the display and appreciation of the engraved signature of a katchi shi.
Mengu 面具 is a term that literally means "face equipment." It is a generic term commonly used to refer to any form of protective facial armor. Mengu or Menpo serves the purpose of safeguarding the face during combat or other activities where facial protection is necessary.
Me no Shita Bou 目の下頬 - This is a piece of armor used in the modern armor (Tousei Gusoku), which covers the area from the eyes down and includes a nose shape.
Men'ōchū 綿襖甲, which literally means "cotton coat," refers to a lesser-known form of protective overcoat or garment that resembles brigandine or jazerant. It was utilized in Japan between the late 6th and 9th centuries AD. However, specific details about Men'ōchū are still largely unknown.
Mete No Kusazuri, literally means "horse hand hip armor." This term refers to the two kusazuri pieces that are suspended from the right side of pre-Tosei designs of cuirass. It does not include the kusazuri portion of a waidate. Sometimes, these kusazuri are also referred to as the Mete Saki.
Mete No Gessan refers to the gessan that is suspended from the right-hand side of a Tosei Dou. The gessan is a specific component of armor, but additional details about its design and purpose are not provided.
Mete Saki is a term used to refer to the same component as Mete No Kusazuri. It pertains to the kusazuri that is suspended from the right side of pre-Tosei designs of cuirass. The term Mete Saki is used as an alternative name for Mete No Kusazuri.
Migi Waki Dou denotes the armpit plate(s) located on the right-hand side of a cuirass. These plates are specifically designed to provide protection to the armpit area.
Mikazuki Ita 三日月板 - This is a tool shaped like a crescent moon, used to protect the back of the neck.
Mimi Ito" refers to the ear cord used in traditional Japanese armor. It consists of long strands of vertical cords made from a slightly wider weave of connective Odoshi Ge. Its main purpose is to lace the outer edges of armor pieces. The Mimi Ito typically showcases a peppered pattern within the weave and is often chosen in a color that contrasts with the primary Odoshi Ge.
Mimi Zane" refers to the ear scale used in traditional Japanese armor. It is called so because it resembles the shape of the right half of a regular scale (kozane). Mimi Zane is specifically designed to be applied to the outer edges of a sane ita, which is a protective board in the armor. Its purpose is to maintain a consistent thickness throughout the board, extending all the way to the outer edges.
Mitsume Zane, refers to the three-eyed scale used in traditional Japanese armor. It is named as such because it is a special kozane that is one-third wider than the standard scale, allowing for three layers of overlap. These scales also feature an additional column of apertures compared to regular scales.
Mitsumono, literally means "three things" in Japanese. It is a term used to describe the three items that form a complete set of early classical period armor. These three items include a kabuto (helmet), a yoroi (suit of armor), and a pair of ō-sode (large shoulder guards).
Mizuhiki, refers to long decorative silk twill-covered wooden splints or tubular plant stems that are anchored under the keshō no ita, which is a decorative board in traditional Japanese armor. Mizuhiki is used for aesthetic purposes, adding visual appeal to the armor.
Mizunomi no O 水吞の緒 - This is a cord located on the backside of the sleeve.
Mochitate 持楯 - A small wooden shield that was used from the Yayoi period onwards.
Mōgami Dou 最上胴, Mogami is a method of cuirass construction in Japanese armor. In this construction technique, each layer of the dou (body armor) is assembled using a series of hinged protective plates that are permanently joined together. These plates are secured vertically using lengths of sugake odoshi, a type of lacing or stitching. This method helps in creating a flexible and sturdy cuirass.
Mokusei Katchū, refers to "wood made armor" in Japanese. It is a type of armor that primarily utilizes wood as the main protective material. This type of armor may incorporate various wooden components such as plates, splints, or other wooden elements to provide defense.
Mongara Odoshi, is a lacing style used in traditional Japanese armor. It involves creating a simple design or shape by using contrasting colors of Odoshi Ge, which are the cords or laces that secure the armor pieces together. By using different colors, patterns, or arrangements of the laces, a visually striking and decorative effect is achieved.
Momonari Kabuto 桃形兜 - a kind of kabutto resembles the shape of a peach
Moriage, derived from the Japanese words 'mori' meaning 'built up,' is a term utilized to depict the generous application of lacquer on the exposed surface of a scale. This technique is employed to faithfully recreate the aesthetic of scales crafted in the Kara Kozane style."
Muna Koshi Tori, derived from the Japanese words 'muna' meaning 'chest' and 'koshi' meaning 'waist around,' refers to a decorative technique used in the finishing of a Tosei Dou armor. This technique involves the application of kebiki odoshi laced kozane or kiritsuke kozane scales in bands around the upper mae tateage and lower sections of the nagakawa. Meanwhile, the upper bands of the nagakawa are adorned with an alternative finishing method, adding visual interest to the armor."
Muna Ita 胸板, refers to the uppermost solid plate section of armor found on the mae dou portion of a pre-16th century Tosei Dou. It is a key component of the kanagu mawari, which encompasses the various fittings and attachments of the armor. The Muna Ita serves as a protective plate and is situated at the forefront of the armor, providing defense for the wearer."
Muna Tori is a decorative style that translates to "chest around." It involves the application of aesthetic finishes to a Tosei Dou, a type of cuirass. In this style, one or more bands of Kebiki Odoshi laced Kozane or Kiritsuke Kozane scales are placed across the front portion of the cuirass known as Mae Tateage. These bands create a visual contrast with the rest of the cuirass, which is finished with a different facing.
Myōchin is a prestigious school of Katchūshi, or armorers, which was established by the master smith Myōchin Nobuie in the early 16th century. It gained widespread recognition and became the largest and most prolific group of armor makers in Japan from the mid-16th century onwards.is a protective garment similar to a coat that either has a covering of kusari or features an internal quilted layer of kusari.
Nagakawa 長側 refers to the section of a cuirass that extends from approximately below the base of the sternum to a line located about 1.5 cm below the navel. It typically consists of four to five horizontal bands of Sane Ita, which are protective plates.
Nagarebata 流れ旗 - A flag made by sewing a pole to the end of a long cloth and attaching it to a long pole with strings from two places.
Nakadori Odoshi 中取威 - technique from the Muromachi period, where the middle 2-3 layers of the sleeves or torso are changed to a different single color.
Naka Gusari, meaning 'middle mail,' refers to round metal Hamiawase rings used in various forms of Japanese mail. These rings lie parallel to the surface they are covering and are secured together by intermediary bands of lighter gauge wire called Kake Gusari.
Naka No Ieji, is a term used to describe an internal layer of fabric that is sandwiched between other layers of material. In the context of armor, hemp cloth was commonly used for the Naka No Ieji portions of armor items.
Naka O 中緒 - This is the most important cord for attaching the sleeve. It is attached to the ring (Kan) that is struck on the back center of the crown plate
Nanban Dou, which translates to 'southern barbarian cuirass,' refers to a cuirass that is Western or European made.
Nanban Gusari, meaning 'southern barbarian mail,' technically refers to Western-made mail. However, it is commonly used to describe Japanese-made mail that is constructed using the Western 'four-in-one' method of ring linking. This method produces a tighter mesh compared to most conventional Japanese mail constructions.
Nawame Garami refers to a single visible "stitch" in the Nawame Odoshi band of connective lacing. It is a distinctive element that can be observed in the lacing pattern.
Nawame Odoshi, 縄目威 meaning 'wave eye lacing,' is a method of lacing where the Nawame portions of Odoshi Ge (armor lacing) are strung diagonally upward and to the right between adjacent scales. This lacing technique creates a visually appealing wave-like pattern.
Ni Mai Dou is a term used to describe a specific type of armor comprising two sections: a front section and a back section. These two sections are connected by a hinge positioned on the left side of the torso. This innovative design ensures that the armor is not only flexible but also easy to put on and take off.
Nerigawa, refers to a type of material known as rawhide. Rawhide is derived from the skin of animals and serves multiple purposes in the realm of armor. It can be utilized to reinforce specific areas, providing additional strength and protection. Additionally, nerigawa can be incorporated as a fundamental component in the construction of various armor pieces, enhancing their overall durability and resilience.
Ninawa Musubi is the term coined for the knot tied at the midpoint of the doubled lengths of thick Maruhimo, which are positioned parallel to and traverse the surface of the Wadagami on certain variations of Tosei Dou.
Niō Dou refers to a specific type of Tosei Dou that is skillfully crafted to mimic the unclothed shape of a male torso.
Nioi Odoshi 匂威 refers to a lacing pattern in which the Odoshi Ge (armor lacing) is arranged in such a way that it transitions through various shades of a specific color, starting from dark and gradually lightening as it descends along the suspended section of the armor.
Noboribata 幟旗 - A type of flag that has rings attached to the top and the long side for passing through a pole.
Nodowa 喉輪, literally meaning "throat ring," is a type of armor consisting of a generally U-shaped plate designed to protect the neck and upper chest. It features a suspended pendant-like section that provides additional coverage and defense in those areas.
Nuinobe 縫延, which translates to "sewn spread," is a notable armor fabrication technique that emerged in the late 15th century. It involved the use of Iyozane scales that were intricately bound and laced together in a distinct manner, creating a unique armor construction.
Nuinobe Dou 縫延胴: Refers Dou make with Nuinobe technique
Hon Nuinobe Dou 本縫延胴 : This refers to a type of armor torso made using simplified small plates called ‘Iyo Plates’ (Iyozane), which are sewn together horizontally using silk threads or leather.
Nurigata Zane, translates to "lacquer stiffened scale." It refers to a length of Kozane scales that have been tightly bound together and subsequently coated with lacquer. This process results in a rigid board-like structure, enhancing the protective properties of the armor.
Nurigome refers to the thick application of Urushi, a type of lacquer, onto a surface. It is a technique used to achieve a substantial coating of lacquer for various purposes.
Nurigome Hotoke specifically refers to a Tosei Dou armor of the Hotoke variety. In this case, the smooth exterior of the cuirass is achieved by applying a thick layer of lacquer. This technique not only enhances the appearance but also provides protection and durability to the armor.
O Arame Zane translates to "big rough scale." It refers to an exceptionally wide range of Sane, which are individual armor scales or plates used in armor construction. The term signifies that these scales are larger in size and have a rough texture compared to other varieties.
Odoshi Ge, meaning "lacing hair," is a term that encompasses any type of connective lacing material used to assemble pieces of armor. It typically refers to woven forms of lacing and is commonly associated with silk lacing. Odoshi Ge plays an essential role in securing and connecting various components of armor, ensuring proper fit, flexibility, and protection.
A lacing crafted from woven material.
Okashi Gusoku 御貸具足:
Essentially referred to as a lent cuirass. It is a dou that is borrowed by a retainer serving a samurai or warlord of higher rank, taken from the latter's arsenal.
Also known as a "lent Armoured Sleeve." It refers to a pair of kote that are lent to a retainer serving a higher-ranking samurai or warlord, taken from the latter's arsenal.
Translated as "lent Shin Guards." It represents a pair of suneate that are lent to a retainer in the service of a higher-ranking samurai or warlord, borrowed from the arsenal of the latter.
Okidate 置楯 - It is a large shield that is placed on the ground for use.
Known as the "Barrel Sides Cuirass." It is a unique style of ribbed or ringed tosei dou, originally constructed by horizontally arranged plates and later vertically arranged plates fastened together with countersunk rivets.
Omodaka Odoshi 沢瀉威:
A pyramid-shaped pattern formed by utilizing lacing of a contrasting color within a large laced section of armor.
Translated as "devil stopping." It refers to the uppermost solid plate piece of armor on the mae dou section of a cuirass, positioned immediately above the mae tateage. It is a part of the kanagu mawari.
The uppermost solid plate piece of armor that runs across the top of the ushiro dou portion of a pre-tosei dou. It serves as the attachment point for the wadagami.
O Sode 大袖:
A large rectangular shield-like design of shoulder guard commonly worn in conjunction with the yoroi and other pre-tosei designs of cuirass.
Please refer to "Sendai Dou" for further information.
O Tateage 大立挙:
A style of suneate that features a prominent form of an erect brigandine panel or protective plate covering for the knee.
A complete armor grouping assembled around a cuirass made in the yoroi style. In its simplest form, an ō yoroi should include the cuirass, a kabuto (helmet), and a pair of ō sode (large shoulder guards).
An alternative name for an ō arame zane, which refers to the large-sized metallic scales used in armor construction.
Imported European woollen cloth.
An internal suspensory system fitted to some examples of tosei dou, intended to alleviate some of the weight of the armor from the wearer's shoulders.
Refers to any make of tosei dou that is fabricated with the necessary apertures to allow for the attaching of renjaku.
Roku Mai Dou:
A tosei dou in which the protective covering for the torso is formed by six independent yet conjoined pieces of armor. Many examples of roku mai dou are also ryō hikiawase, indicating that they feature overlapping construction.
A method of resist dyeing used to create decorative patterns on cloth or leather surfaces. In this technique, wax is applied to prevent dyes from adhering to certain areas, resulting in unique and intricate designs.
Rurisai Dou 瑠璃斎胴:
Refers to certain makes of tosei dou that are fabricated with small, often hinged douor-like openings in the front or side of the cuirass. These openings provide access to the interior of the armor while it is being worn, facilitating maintenance or adjustments without needing to remove the entire armor.
Literally meaning "both sides pull together." It is a term used to describe any variety of cuirass that is made with two separate half sections that need to be brought together and secured by cords on either side of the torso. This construction method is common to many examples of ni mai dou and roku mai dou, providing flexibility and adjustability to the wearer.
Ryouchi no Kan 両乳の鐶 : This refers to the metal ring (Kan) that was struck on the chest of the front body.
Sage 下げ :This is a piece of armor worn to protect the throat from enemy attacks.
Saihai No Kan 采配付の鐶 - A rotating ring-like attachment commonly found on the right breast of Tosei Dou armor, initially used to suspend a commander's Saihai baton while keeping their hands free. Also known as Saihai Tsuke No Kan.
Saimi - A durable hemp fabric frequently employed as a lining material in armor construction.
Saka Ita 逆板 - A specialized laced Sane Ita, positioned in reverse to the San No Ita of the Ushiro Tateage of a cuirass, enabling the Oshitsuke No Ita and Wadagami to be swung backward.
Sanbi Tetsu 三尾鉄 - refers to a metal fitting used in the "Shoukaku-tsuki Kabuto" (a helmet with a horn) from the Kofun period.
Sane Gashira - The upper portion or head of an individual scale used in armor assembly.
Sane Ita - A section of armor made up of interconnected scales.
Sangu - A term referring to the three armor pieces for extremities commonly found in Tosei Gusoku sets. A typical Sangu set consists of a pair of Kote (gauntlets), a Haidate (thigh protection), and a pair of Suneate (shin guards).
Sankaku Ita - Literally translating to "triangle board," it denotes a triangular piece of solid plate armor.
Sanmaiuchi Yumi 三枚打弓 - A bow made by combining the front and back of a wooden core with bamboo.
San Mai Dou - A type of cuirass composed of three separate sections of armor, which conjoin to cover the torso. This particular cuirass design is relatively uncommon.
Sansai Ryū - A method of armor making that was partially developed and promoted by the Hosokawa Clan. It is sometimes referred to as the Sansai Style.
Sanshō Nо Byō - Translated as "peppercorn rivets," it denotes small, usually flat-headed rivets frequently used to fasten Tsurubashiri Gawa to the front of a cuirass.
Sasaheri - Leather strips or woven materials utilized to trim the fabric areas of an armor and its accompanying Sangu items.
Sashimono 指物 - A heraldic device or flag that adorns a pole secured to mounts at the rear of an armor.
Seita 背板 - A narrow auxiliary piece of armor commonly worn with Haramaki-style cuirasses made in the post-14th century to cover the exposed gap in the middle of the back.
Sendai Dou - An alternative name for a distinct regional variety of Go Mai Dou originally produced in the northern Tõhoku region of Japan, favored by the samurai of the Date Han. It is also known as Õshũ Dou and, outside the Tohoku area, as Kanto Dou.
Sendan No Ita 栴檀板 - A narrow pendant-like section of lamellar armor suspended from the right wadagami of a cuirass, designed to protect the right armpit area.
Seme Kohaze - A double-holed bead threaded on a closed loop of cord that can be slid along the cord and cinched tight around a kohaze to join or close a section of an item of armor.
Seshime Urushi - An inferior grade of urushi commonly used for the base layer, which helps other applications of lacquer adhere to a surface.
Shakudo - An alloy of copper and gold that has a purplish-black coloration.
Shibu - Juice from unripened persimmon fruit used to insect and waterproof fabrics.
Shidome - A grommet commonly made from copper and gilded.
Shida Gawa Odoshi 歯朶韋威 - refers to the process of lacing together leather that has been dyed with a pattern of fern leaves.
Shihan and Shiho 四半・四方 - Types of flags or decorations that were attached to the back of the "Tosei Gusoku" armor.
Shihouchiku Yumi 四方竹弓 - A bow made by laminating bamboo on all four sides of a wooden core
Shikaku Gattari - A gattari bracket with a square central holder designed to receive a square cross-sectional uke zutsu.
Shiki Gane - A narrow strip of iron secured to the rear of a nerigawa plate by the shita garami binding, helping the plate maintain its form.
Shikka Gawa - Deer hide, often that of a domestic species of spotted Japanese deer.
Shikoro 錣- The telescoping neck guard portion of a kabuto.
Shinodare 篠垂 - refers to one of the decorations on a helmet (Kabuto). It is a metal fitting that hangs from the Hachimanza (a decorative piece at the top of the helmet) to the front, back, left, and right.
Shino Gote - A style of kote in which the protective armor covering for the forearm is formed by a number of long narrow splints usually secured together by sections of kusari.
Shino Suneate - A style of suneate in which the protective armor covering for the shin is formed by a number of long narrow splints usually secured together by sections of kusari.
Shinobi No O 忍緒 - This is a cord attached to the helmet to secure it. I
Shishi - A mythical Chinese lion-like creature. Images of Shishi were commonly used in decorative designs, particularly in various patterns of E Gawa.
Shishi No Sakura Gawa 獅子牡丹文 - A highly popular pattern of E Gawa that features Shishi set on a background field of leaves and peony blossoms.
Shita Garami - Horizontally strung lengths of leather thongs used to bind sane together to create sections of Sane Ita.
Shita Garami No Ana - The bottom four holes in a single column of apertures pierced in a conventional kozane that are used to string the shita garami bindings through.
Shita Haramaki - Literally meaning "under belly wrap," it is an alternative name for a hara ate.
Shiroito Odoshi 白絲威 - refers to the process of lacing together small plates (Kozane) vertically using white silk threads.
Shobu Gawa - Indigo-dyed leathers featuring a repetitive pattern of vertically and horizontally aligned off-white irises flanked by blades of grass or leaves. The details of the designs can vary and, in some cases, be extremely vague, to the point that the key elements of the design merge into a single geometric tombstone-like block.
Shoen - A non-taxed private landholding that played a significant role in the development of the samurai class. These landholdings were fundamentally autonomous states.
Shogun - Literally meaning "barbarian-quelling general," this title originated in the 8th century AD. Initially referred to as Jeisetsu Sei I Shogun, it roughly equated to the rank of commander-in-chief of an expeditionary force. From the 12th century onward, the term became synonymous with a hereditary military dictator.
Shogunate - A feudal Japanese form of government characterized by a hereditary military dictatorship.
Shohei Gawa - A highly popular pattern of E Gawa introduced in the 14th century AD. It features Shishi (lion-like creatures) set among foliage and floral blooms, with a small framed area of kanji characters recording a commemorative date in 1352.
Shoji No Ita 障子板 - A generally oval plate that is affixed to the wadagami (shoulder straps) so that it stands erect.
Shoukaku-tsuki 衝角付冑 - refers to a type of helmet that was used from the first half of the Kofun period.
Shu - A deep red coloration commonly derived from cinnabar.
Shu Urushi - Deep red lacquer.
Sode - Shoulder guards.
Sode Tsuke No Kuda - A short metal tube threaded over the sode tsuke no gumi wa (closed loop of cord) to help protect it from wear. It is sometimes referred to as gumi kanamono.
Sode Tsuke No O Kasa Kohaze - Strung cords protruding from the wadagami on a tosei dou (modern cuirass), used to fasten the sode (shoulder guards) to the cuirass.
Sode Tsuke No Gumi Wa - Closed loops of cord, usually threaded with a sode tsuke no kuda, which protrude from the wadagami to provide anchoring points for securing the sode to a cuirass. Primarily associated with pre-tosei dou forms of armor.
Somen 総面 - This is a mask that covers the entire face.
Suji Kabuto 筋兜 - refers to a type of helmet where the rivets that hold the iron plate of the helmet bowl (Kabuto Hachi) are not visible, and one side of the iron plate is folded back to give a muscular appearance.
Suemon 据文金物- Large gilded copper doumed (capped) chrysanthemum-shaped split-shank rivets. These are often used for decorative purposes and are also referred to as suemon no kanamono.
Suneate - Shin guards.
Sugake Odoshi 素懸威- Literally meaning "simple hang," this is a lacing technique where pairs of regularly spaced laces are strung vertically upwards and cross-knotted on each plate within a section of armor. Sugake odoshi was introduced in the late 15th century to speed up production and reduce the weight of a cuirass.
Susogu Odoshi 裾濃威 - A term used to describe a pattern of lacing whereby the odoshi ge (laces) transition through different shades of a certain color from light to dark, from top to bottom of a section of armor.
Suso No Kanamono 裾金物 - Large gilded copper doumed chrysanthemum-shaped split-shank rivets primarily used for decorative purposes. They are usually mounted in regularly spaced sets of three on the hishinui no ita portions of an armor, such as on the kusazuri (skirt-like protection) of the cuirass and sode (shoulder guards).
Suso No Ita - Literally meaning "hem plate," this term refers to the lowermost plate in a suspended section of armor. It is used for items of armor both before the 10th century and after the mid-16th century.
Tachi Dou - Literally meaning "standing cuirass," this term refers to a cuirass that is able to stand erect without support, either through the use of internal bindings or based on its manner of fabrication.
Takahimo - 高紐The shoulder strap fastening cords used on pre-16th century forms of cuirass. These cords are anchored to the flanks or open vertical edges of a tosei dou and are used to pull and tie the cuirass closed around the torso.
Takanoha Uchi - Literally meaning "hawk feather braid," this is a popular pattern of mimi ito (a type of braid) that features a chevron-like design in the weave.
Takuboku Uchi - Literally meaning "woodpecker braid," this is a popular multi-colored weave of mimi ito that features a speckled pattern produced through a combination of dark blue, green, purple, and white threads.
Tanegashima - A Japanese-made matchlock firearm. It is also commonly referred to as hinawaju and teppo.
Tankou - An early form of plate armor produced between the 4th and 6th centuries.
Tare 垂 - This is a multi-stage plate that protects the throat to the chest.
Tarenuno - Literally meaning "hanging fabric," this refers to a protective cloth cape suspended from the underside of the brim of a kaji kabuto.
Tataki Nuri - An urushi (lacquer) finish applied in a way that creates a rippled texture.
Tatami Dou - Literally meaning "folding cuirass," this is a form of cuirass assembled from small, generally rectangular plates sewn to a fabric backing. It allows the dou to be folded for easy storage or transport. The protective plates are generally connected by bands of kusari (chainmail).
Tatami Yoroi - A kind of armor that can be collapsed and folded for easy storage and transport.
Tate - A small section of lacing or binding visible on the facade of a sane ita (row of armor scales or panels). It appears as a short vertical band between the two karami no ana (binding or lacing holes) on the right side of the scale.
Tateawe Odoshi - A method of lacing in which two or more different colors of odoshi ge (laces) are strung side by side in undulating rows down the length of a section of armor.
Tatedori Odoshi 縦取威- an old method of lacing armor vertically
Tatehagi Okegawa - A method of assembling the cuirass from a series of conjoined vertically arranged plates.
Tatemono 立物 - refers to a decorative object attached to the bowl (Hachi) of a helmet (Kabuto).
Tate Odoshi - An early method of lacing lamellar armor in which the odoshi ge was strung straight up and down between sane ita. This technique was largely discontinued by the start of the 11th century AD.
Tatehagi Ita - A solid plate specifically shaped to be used vertically in the assembly of armor.
Tatehagi Okegawa - A method of assembling a cuirass from a series of conjoined vertically arranged plates.
Tekubi - The wrist portion of a sleeve.
Tenpyo Gawa - A pattern of e gawa introduced in the 16th century. It was designed to mimic and compete with the popular Shohei Gawa pattern and features a bogus commemorative year stamp of 740 AD.
Tenpen no Ana 天辺の穴 - refers to a hole at the top of a helmet (Kabuto).
Tenugui No Kan - Literally meaning "hand wring towel swivel ring," this is a swivel ring type of kanamono (metal fitting) that is sometimes found fitted to the left breast of a cuirass. A dou (cuirass) should only feature a tenugui no kan if it also has a saihai no kan, which should usually be an identical copy of it. It is sometimes referred to as dansen osame no kan.
Teppo 鉄砲 - See Tanegashima. It is a Japanese-made matchlock firearm.
Tetsu - Iron. It should be noted that tetsu is commonly used as a generic term for all ferrous metals when discussing items of armor.
Tetsu Sabiji - A russet iron patina.
Tetsu Zane - A scale made from iron.
Tomegawa - Literally meaning "stopping leather," these are lengths of leather thong that were used to horizontally bind plates or sections of lamellar board together to make a cuirass more rigid vertically.
Tome Urushi - Clear lacquer, commonly applied over kinpaku (gold leaf) or when producing maki-e designs.
Tousei - Literally meaning "modern," it is most commonly associated with items of armor that were produced after the mid-16th century.
Tousei Dou - Any new form of cuirass that was developed and introduced from around the 1540s onwards.
Tousei Gusoku - A complete grouping of armor, inclusive of armor for the extremities, or sangu, compiled around a tosei dou.
Tousei Sode 当世袖 - This is a small and lightweight sleeve that comes with the modern armor (Tousei Gusoku)
Tsuba Ate - See Hanakami Bukuro. It refers to a bag used to store tsuba (sword guards).
Tsubo No Ita - A large inverted trapezoid plate designed to protect the right side of the torso. It is part of the waidate and is worn with a yoroi (armor).
Tsubo No O - A small closed loop of cord often threaded with a kuda (metal tube) that protrudes from the facade of a waidate to provide an anchoring point for the shoulder strap-like tsubo no o cord.
Tsukigata - Literally meaning "moon-shaped," it is a term used to describe the shape of any object of which at least one half is round or oval.
Tsuno Moto 角本 - refers to a rod-shaped part used to attach a decoration (Tatemono) to a helmet (Kabuto) of modern armor (Tousei Gusoku).
Tsumadori Odoshi 褄取威 - A lacing pattern in which two or more contrasting colors of odoshi ge are used to create a wedge shape extending out from the vertical edge of the armor piece.
Tsure Yamamichi Gashira - Literally meaning "mountain paths coming together leading edge," this is a romanticized name used to describe a specific pattern of undulating edge cut along the upper edge of a section of ita mono (armor panels).
Tsurubashiri Gawa 弦走韋- A large, generally square panel of reinforced e gawa (leather) fastened by cord or rivets over the front face of a lamellar cuirass. It prevents the heads of the scales in the sane ita (row of armor scales) from fouling or snagging a warrior's bowstring. It is primarily associated with the yoroi (armor).
Tsuyu Otoshi No Ana - A small hole in the base of a machi uke (sword holder) that allows water trapped in the holder to drain.
Uchidashi Dou - A variety of tosei dou (modern cuirass) featuring embossed designs.
Uchikake Keikou - 裲襠式挂甲 - Literally meaning "long garment hanging armor," this is an early poncho-like form of lamellar armor worn with independent side plates that covered the flanks of the torso.
Uketsutsu 受筒 - A long, hollow baton-like shaft designed to receive the bottom of the flagpole of a sashimono (war banner) or other pole-mounted heraldic device, enabling it to be affixed to a set of armor by means of additional mounts and brackets.
Uma Gawa - Horse leather.
Uma jirushi 馬標 - refers to the flags or banners that were placed next to the general's horse during a battle.
Uma Yoroi 馬鎧- refers to armor worn by horses
Uma Yoroi Zane - Small embossed squares of molded leather scales commonly employed to produce protective panel coverings for horses. They are periodically used to produce cuirasses and other items, the majority of which can be classified as varieties of tatami dou (folding cuirass).
Uname - See Uname Garami.
Uname Garami - Literally meaning "path between rice fields," this refers to the band lacing or leather thong strung horizontally across the facade of a hishinui no ita (armor panel) immediately above the hishinui bindings.
Uname Toji - A method of assembling sane ita (armor scales) that uses leather thongs strung through the kedate no ana horizontally across the length of a section. It is commonly used in the construction of cuirasses made in accordance with the sansai ryu methods favored by the Hosokawa clan.
Uroko Zane - Large inverted U-shaped kozane (scales) that resemble a fish scale in overall form. They are generally fashioned from nerigawa (hardened leather).
Urabari - Literally meaning "back applied," it refers to a fabric or leather liner stretched across the interior surface of a cuirass.
Urushi - Lacquer.
Ushirodate 後立 - The term "Ushirodate" refers to the decorative elements attached to the back of a helmet (Kabuto).
Ushiro Dou - The area of a cuirass that corresponds with the back half of the torso, such as the rear half section of a ni mai dou (double plate cuirass). When the ushiro dou is an independent solid sectional piece of armor that corresponds to the very back of the torso, such as in the case of a go mai dou (five plate cuirass), it is referred to as the ushiro dou no ita.
Ushiro Dou No Ita - An independent solid sectional piece of armor that corresponds to the back area of the torso.
Ushiro Migi Dou No Ita - An independent sectional piece of armor made to cover the rear right-hand side of the torso. It is universal to go mai dou (five-plate cuirass) and may also be found utilized on san mai (three-plate cuirass), yon mai (four-plate cuirass), and roku mai dou (six-plate cuirass).
Ushiro Tateage 後立挙 - The protective areas of armor between the top of the nagakawa (center plate) and the base of the oshitsuke no ita (bottom plate) on pre tosei dou (old-style cuirass) forms or the boko no ita (back plate) of a tosei dou (modern cuirass).
Utsubo 空穂 - a tool used to carry arrows.
Waidate 脇楯 - This is a piece of armor that covers the large gap on the right side of the body of the great armor (Ooyoroi).
Waki Biki - Auxiliary panels of protective brigandine, sane ita (armor scales), or plate that are worn to protect the armpit areas.
Wakidate 脇立 - refers to decorative objects attached to both sides of the bowl (Hachi) of a helmet (Kabuto) in modern armor (Tousei Gusoku).
Waki Ita 脇板- Armpit plates. It is part of the kanagu mawari (armor component assembly).
Wadagami 肩上- Literally meaning "shoulder above," it refers to the shoulder strap portions of a cuirass. It is commonly also written as watagami. Sometimes translated as "cotton chew," depending on the kanji character combination used.
Wasei Nanban Dou 和製南蛮胴- Literally means "Japanese-made Southern Barbarian Cuirass," it is a Japanese-made dou that is made to replicate the style and form of a Western or European-made cuirass.
Yanagui 胡簶 - A tool used to hold arrows and attach them to the waist.
Yoboro gane 膕金 - This is a long, thin iron plate used to fill the gap on the backside of the "Tube Shin Guard" in the early Muromachi period
Yokohagi Ita - A solid plate shaped to be used horizontally in the assembly of armor.
Yokohagi Okegawa - A method of assembling the cuirass from a series of conjoined horizontally arranged plates.
Yon Mai Dou - A cuirass that is composed of four independent conjoined pieces of sectional armor to cover the torso. It is a rather uncommon form of cuirass.
Yoroi - A box-like form of lamellar armor, C-shaped in cross-section, first introduced in the 10th century. The yoroi was worn with a separate auxiliary piece of armor called a waidate, which covered the right side of the torso that was not protected by the yoroi. It is also used as a generic term for armor.
Yoroi Katabira - A form of brigandine armored coat, particularly common during the later half of the Edo period.
Yugi 靫 - A long, cylindrical tool made of leather or bamboo that is used to carry arrows on the back.
Yukinoshita Dou 雪の下胴 - A distinctive design of go mai dou (five-plate cuirass) with prominent external hinges.
Yumi - A Japanese bow.
Yurugi Ito 揺絲 - The connective lengths of lacing that secure the hip armor tassets to the base of a cuirass. It is significantly longer on examples of tosei dou (modern cuirass).
Yurugi Zane - A length of sane ita (armor scales) that have been individually lacquered before being bound together.
Zudate 頭立 - refers to a decorative object that is attached to the top of a helmet (Kabuto)
Zunari Kabuto 頭形兜 - refers to a type of helmet that looks like a human head, made up of 3 to 5 iron plates for the bowl (Hachi) part.