変わり兜 Kawari Kabuto
What is Kawari Kabuto of Samurai Armor?
The term "Kawari Kabuto" refers to a general term for samurai helmets that have various decorations applied to the bowl (Hachi) part, such as leather, Japanese paper, and metal, or the shape itself is changed. It was born in the late Muromachi period and was popular until the early Edo period. There are various types such as "Toppai Narikabuto" where the top of the bowl is pointed, "Momonari Kabuto" which resembles the shape of a peach, "Eboshi Nari" which imitates the crown used in Noh, and "Usagi Narikabuto" and "Tonbo Narikabuto" which use animals, birds, and insects as motifs. Many of the helmets are unique and eccentric in appearance.
In this article you will see some of the most "strange" "weird" "Bizarre" samurai armor helmets in the history, in the eyes of our modern people, they look more like a halloween costume, than an actual helmet that meant for real battles.
A conch Kabuto -栄螺形変わり兜
A fish kabuto - 黒漆塗鯱形兜
A Shirmp (Or lobster?) Kabuto - 朱漆塗海老形兜
This is a hand holding Vajra Pestle (金剛杵), it's a Buddhism related kabuto. Might be the most manly helmet - 黒漆塗執金剛杵形兜
A kabuto with glasses for myopia, from Edo Period, not kidding - 鉄八枚張椎形眼鏡付兜
A gold conch kabuto -栄螺形兜
A bird feather kabuto - 鳥毛付頭形兜
A cute rabbit kabuto - 兎耳形兜
A Daikon / White radish kabuto -黒漆塗六十二間小星兜
A flower Kabuto - 黒漆塗三十二間筋兜 鉄線前立 三日月前立付
A dragonfly kabuto - 蜻蛉形兜
A Centipede kabuto - 鉄一枚張南蛮鎖兜 Centipede might be one of the most disliked insert, but its widely liked by Samurai. There are 2 reasons, Firstly, centipedes only move forward and never retreat. Secondly, centipedes were considered the messengers of the martial deity Bishamonten. In other words, warriors admired the centipede's unyielding nature and sought the protection of Bishamonten.
Monkey face kabuto - 猿面形兜
A ghost face Kabuto - 三宝荒神形張懸兜 said to be used by Uesugi Kenshin 上杉謙信
Looks like a mop kabuto, but this is 黒鉄地払子形後立兜 used by 豊臣秀吉 Toyotomi hideyoshi
Another unconventional kabuto used by 豊臣秀吉 Toyotomi hideyoshi, wearing 2 golden gunbai (war fan)
A very large horn wakidate kabuto, used by 徳川家康 Tokugawa Ieyasu
Another Kabuto 黒漆塗一の谷形大釘後立兜 used by 徳川家康 Tokugawa Ieyasu
Rabbit ear kabuto - 銀箔押張懸兎耳形兜
Orieboshi Kabuto - 金箔押唐草透風折烏帽子形兜
"Love" Kabuto - 金小札浅葱糸威二枚胴具足
The character in this kabuto is Kanji for "love". This kabuto is used by the famous samurai "Naoe kanetsugu" 直江兼続
A big Sun wheel 日輪 Kabuto
This helmet features a design resembling a traditional Japanese lacquerware bowl. The term "Gousu (合子)" refers to a lidded lacquerware bowl, and it is said to symbolize the idea of "swallowing the enemy" for good luck. 銀白檀塗合子形兜
Long Eboshi kabuto 長烏帽子形兜
Long eboshi Kabuto - 白檀塗蛇目紋蒔絵仏胴具足
Long eboshi Kabuto - 金小札白糸素懸威胴丸具足
Fish tail Kabuto - 唐冠形兜 used by 竹中半兵衛
Long sword kabuto - 三鈷剣付阿古陀形六十二間筋兜
This sword is not an ordinary one; it is a sacred implement called the "Sanko-ken 三鈷剣," possessing the power to ward off worldly desires. It's the kind associated with Fudo Myoo 不動明王.
Nanban Kabuto with long hair - 南蛮帽子形兜
Peach Kabuto - 熊毛総髪形兜
It might resemble a peach, a shell, or even male genitalia. This is identified as a Hōju (宝珠), a miraculous item in Buddhism known to grant any wish. It seems to have been favored in helmets due to its reputation for wish fulfillment.
Fluffy caterpillar Kabuto. Caterpillar don't move backward, were favored as a motif for helmets by warriors.
Bird tail Kabuto
Big Kabuto, yes the character kanji literally means "Big" 黒漆塗大文字形兜
A butterfly Kabuto
A crab kabuto - 黒漆塗蟹形兜
A shell kabuto - 鉄五枚張朱漆塗帆立貝形兜
Shell Kabuto - 割蛤張懸兜
Cute Cat kabuto
Bear Kabuto - 熊頭形兜
Elephant Kabuto - 象鼻形兜
A butterfly kabuto
See more terms related to samurai armor in this samurai armor glossary