East Asia, Japan, Edo Period, ca. 1603 to 1868 CE. A finely constructed chain mail vest and hood combo to be worn beneath traditional samurai armor or as standalone, lightweight armor for infantry units. The armor is comprised from thousands of tiny iron ringlets that are joined together to form the profile of a suit of armor, and areas of increased vulnerability - such as the chest and waist - are reinforced with hundreds of petite, hexagonal plates (known as kikko). Kikko mail plates are used in place of typical rectangular plates because the increased number of attachment holes means the armor was more flexible for the wearer while still maintaining the desired level of protection. Included with the mail shirt is a mail-lined hood with several gaps that would have held kikko plates. Mounted on modern mannequin. Size: 49" W x 24" H (124.5 cm x 61 cm); 72.75" H (184.8 cm) on included mannequin.
Provenance: ex-private Hawaii, USA collection, acquired in 2000
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