Gift of Mrs. Leonard Colt
This suit of armor was modeled after 16th-century prototypes known as tōsei-gusoku, characterized by their durability and flexibility as well as lightness.
The breastplate and back plate are hinged together on one side and fastened on the other. From them, a five-tiered protective skirt (kusazuri) is suspended with dark blue silk lacing. Under the skirt, a protective apron (haidate) made of lacquered iron plates and chain mail enhances the armor’s formidable appearance. The simple helmet complements the suit’s elegance and austerity, its neck guard (shikoro) extending downwards in tiers of horizontal strips. An iron mask juts out beneath the helmet, its fierce expression challenging any would-be attacker.
Despite its sturdy construction, this armor was never intended for battle. It probably made a handsome display for its owner, highlighting the family’s rank and status.