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Introduction to Samurai Armor

Enjoy this great introduction to Japanese Samurai Armor from my friend Jeff Olsen. Elaborately adorned helmuts made their debut on the battlefield in 16th Century Japan to help identify comrades. In the 17th Century, in a period of peace, they began to be increasingly decorative.  

Samurai Armor Special Orders

Saiga-Kabuto-2-225x300Our website only contains a small selection of what is available. Many of our international customers special order specific items for their collections. If you have any specific needs or are searching for that special Kabuto, Menpo or complete set of Samurai Armor let us know. We work with some of the best and most experienced sources in the world. Our goal is to ensure that our customers are proud to own the items they obtain from Shogun Art and obtain a lifetime of aesthetic pleasure from the beauty of these items. We promise to work hard to provide you with the best customer experience possible.

Periodically some items will first appear on our website already marked as “sold”. These items were purchased in advance by customers that provided us with specific requests. Many other items sell the same day they are listed. Our goal is to provide you with a small representative sample of what we have available and what we can provide based on your requests. In other words if you want it we will get it for you. It is very important that you contact us in advance with your specific needs.

18th Century Hosokawa Samurai Available

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Hosokawa Clan Samurai Suit.

Accompanied by a certificate of registration as Juyo Bunka Shiryo (Important cultural material) (Japanese Armor Preservation Society).

Price on request. (Serious Inquiries Only)

The Hosokawa of Kokura (later Kumamoto) became the “main” line of the Hosokawa clan during the Edo period. Hosokawa Gracia, the wife of Hosokawa Tadaoki, was one of the most famous samurai converts to Christianity; she was also the daughter of Akechi Mitsuhide. The Hosokawa sided with Tokugawa Ieyasu against Ishida Mitsunari during the decisive Sekigahara Campaign, and thus were made fudai (inside) daimyo under the Tokugawa shogunate. They were given Higo province, with an income of 540,000 koku, as their han (fief).

Hosokawa Tadatoshi, the third lord of Kumamoto, was the patron of the swordsman Miyamoto Musashi. Though the Hosokawa domain was far from the capital, on Kyūshū, they were among the wealthiest of the daimyo. By 1750, Higo was one of the top producers of rice, and was in fact counted as a standard by the Osaka rice brokers. The domain suffered from serious economic decline after that, as most domains did, but the sixth lord, Hosokawa Shigekata (1718–1785, r. 1747-1785) instituted a number of reforms which turned the situation around. He also founded a Han school, Jishuukan, in 1755.[6] In later years, it produced many scholars such as Yokoi Shonan.

In 1787, the main family line descended from Tadatoshi became extinct with the death of the 7th lord, Shigekata’s son Harutoshi (1758–1787; r. 1785-1787). He was succeeded by his distant cousin Narishige, the sixth Lord of Udo (1755-c1835, r. 1787-1810) a direct descendant of Tadatoshi’s younger brother Yukitaka (1615–1645). In 1810, Narishige abdicated his title in favor of his elder son Naritatsu (1788–1826, r. 1810-1826), who succeeded as the ninth lord of Kumamoto. Naritatsu died without an heir in 1826, and was succeeded by his nephew Narimori (1804–1860, r. 1826-1860), the son of Naritatsu’s younger brother Tatsuyuki (1784–1818), who was the seventh lord of Udo. Following the death of Narimori in 1860, his elder son Yoshikuni (1835–1876, r. 1860-1871) succeeded him as the eleventh and final ruling lord of Kumamoto. There were four major branches of the Hosokawa clan in the Edo period, each of which held the title of daimyo. FOR MORE DETAILS CONTACT US AT INQUIRY@SHOGUNART.COM

Ebay Samurai Armor Purchasing

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We have noticed lately that a fair number of our armor photographs have been copied and posted for sale on Ebay by an unknown seller. Of course this is clearly fraud and we have reported the matter to the proper authorities. It is important to be extremely careful when purchasing authentic samurai armor on the internet. There are a number of sellers on the internet that regularly sell mismatched or recently restored samurai armor. For the average collector it may look “good” but the difference in value between a comparable suit of armor that is mismatched and one that is matched and unaltered can be significant. We recommend that you ask a lot of questions before you buy. It is very helpful to ask for additional photos as well.

All of our armor is here in the United States. Be cautious about dealing with overseas dealers as it is quite difficult to resolve issues. As the premier supplier of authentic japanese samurai armor we maintain very strict guidelines as to what items we will buy for our customers. We pass on much more armor than we buy. Unfortunately that is not the case for other dealers. We generally see many of the items that we pass on for sale on other dealer’s websites.