Original Japanese 19th Century Lacquered Jingasa Helmet with Family Crest and Tassel c.1850
Original Item: Only One Available. A KASA (笠) is any one of several sorts of traditional Japanese hats. Some types are amigasa, jingasa, sandogasa, sugegasa, and takuhatsugasa. Note that rendaku ("sequential voicing") causes kasa to change to gasa when it is preceded by another word specifying the type of hat: thus, JINGASA ("camp hat"; helmet). These were issued to the lowliest soldiers of the Japanese War Lords (The Samurai). They were used by simple Infantry who acted as Musketeers using the then prevalent Matchlock ignition system.
Dating to the 1850s and almost the end of Old Samurai Japan as we know it. In the effort to bring Japan into the modern World of the Victorian age there was dreadful push back from the SAMURAI Class of Feudal system Warriors. There was a great rebellion in 1868-1869 known as the Boshin War (戊辰戦争 Boshin Sensō, "War of the Year of the Yang Earth Dragon") in which the Samurai class was finally eliminated.
This is an original Japanese Foot Soldier's Lacquer based head covering or helmet. These in fact provided exceptional protection from attack with a blade from a horseman. Known as a Jingasa, the styles varied according to family or Clan. Our example bears the Family's MON or crest in gold to the front, which identified with ease the wearer's affiliation.
Originally these were used with a minimal hemp padded cushion liner secured by ribbons this is now absent but it's mounting studs and loops are present. Gloss black on the exterior with matte gold Mon and brass mounts on top, the interior is finished in bright red lacquer, including the front brim. It appears to be made of molded fabric and possibly paper, which was then coated thick lacquer. Condition is very good, with the expected chips and damage due to age.
Helmet measures approximately 13 inches across, with a height of around 9 inches. We attempted to identify the plum blossom motif Mon, but were not successful, though were were able to locate the symbol in a list of family crests.
A very interesting Original Japanese Foot Soldier's JINGASA Helmet of circa 1850. Ready to display.
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