Original Japanese 19th Century Lacquered Jingasa Helmet with Sasaki Clan Crest and Tassel c.1850

Item Description

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.

The helmet appears to be made of molded fabric, wood and possibly paper, which was then coated thick lacquer. The exterior of the helmet has been shaped to look like overlapping steel plates, almost like a fan. The front has a gloss black lacquered section onto which the family MON is depicted as four diamonds in matte gold, with a square inside each. The interior is finished in bright red lacquer and displays a GOLDEN DRAGON FLY under the peak. Comes complete with rear tassel to the helmet, which is in excellent condition

Helmet measures approximately 13 inches across, with a height of around 5 inches. The four square clan crest, or mon, appears to be that of the Sasaki Clan, or one of the cadet branches such as the Kyōgoku or Rokkaku clan. Cadet branches usually used the same Mon, or a variation on it, such as rotating it 45 degrees.

There is slight damage to the lacquer on the left exterior of the skull which can be painted over to become disguised. This is the finest of the Collection of three various JINGASA helmets IMA were pleased to have secured.

Ready to Display

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