Original Japanese Edo Period Lacquered Highly Domed Jingasa Helmet with Liner and Tie Cords

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 (陣笠 - "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.

This example dates from during the Edo period (江戸時代, Edo jidai) or Tokugawa period (徳川時代, Tokugawa jidai) of Japanese history. This is the period between 1603 and 1867, when Japan was under the rule of the Tokugawa shogunate and the country's 300 regional daimyo. By the end of the Edo period, known as the Bakumatsu Period of 1853-1868, the use of the Jingasa became more widespread to include being used by clan armies. It was used frequently by the Aizu Rifle corps during the Boshin War of 1868-1869.

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 Lacquered Jingasa head covering or helmet. They were constructed usually from pressed fabric and paper, and in fact provided exceptional protection from attack with a blade from a horseman. This example is VERY highly domed, much more than we usually see, and would have provided protection from all sides except the front. We looked to see if we could find a name for this specific style, but were unfortunately unsuccessful. It is finished with black enamel on the exterior, with red on the inside, the classic color pattern. The interior still retains the fabric liner ring as well as the chin strap and tie downs, something that we rarely see! The helmet measures 14 1/2" in diameter, with a height of about 9".

There is no family crest or other markings on the exterior, which is not uncommon. The lacquer has flaked on both the interior and exterior, allowing the underlying construction to be seen.

A scarce bit of original Edo period Japanese military headgear of lightweight construction offered in complete condition. You won't find another one of these anytime soon! Ready to research and display!

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