On 10 June 2017 at 17:10

Samurai Dress Code

Luc Taelman

Beginning with the Heian period on (794-1185), traditional Japanese-style samurai armour made its entry. These early armours were made with large shoulder guards, “o-sode”, allowing samurai to keep both hands free to handle bow and arrow while on horseback.

Near the end of the 15th century, the battle strategy changed completely. Large troops of foot soldiers, “ashigaru”, formed an infantry, equipped with spears; and thus the armours had to adapt to this evolution. The “sode” became smaller, and allowed much more

mobility. Special helmets, “kawari kabuto” appeared, so that their high ranking owners could be recognised on the battlefield. With the arrival of the “western barbarians”, and the

introduction of guns (1543), called “teppo”, another evolution started. Gunfire resistant armour was ordered by the rich and famous. The Yukinoshita armour with their high-tech helmets made their entry. After the unification of Japan by the Tokugawa Shogun (1600), a long and peaceful period followed. The production of practical armour gave way in favour of the production of status related armour. These armours were completely useless on a battlefield, but reflected the wealth and the importance of the owner. These armours are real artworks, richly executed with precious brocade, gold and silver inlay. Whereas the Japanese sword was the soul of the samurai, their armour became the home of their “kami”, their spirit.



BIP - Rue Royale 2-4, 1000 Bruxelles


On 10 June 2017 at 17:10

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Luc Taelman

Luc Taelman was born in Waregem, province of West Flanders. one can say he is an ardent collector of Japanese armours and helmets. Among collectors he is known as the person who published a comprehensive book on saotome helmets, one of the most famous schools that existed in the history of Japanese armour, and therefore he is considered an expert in the field. He is a member of the “nihon Katchu bugu

Kenkyu hozon Kai” in Japan and he is also a member of the belgian “Token” club.