■ kozane: aluminum (a board to
pass a thread through)
■ thread: pure silk
■ kuwagata: brass plating
（horns in front of the head）
■ decorating metal fittings:
■ leather: deerskin
”Armor of Kiku-ichimonji”
The Kiku-ichimonji red thread armor is one of the 17 national treasure armors that existed from old Japan. It originally comes from the Kushibiki shrine located in Aomori prefecture, the far northern province of Japan.
This armor is told to have been received by the 78th Emperor Chokei. In regard to metalworking technology, this armor distinguishes the end of the Kamakura period when metal carving art reached perfection. This is a national treasure with global renown due to precise techniques and the gorgeous gold carvings from the late Kamakura period.
The design of the ornaments is the zenith of exquisite techniques and precise craftsmanship. The detail of the chrysanthemum and the traditional Japanese fence are without parallel.
The key characteristic of this armor are the decorated metal fittings of chrysanthemum (kiku), an old-style woven fence (magaki), and the Chinese character: “ichi” (one, #1). You can see these decorations on various pieces of the armor including: “Fukikaeshi” (sides of the helmet), “Mahisashi” (forehead), “Oosode” (shoulder-guard), “Kyubinoita”, and “Sendannoita” (left and right abdomen). These characteristics give it its name: Kiku-ichimonji (Chrysanthemum and #1). Also the "Tsurubashiri" (front abdomen) is made from dyed deerskin leather (egawa) embroidered with a traditional Japanese image of a lion and peony.
The gorgeous appearance of this armor is truly breath taking when you see it. It is quite impressive to know how detailed its design is even from the Kamakura period almost 700 years ago.
We faithfully reproduced this national treasure at 1/3 scale.
We used pure silk strings, dyed red to create the same image as the original.
For the decorations we used tin which is renowned as an expensive metal ranking second to gold and silver in crafting. All of the metal fittings are made from tin to show elegance and royalty only expressed through the curvature of tin.
Tin was used, since it is known as an expensive metal which ranks second to gold and silver, for the decorative metal fittings. We retained their elegance and high grade appearance by taking advantage of the curvature of tin.
The "Tsuribashiri" is deerskin leather embroidered with the armor’s authentic design. Deerskin is more flexible and stronger than cowhide allowing longevity, and has been used since ancient times.
The Kuwagata (horn) on the front of the helmet is made from brass covered with a layer of gold to display dignity.
As you can see, we reproduced Kiku-ichimonji very faithfully. We hope that you too can recognize the amazing traditional Japanese craftsmanship. Through our reproductions, we hope to continue telling the wonder of Japanese tradition and culture.