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Armor of Takesuzume

National treasures of large armor at 1/3 scale.

  • Takesuzume metal big helmet, one-third size
    W45xD37xH91(cm) W18xD15xH36(in)
    The armor is all handmade.

SUZUKINE YUZAN faithfully reproduced National treasures of large armor which is the Takesuzume Kanamono akai to odoshi armor comes from the Kasuga-taisha shrine located in the western province of Nara, at 1/3 scale.

This helmet, seen from its metal handicrafts technique,is considered to date back from the end of kamakura period (1300 years).
This helmet is very valuable for its high level of metal handicrafts technique.

W45xD37xH91(cm) W18xD15xH36(in)

■ kozane: aluminum (a board to
pass a thread through)

■ thread: pure silk

■ kuwagata: brass plating
(horns in front of the head)

■ decorating metal fittings:
tin plating

■ leather: deerskin

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Product Description

”Armor: Takesuzume Kanamono akai to odoshi ”
The Sparrow and Bamboo Red Thread (Takesuzume Kanamono akai to odoshi) armor is one of the 17 national treasure armors that stem from old Japan. Takesuzume comes from the Kasuga-taisha shrine located in the western province of Nara.

In regards to metalwork technology the armor exhibits splendid traditional metal carving techniques originating from the end of the Kamakura period.

The armor consists of 5 key parts decorated with metal fittings in the image of bamboo and a sparrow: "Fukikaeshi" (sides of the helmet),“Hishinui-no-ita” (bottom of helmet), "Mahisashi" (forehead), "Kyubinoita"and "Sendannoita" (left/right abdomen). Another metal fitting of bamboo and a tiger is located on the "Oosode". Each segment shows the highest result of detailed craftsmanship and beauty.

What made this armor truly unique are the contrast of gold and red, as well as the unique design of the "Tsurubashiri" (front abdomen). The gold and red contrast is found all over the armor between the metal fittings (gold) and the pure red thread. Giving it a feeling characterized by elegance and refinement. The unique design of the Tsurubashiri is a respectable design from the end of the Kamakura period, instilling a sense of royalty.

Similar to its' relative armors, this armor promotes a sense of wonder and inspiration to those who see it.  It is almost unbelievable something so beautiful was crafted so long ago.  Truly this armor is the epitome of Japanese artisanship.

We reproduced this beauty faithfully, at 1/3 scale.
To reproduce the bindings we used real silk strings, dyed red, just as the genuine article. We took advantage of tin (a renowned metal ranking second to gold and silver for armor) to produce the decorative metal fittings. The metal fittings have been reproduced just as the original article. Our detail is stunning, giving certain elegance in regard to curvature only found by using tin.

The "Tsuribashiri" is deerskin leather (egawa) embroidered with a traditional Japanese pattern of a lion and peony. Deerskin is more flexible and stronger than cowhide allowing longevity, and has been used since ancient times for many things. The Kuwagata (horn) on the front of the helmet is made from brass covered with a layer of gold to display strength and dignity.

In this fashion we reproduced this national treasure to retain its beauty and meaning. It is through these armors we continue to tell the wonder of Japanese tradition and culture. We wish that you may find wonder in our work as well.