Nihon Katchû Seisakuben
Online Japanese Armour Manual

Glossary

Agemaki — An ornamental bow used to decorate armour.

Akoda nari — A helmet shape with a pronounced bulge in the back. It was a common style.

Ashinagare — Literally "wandering legs." This is what you don't want with the plates in your helmet bowl. They should be even and straight.

Ategane — A pair of reinforcing plates under the visor.

Bishamon gote — A type of kote with integral sode.

Chikara gawa — A strip of leather on the haidate to strengthen the fabric and lend support the armoured section.

Chôgane — Hinge.

Dangly bits — My term for the hanging sections of armour — shikoro, kusazuri, sode, kohire, yodare kake — which are usually designed en suite.

Datemono — Helmet crest (generic term).

Dehaba — The tooth-measurement between scales.

Dô maru — An old-fashioned cuirass of scale construction which wrapped around the body and tied closed under the right arm.

Dô — cuirass.

Egawa — Printed leather.

Eriwa — See guruwa.

Etchû jikoro — Like the hineno jikoro, it was close-fitting, but it was never sleek.

Etchû kabuto — A variation on the "three-plate" helmet style.

Fukigaeshi — Blowback; "wing" or "ear" like device on either side of the shikoro.

Fukurin — Brass or gilt copper edging on kanagu mawari and some other plates.

Fusegumi — A complex locking stitch that attaches the koberi to the egawa. Cheaper armours often just glue down multi-colored braid on the seam.

Gesan jikoro — Shikoro that were divided into sections like kusazuri.

Go-mai dô — A five-sectional armour, with four hinges.

Guruwa — A type of gorget made of standing plates that protect the neck, and a bib.

Gusoku — Suit of armour.

Gusoku shita — Robe worn under armour.

Gyôyô — Small plates on watagami to protect the frogs connecting it to the munaita.

Hachi — Helmet bowl.

Hachiman-za — A virtual synonym of tehen; this is the ornamental fitting around the hole.

Hachitsuke-no-ita — The top lame of a shikoro, the one that attaches to the koshimaki.

Haidate — Thigh guards.

Hakama — Pants.

Hanbô — Literally "half cheek"; a menpô made without a nose.

Happuri — A head protector that guards the forehead and cheeks.

Haraate — See maekake dô.

Haramaki — Any cuirass that opens up the back.

Haribachi — A helmet bowl with flat plates and no ribs or protruding rivets.

Hassô byô — Ornamental rivets that hold kanagu mawari to the armour.

Hassô gane — Large ornamental seat-plate for the hassô byô.

Hibiki-no-ana — Name of the four holes on some multiplate helmets below the shiten-no-byô.

Hijigane — Elbow plate.

Hineno jikoro — An extremely popular modern style shikoro; it was close-fitting and sleek.

Hineno kabuto — A popular "three-plate" helmet style. It is very similar to the etchû kabuto.

Hirazane — A term which came about to differentiate conventional scales from moriage zane.

Hishinui — Crosslaces.

Hishinui-no-ita — Bottom-most plate of a series of dangly bits. So named because it is often ornamented by a double row of crosslaces.

Hitaigane — A metal plate that protects the forehead; usually attached to a headcloth.

Hanbô — Literally "half cheek"; a menpô made without a nose.

Hô ate — See hanbô.

Hyôtan gane — Literally "gourd plate"; a rounded, gourd-shaped plate on kote of the Kaga and Oda schools.

Ichi-no-ita — First plate, the first in a series of lames. Following it are the ni-, san-, yon-, go-, roku-, shichi-no-ita, etc.

Ichimanjû jikoro — A shikoro where the first lame has a bit of a dish to it, and the rest spread down.

Ieji — Foundation fabric.

Ikada — Small plates on kote and suneate.

Ita mono — Armour sections or lames of solid plate rather than scale construction.

Ito odoshi — Ribbon/twill used as lacing.

Iyo zane — Broad scales.

Kabuki dô — See nagagawa dô.

Kabuto — Helmet.

Kanagu mawari — A number of metal plates attached to various parts of the armour. So-called as they were originally the only "solid" metal plates in the armour.

Kanmuri-no-ita — Literally "crown plate"; the top plate(s) on several various parts of armour.

Kasa jikoro — Wide, umbrella-like shikoro style.

Kasajirushi-no-kan — Ornamental and functionless ring on the back of the helmet bowl.

Kattari — The upper bracket to hold a sashimono.

Kawa odoshi — Leather used as lacing.

Kawara — Literally "tile"; a type of scale used in haidate.

Kawari kabuto — Grotesques; elaborately built-up helmets.

Kebiki odoshi — Full lacing.

Kedate — Suspensory lacing between lames.

Kegutsu — Fur boots worn by generals.

Keikô — A protohistoric, scaled cuirass worn c. 6th-8th centuries. It was inspired by continental models and was the forerunner of the ô-yoroi and dô maru.

Kikkô — Literally "tortoise-shell", for the hexagonal pattern; Japanese brigandine.

Kiritsuke zane — Pseudo-scale; a term to identify lames cut (and often built up with lacquer or other material) to imitate scale construction.

Koberi — Edge leather often bordering egawa.

Koboshi — Literally "small star"; small, protruding domed rivets on some helmet bowls.

Kogusoku — Literally "small armour"; refers to the "other" pieces of a suit of armour, namely the kote, sode, suneate, haidate, menpô, and nodowa.

Kohaze — Frog; loop and toggle.

Kohire — Winglets — like small pauldrons, they protect the top of the shoulder. Worn instead of sode.

Komanjû jikoro — A shikoro where all the lames together pronounce a gentle down-and-outward curve.

Koshimaki — Skirtplate; wraps around the hachi. The shikoro attaches to it.

Kote — Armoured sleeve.

Kozakura byô — Literally "small cherry-blossom rivet"; small rivets that ring kanagu mawari when they have egawa applied to them. The purpose of the kozakura byô is to tack down the leather.

Kozane — Scales.

Kusari — Literally "chain"; mail.

Kusazuri — Tassets.

Kyûbi-no-ita — A slender piece of plate armour. It was worn at the front of ô-yoroi to protect the left armpit.

Kôgake — Armoured tabi.

Lame — A board of laced-together scales or solid plate used in armour.

Lamellar — While this term often refers to scale armours, in this monograph the term shall be taken to refer to armours constructed of lames (as opposed to scale).

Mabizashi — Visor. One of several terms.

Maebashi — Visor. One of several terms.

Maedate — Helmet crest when worn in front.

Maekake dô — A consisting of only the front. Synonymous with haraate.

Manchira — An upper-torso protector occasionally worn under armour. The name is taken from the Portuguese "mantilla."

Maru dô — A tôsei dô version of the dô maru.

Mempô — Mask; face armour that protects the chin, cheeks, nose, and throat. The nose is often removeable.

Menashi zane — Scales designed for the top row in a series of lames; they have no upper series of holes, and are punched only for suspensory lacing and shitagarami.

Mimi ito — The outermost line of lacing; typically it is a contrasting or patterned color.

Mitsume zane — Scales designed to overlap twice.

Mon — Heraldic badge.

Moriage zane — Scales built up with applications of lacquer to appear thicker and more ostentatious.

Multiplate — A term which refers to the traditional Japanese helmet constructed of any number of roughly pie-wedge-shaped pieces.

Munaita — Breastboard; top plate on the breastplate. Part of the kanagu mawari.

Nagagawa (dô) — The part of the that fully encloses the torso; that is, the bottom half as opposed to the tateage. It is a synonym of kabuki dô.

Namazu gane — Old-style hand guard; so named as it is shaped like the head of a catfish (namazu).

Nanban — Literally "Southern barbarian"; the Period Japanese adjective to refer to anything European, such as a nanban dô, a nanban kabuto, or nanban kusari (European-style mail).

Nawame odoshi — The row of diagonal lacing in kebiki odoshi.

Ni-mai dô — A two-sectional ("clamshell") armour, with one hinge.

Nodowa — Gorget that sits flat on the throat.

Ô — Prefix for "large."

Odoshige — Lacing material

Okegawa dô — Common two-sectional clamshell armour of rivetted lame construction.

Oharaidate — Helmet crest holder.

Oshitsuke-no-ita — Top plate attached to a backplate. Part of the kanagu mawari.

Ô-yoroi — Literally "great armour." The old-fashioned, boxy armour.

Ryô-awase dô — An armour of two (or six) sections and no hinges, which is tied closed on both sides.

Sashimono — Banner often worn on the back of armour for identification.

Se-ita — Optional back plate worn with a haramaki. Also called a coward's plate.

Sendan-no-ita — A piece of armour resembling a miniature sode. It was worn at the front of ô-yoroi to protect the right armpit.

Shiki — A strip of metal run behind scale boards to give them strength; laced in place with the shita garami.

Shikoro — Nape guard.

Shino — Splint; long, narrow plates used in kote and sode.

Shinobi-no-o — Helmet cord.

Shita jikoro — Literally "under shikoro"; a (usually brigandined or mail-faced) fabric lining that hangs down inside a kabuto.

Shita garami — Lacing to secure scales horizontally into boards.

Shiten-no-byô — Functionless rivet on the hachi, numbering four in total; paired with a hibiki-no-ana.

Shobugawa — A popular pattern of koberi. It's so popular that koberi is sometimes called shobugawa.

Sode — Shoulder armour.

Sugake odoshi — Sparce-point lacing, in pairs.

Suji — Rib, as in the turned-up edges of a helmet plate.

Suneate — Greaves.

Sômen — Full mask; like a menpô but also protects the forehead.

Tabi — Split-toed socks.

Tachi dô — Literally "standing cuirass"; another name for tôsei dô which refers to their rigidity and ability to stand up unsupported rather than collapse as did older style cuirasses.

Takahimo — Pair of cords used to tie a dô shut.

Tankô — A protohistoric, solid-bodied cuirass worn c. 4th-6th centuries.

Tatami — Literally "folding." Any of a variety of armours or accessories made of small plates sewn to a backing and/or connected by mail, designed to be folded for easy portability.

Tate garami — Older lacing style in which the suspensory braid passing through the next lame ran vertically rather than executing a diagonal. It was replaced by nawame garami.

Tateage — The term for various parts of armour that jut up from others, including the knee guards of suneate and the upper plates on a cuirass.

Tatehagi dô — A cuirass of lames that run vertically.

Tehen-no-kanamono — Ornamental fitting around the tehen.

Tehen — Hole in the top of multiplate helmets.

Tekkô — Hand guard.

Tenpyô gawa — A popular type of egawa in the 16th century. Named for the Tenpyô Era.

Tominaga gote — A type of kote with an extended upper section; the left and right kote might actually meet and close together.

Tôsei — Adjective meaning "modern" (i.e., sixteenth century). Used to delineate various items as in "tôsei gusoku" or "tôsei sode."

Tsubo — Literally "jar." It refers to a style of suneate or kote in which a few plates solidly enclose the limb and protect it.

Ukebari — Lining, be it helmet or cuirass.

Uketsubo — The receiving cup for the base of the sashimono pole.

Wakibiki — Armpit guard worn under armour.

Wakidate — Helmet crest when worn at the side(s).

Wakiita — Part of the kanagu mawari which protects the armpit.

Waraji — Straw sandals.

Watagami — Shoulder strap, part of the kanagu mawari.

Yodare kake — Literally "dribble hang"; the bib of lames that protects the neck and throat.

Yokohagi dô — A cuirass constructed of lames that run horizontally.

Yoroi — Armour; old term. Generally used to refer to older armours.

Yoroi Hitatare — Battle robe worn under armour by the wealthy and influential.

Yoshitsune gote — A type of kote so named because the great Minamoto no Yoshitsune wore kote like them. (As did everyone else before 1300.)

Yotsume zane — Scales designed for the top row in a series of lames; they are flat, with all the holes punched.

Yurugi ito — Lacing that suspends the kusazuri from the dô.

Za kanamono — Grommets.

Zunari — Literally "head-shaped"; a type of helmet style including the so-called three-plate hineno kabuto.

  This page was last modified on: 12/14/2014

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