Japanese chain garments as armor or kusari gusoku.
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Posted on Sun May 02, 2010 9:11 am
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A different type of armored clothing using kusari and hardened leather kikko.

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Posted on Tue May 04, 2010 7:35 pm
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Now this is more of what I think about when I think of Japanese armor. Granted this discussion has opened my eyes and expanded my definitions.


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Posted on Tue May 11, 2010 5:54 pm
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Here is an interesting article I found that I thought I would share with everybody.

http://www.iaincaradoc.org/~iain/gusari.html

It is very interesting and it also provides some other references.


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Posted on Sun May 16, 2010 1:31 am
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MusicMan wrote:
Here is an interesting article I found that I thought I would share with everybody.

http://www.iaincaradoc.org/~iain/gusari.html

It is very interesting and it also provides some other references.
Thats a good article, pretty accurate info. Here are a couple of different items

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Posted on Mon May 17, 2010 5:24 pm
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american samurai wrote:


That is a very interesting piece. I didn't know the Japanese played football.

Jokes aside it looks like it would be really functional. It offers protection under the arms, I am assuming, while still keeping things segmented for mobility.


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Posted on Mon May 24, 2010 3:09 pm
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MusicMan wrote:
american samurai wrote:


That is a very interesting piece. I didn't know the Japanese played football.

Jokes aside it looks like it would be really functional. It offers protection under the arms, I am assuming, while still keeping things segmented for mobility.
Thats funny as it serves the same function as football padding in a way, which is worn under the uniform. It is either a wakibiki or a manchira (depending on who,s reference you use) and was meant to be worn under traditional armor to protect the areas left open and probably helped cushion the shoulders from the weight of the armor.

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Posted on Fri Jun 11, 2010 7:10 pm
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An interesting picture and one of the very few showing kusari being worn. It appears to be posed and some of the armor is not worn well but it is still a rare and valuable picture.


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Posted on Sat Jun 12, 2010 3:23 pm
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I have seen pictures like this in documentaries. I think it was sort of like what they showed in the movie "The Last Samurai." Westerners who were aware that a culture was coming to an end used a new technology, the camera, to document what the old culture was once like before it faded into obscurity. You see this with the American Indians and while many if not all of the pictures were posed it provided a look into what was at one time.


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Posted on Wed Aug 25, 2010 4:06 am
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A couple of new kusari items.














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Posted on Wed Aug 25, 2010 3:52 pm
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Some really nice pieces you have acquired there.

I have a question. In the last two pictures there are some spots where the J4-1 has square holes in the pattern, under the arms and at the bottom of the jacket, are there plates in the fabric at that point or was that done because of flexibility issues? Any thoughts.


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Posted on Wed Aug 25, 2010 5:35 pm
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My first thought was that there must be plates at those points, but I can't imagine there would be plates added to the under arm area. That wouldn't make sense.

Was there another piece of armor worn under the lower part of the jacket (such as leg armor)? If so, it would make sense to reduce the coverage at that point since any more would be redundant. Also, the reductions would make the armor lighter, I imagine.

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Posted on Wed Aug 25, 2010 6:00 pm
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Vorondil wrote:
My first thought was that there must be plates at those points, but I can't imagine there would be plates added to the under arm area. That wouldn't make sense.


Plates under the arms could provide added protection against arrows, but I agree it seems unlikely. I was wondering if the weave wasn't so dense that they added these negative spaces to increase flexibility under the arms and at the bottom of the jacket where it would need to flex more. But these are all just guesses.


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Posted on Thu Aug 26, 2010 2:29 am
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Vorondil wrote:
My first thought was that there must be plates at those points, but I can't imagine there would be plates added to the under arm area. That wouldn't make sense.

Was there another piece of armor worn under the lower part of the jacket (such as leg armor)? If so, it would make sense to reduce the coverage at that point since any more would be redundant. Also, the reductions would make the armor lighter, I imagine.


If you notice, not only do some areas have empty squares, there are areas were the chain goes from a heavier pattern to a lighter pattern, this was to reduce weight in less essential areas,

There were many different types of armor which could be worn under a kusari (chain) katabira. I will show pictures of a few types. Different types of chest armor could be worn, here is a kikko vest, kikko is hexagon armor plates made from hardened leather or iron sewn between layers of cloth or on top of cloth and a karuta dou, karuta is small iron plates with chain connecting the plates and sewn to cloth.

These were lightweight, portable types of armor and along with gloves,hoods, collapsible and folding helmets, shin and thigh guards and other various pieces made from kikko, kusari and karuta allowed the wearer to layer protection as needed.










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Posted on Wed Jun 15, 2011 12:13 pm
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I uploaded these pictures first in the "Birthday Club 2011" thread. And it seems that there is a discussion starting about the lacquering of the maille. This discussion fits better into this thread, so I will start it here again:

Ok, here are a few pics:
I sent Music Man two pieces of japanese maille, lacquered and sewn to japanese silk as it was the case on samurai armour. The area covered by the maille is 7 cm x 7 cm.

Kaushi-Gusari:




Kame-Ko-Gusari:




Zerwas wrote:
Are the rings covered with something ?

It s a bit hard to see but looks like some sort of "latex coating" or something.
Catweazle wrote:
The rings are painted with black lacquer. This was a usual method for the japanese people to strengthen the small rings.
ZiLi wrote:
I do not think that a possible strengthening aspect was a major factor for lacquering maille - this is given only for other types of Japanese armor like helmets, lamellar and plate armor. But lacquering has other advantages. So e.g. the corrosion resistance is significantly increased - remember that Japan is an island and has an oceanic climate. And lacquering makes things less draggy, due to the slicker surface, what in the end could indirectly lead to a potentially better protection - but no direct strengthening in case of maille.

But be assured: It wasn't done without cause. BTW: The design (optical aspect) is not the cause for in case of hidden, sewn-in maille - but also this was lacquered, usually.

-ZiLi-



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Posted on Wed Jun 15, 2011 12:22 pm
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Of course Zili is right, when he says that lacquer is important for protecting the maille against corrosion. But the strenghtening of the maille is also important, because the wire is very thin. And it doesn't make any sense to rivet these rings. Therefore the lacquer will strengthen the rings. It is harder to open the rings and the maille is more stiff.


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