Japanese Mail Research Project
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Posted on Wed Mar 17, 2010 8:49 pm
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If you have rings that are seperated from the armor, you could also weigh them. That'll give us a density, which would be a good way to identify different metals used, if any.

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Posted on Wed Mar 17, 2010 10:37 pm
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Dinwar wrote:
If you have rings that are seperated from the armor, you could also weigh them. That'll give us a density, which would be a good way to identify different metals used, if any.
Good ideas, I think that all these testing suggestions should be put into a list, it might be possible to sent some rings to a lab so that any findings will have more validity, also they would have the equipment to take delicate readings, like a scale etc for very light weight items. Here is an example>>> http://www.labtesting.com/

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Posted on Wed Mar 17, 2010 10:57 pm
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This is where a grant will come in handy--guys like that cost a fair amount of money. I've used similar labs for groundwater samples, at $150 or so per analysis. Granted, that analysis may cover two dozen chemicals, but still, I don't have a spare $150 to spend getting a rings analyzed.

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Posted on Wed Mar 17, 2010 11:17 pm
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Dinwar wrote:
This is where a grant will come in handy--guys like that cost a fair amount of money. I've used similar labs for groundwater samples, at $150 or so per analysis. Granted, that analysis may cover two dozen chemicals, but still, I don't have a spare $150 to spend getting a rings analyzed.
Thats getting ahead of things, first we would have to have a concise list of tests which could be accurately preformed and then find a lab or labs which could do the tests (hopefully all in one place) and get a cost idea....then you worry about the cost. The first step is identifying what tests would actually provide helpful information. As I stated, I am not an expert in any way as to what information would be important to know on this subject so all these ideas are really interesting to me. If in the future someone wanted to make replicas of this kind of armor with authentic fabric and chain what information would they need ( I have always wanted a exact copy in my size!), and if someone wanted to compare the Japanese rings to the European rings what information would be helpful to them? Any ideas could be put in a list and discusse3d as to their actual importance. Cost is the last thing to worry about, ( I have a few ideas about this but first things first) The cost of radiocarbon dating fabric from the university of Arizona is around $700 alone but it could be very helpful in establishing a real age of at least 1 item rather than guessing (as Ian Bottomley suggested has been done up to now) Lets just make a list of all possible tests first and then go from there.

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Posted on Wed Mar 17, 2010 11:46 pm
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Sorry. I didn't mean to sound like this was impossible. It's the fact that I'm a consultant. Cost is the FIRST thing we think about. Smile

As for tests......
1)Exact composition (iron, carbon, any contaminants/alloyed metals)
2)hardness
3)Maliability
4)Forensic evidence (stuff that'll let us know where its been these past few hundred years--not that I'm doubting the object's authenticity; rather, this information can be useful in determining how these pieces were viewed, how they were handled, where they were kept, etc)
5)Composition of the rust (the iron will be the same, but all rust isn't the same)
6)Density
7)Electircal conductivity (to get a feel for how uniform the metal is)

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Posted on Thu Mar 18, 2010 12:21 am
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Dinwar wrote:
Sorry. I didn't mean to sound like this was impossible. It's the fact that I'm a consultant. Cost is the FIRST thing we think about. Smile

As for tests......
1)Exact composition (iron, carbon, any contaminants/alloyed metals)
2)hardness
3)Maliability
4)Forensic evidence (stuff that'll let us know where its been these past few hundred years--not that I'm doubting the object's authenticity; rather, this information can be useful in determining how these pieces were viewed, how they were handled, where they were kept, etc)
5)Composition of the rust (the iron will be the same, but all rust isn't the same)
6)Density
7)Electircal conductivity (to get a feel for how uniform the metal is)
I actually have a lot of experience doing tests and having tests done as I used to run water treatment plants ( I had 4 licenses from the ADEQ) and sent samples out to labs and did in house testing as well (e coli etc) but the tests were already accepted and routinely done and the price and usefulness of the tests was well established.........in this case with no previous examples to go from, a new set of tests would have to be developed that someone in the future could repeat if they wanted to. Cost is a concern of course but first you have to have a list of possible tests in order to determine the costs.

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Posted on Thu Mar 18, 2010 3:23 am
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american samurai wrote:
If in the future someone wanted to make replicas of this kind of armor with authentic fabric and chain what information would they need ( I have always wanted a exact copy in my size!), and if someone wanted to compare the Japanese rings to the European rings what information would be helpful to them?


If I wanted to make an authentic replica of a piece some of the information I would look for are:
1. What weave was used: European 4-1, Japanese 4-1... ( I am using maille terminology when using these terms)
2. Dimensions of the circular rings
+ Diameter of the wire
+ inner diameter of the rings
3. Dimensions of the oval rings
+ diameter of the wire
+ inner dimensions (length & width) of the rings
+ possibly the overall length of the wire used in making an oval ring (this could help determine the amount of overlap common in the split rings)
4. Riveted, butted, split or welded rings (I believe you have said that none of the rings are solid or riveted, but others would need to know) for both the circular and oval rings
5. Maille shirt construction
+ how the armpits were connected
+ how the sleeves were made
+ dimensions on the back where expansions or contractions may have been made for ease of movement
6. How was the maille attached to the cloth
7. General construction information on the garment
+ was there padding
+ the construction of the garment itself (was it just two halves sewn together....)
+ type of stitching used

These are just some things off the top of my head. Mind you I have never made a hauberk, byrnie or any other maille garment before or a cloth one either so this list could be incomplete or some parts unnecessary.


Once you stop learning, you stop living, so...
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MailleCode V2.0 T5.3 R4.4 E0.0 Feur MFe.sBr Wg Cwb G.7-5.1 I3.1-11 N20.5 Pj Dcdjt Xa1w2 S08

Joined: February 24, 2010
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Posted on Fri Apr 23, 2010 9:24 pm
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american samurai wrote:
Dinwar wrote:
This is where a grant will come in handy--guys like that cost a fair amount of money. I've used similar labs for groundwater samples, at $150 or so per analysis. Granted, that analysis may cover two dozen chemicals, but still, I don't have a spare $150 to spend getting a rings analyzed.
Thats getting ahead of things, first we would have to have a concise list of tests which could be accurately preformed and then find a lab or labs which could do the tests (hopefully all in one place) and get a cost idea....then you worry about the cost. The first step is identifying what tests would actually provide helpful information. As I stated, I am not an expert in any way as to what information would be important to know on this subject so all these ideas are really interesting to me. If in the future someone wanted to make replicas of this kind of armor with authentic fabric and chain what information would they need ( I have always wanted a exact copy in my size!), and if someone wanted to compare the Japanese rings to the European rings what information would be helpful to them? Any ideas could be put in a list and discusse3d as to their actual importance. Cost is the last thing to worry about, ( I have a few ideas about this but first things first) The cost of radiocarbon dating fabric from the university of Arizona is around $700 alone but it could be very helpful in establishing a real age of at least 1 item rather than guessing (as Ian Bottomley suggested has been done up to now) Lets just make a list of all possible tests first and then go from there.
This would be a great way of testing the age of iron especially if there was a textile age test done at the same time. http://www.tms.org/pubs/journals/JOM/0305/Cook-0305.html

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Posted on Thu Jan 13, 2011 5:54 pm
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After a long time I've updated the literature list.

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Posted on Tue Jan 18, 2011 2:56 pm
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That is a really nice list you have there. Thank you for updating it for us. I have also tried to write a little article about Japanese Maille (Kusuri) so please feel free to check that out and give comments.


Once you stop learning, you stop living, so...
Ask questions.
Try new things.
Share what you know.

MailleCode V2.0 T5.3 R4.4 E0.0 Feur MFe.sBr Wg Cwb G.7-5.1 I3.1-11 N20.5 Pj Dcdjt Xa1w2 S08

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Posted on Thu Jan 20, 2011 1:18 am
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I may have some useful literature in my library (all pdf files at that) I will dig through what I have and can search for specific items if anyone has any suggestions what I can/should look for. I am fairly decent at research, so send me forth on a mission to gather information and I shall do my best

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Posted on Thu Jan 20, 2011 6:03 pm
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@ MusicMan:
Nice article. I've got only one question: In the last paragraph you are writing about 16 different historical patterns of japanese kusari. Where have you found those 16 patterns?

@ honneysue:
In the literature list you see a lot of books about japanese armour. Unfortunately maille is a not a main emphasis in these books. I think we can use every piece of literature about japanese maille. Where did the iron ore came from, were there armourers who had specialised in the production of maille, names of the patterns and what are the meanings of the names in our languages, ...

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Posted on Thu Jan 20, 2011 6:26 pm
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Catweazle - It is in one of the resouces I used listed at the end of the article. I will see if I can find the exact one for you.

*edit* Checked it out and I was wrong. I got that information from an e-mail from a armor dealer in Japan. He said that there was a book 'NIHON KATTCHU BUGU JITEN' by the author SASAMA YOSHIHIKO that shows and describes 16 different patterns. The book is in japanese so I couldn't get to in depth with what I saw online. I can also believe that because in some of the other resources listed they showed 12 and I can think of other possible variations from those 12 (each variation is given a different name and thus looked upon as a different weave.)


Once you stop learning, you stop living, so...
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Try new things.
Share what you know.

MailleCode V2.0 T5.3 R4.4 E0.0 Feur MFe.sBr Wg Cwb G.7-5.1 I3.1-11 N20.5 Pj Dcdjt Xa1w2 S08

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Posted on Thu Jan 20, 2011 8:04 pm
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MusicMan wrote:
The book is in japanese so I couldn't get to in depth with what I saw online.
Where have you seen it? Can you give me the link?

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Posted on Thu Jan 20, 2011 8:11 pm
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I don't remember for sure, but I believe Amazon or B&N had an online sampling. It has been a while so I don't really remember sorry.


Once you stop learning, you stop living, so...
Ask questions.
Try new things.
Share what you know.

MailleCode V2.0 T5.3 R4.4 E0.0 Feur MFe.sBr Wg Cwb G.7-5.1 I3.1-11 N20.5 Pj Dcdjt Xa1w2 S08

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