This type of helmet is known as a suji-kabuto. The bowl is constructed of fifty-two ridged plates with a pronounced rise at the back. The overall shape is known as akoda-nari (akoda is a squashlike fruit), a style fashionable during the Muromachi period. It dates from the fifteenth century but was remounted for use in the late seventeenth or early eighteenth century. The bowl is inscribed with the character Kami (or Tatematsuru), used by the Haruta school of armorers in Nara. The badge on the turnbacks of the neck guard is that of the Sanada family, daimyo of Ueda.
Inscription: Inscribed on the helmet bowl: Kami.
Dr. Édouard Mène, Paris (d. 1913; his estate sale, Hôtel Drouot, Paris, April 21–26, no. 100, to MMA).
Hôtel Drouot. Armures Japonaises Des Xvie, Xviie Et Xviiie Siècles: Casques, Chapeaux Et Masques De Guerre, Armes Diverses, Gardes De Sabres, Objets En Fer, Cloisonnés Chinois, Laques Du Japon, Pierres Dures. Paris: Hôtel Drouot, April 21–26, 1913. no. 100.
Nickel, Helmut. "Arms and Armor from the Permanent Collection." The Metropolitan Museum of Art Bulletin 49, no. 1 (Summer 1991). pp. 60–61, 64, ill.
Artist: Helmet bowl signed Saotome Iyetada (Japanese, Edo period, active early–mid-19th century)Date: 16th and 18th centuriesMedium: Iron, lacquer, silk, gilt copperAccession: 14.100.172On view in:Gallery 377