28 January 2023

Military helmet (Japan, 1618)

Reminds me of a tardigrade egg.  But if I were designing a helmet, I think I'd prefer one where weapons would glance off rather than get held by the spikes.


  1. Is that based on a sea shell? The spiral at the top gives it away.

  2. But while his weapon is hung up for mere seconds you can cut him in half with your katana.

  3. The spikes could have had other uses (though there might have been a military use also). For instance:

    It could be based on aesthetics.

    It could be that they considered conch shell (if indeed the helmet is based on that design) as lucky--or that it brought a blessing.

    It might be that without the spikes, a blow from a sword could more easily land squarely and effectively, but that the spikes slow or deflect the blade.

    Or it might be that someone bribed the military general and offered him a kickback for every helmet the military bought.

    Or maybe the general's wife said, "Oh, those will make your soldiers look fabulous!"

    I could go on.... (SMILE)

  4. A lot of the decoration on those helmets was pressed paper (like papier-mache) or balsa wood. The goal was to present something striking that would immediately identify the wearer on a battlefield (one helmet I've seen has enormous golden rabbit ears attached!). The core of the helmet was riveted steel plates and plenty sturdy.

  5. As Michael Skeet said, it's a decoration, in this case a sazae shellfish, known as a turban shell. They're a very popular dish in Japan. https://3.bp.blogspot.com/-gP_M91hGrlI/V5h5eY381zI/AAAAAAAAGCQ/Exgo9TZJMZcZqfHtxs7p2IU1P_OqJkT-ACLcB/s1600/IMG_3734.JPG


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