Colorful Samurai mask

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$2.80
Smaragdas

Philadelphia, United States

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Sizing Information

Extra Large
14.0" x 13.5"
Large
8.5" x 8.2"
Medium
5.5" x 5.3"
Small
3.1" x 3.0"

Features

  • Removable, individually die-cut vinyl
  • Ideal for smooth flat surfaces like laptops, journals, windows, etc.
  • 1/8th of an inch white border around each design

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Artist's Description

Samurai (侍?) were the military-nobility and officer-caste of medieval and early-modern Japan. From childhood, the Samurai were trained to have self-discipline and a sense of duty, together with contempt for material goods and for fear, pain and especially death.

Samurai Masks have always been a source of fascination for me and it seems, for many others given the influence they continue to have in popular media culture. In this article I’ll explore the common varieties of samurai masks from the historical Kabuto (兜, 冑), the helmet worn by the samurai, and the menpō / mengu (face mask) in particular, to the theatrical masks of popular culture.
The kabuto or samurai helmet is easily identifiable and immediately striking in appearance. However, they weren’t always like that pictured below opposite. The kabuto developed over a series of centuries in direct reaction to the changes in battle and warfare the samurai experienced.
The first of what would become samurai masks debuted in Japan between the 5 th – 10th Century AD. Imported and adapted from China. There were 2 helmet types;
1) Mabizashi (keiko). This helmet had a horizontal peak, like a Roman centurion’s. It was designed to defend against direct downwards or diagonal downward blows.
2) Shokaku (tanko) was a beaked helmet. It was cheaper to make and thus more popular. Both have “sane” (small plates) hanging from the sides to create neck and cheek guards.
By the 8th -12 Century AD, known as the Heian Period or classical period we see the start of the typical samurai like helmets known as ikaboshi kabuto. These helmets were characterised by large winged side’s called fukigaeshi. The helmets also developed radial segments to create the rounded shape and were characterised by the visible rivets holding them in place. The helmet or kabuto also had a 4 cm hole at top for the top-knot, part of the traditional hair style worn by the samurai. It was also used for ventilation. There was no inner liner and it wasn’t the most comfortable. The design of this helmet was for defence against overhead attacks from those mounted on horseback and against arrows from above.

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desktop tablet-landscape content-width tablet-portrait workstream-4-across phone-landscape phone-portrait

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