Although designed for protection in battle, the Japanese samurai armor was made without neglecting the aesthetic value. The overall appearance, the quality of the materials, the model and the complexity of the decorations were statements about the armor’s owner, about its rank, and were also vital for identification in battle.
Also, certain elements were conceived to make the wearer scarier, like the menpō facial armor featuring frowning expressions, grinning teeth or thick mustaches.
From an aesthetic point of view, the most interesting part is the helmet, kabuto in Japanese. Having an important identification role, kabuto was decorated with one or multiple crests, the one on the front - called maedate - being over-sized and representing the clan’s emblem, stylized horns, mythological creatures or protection symbols.
Yesterday’s Japan Photo: