One of the strangest samurai helmets (kawari kabuto) in the history of Japan was the kabuto of Kato Kiyomasa, the Japanese daimyō who owned the Kumamoto castle.
The original helmet still exists today and can be seen at the Tokugawa Art Museum in Nagoya, but you can understand how unusual this headgear was by looking at these life-size cardboard cutouts, photographed in front of the Kumamoto Castle.
The Kato Kiyomasa armor is the one on the right side of the photo, and the extremely long helmet was inspired by eboshi, a type of stiff black silk cap worn by samurai at formal events. Its unusual size was meant to indicate that the wearer was a very high status samurai…
Yesterday’s Japan Photo: