Anatomical Armor (part 3)

Well, now we will recover to the East and ... but first let us recall the Indian cuirass charainu - a box-shaped armor consisting of four flat plates. Interestingly, it didn’t prevent rational Europeans from wearing such armor, because it’s hard to come up with something more rational. True, in some charaynah you can see bulges on the chest, which can be taken for imitation of pectoral muscles. But these "bumps" are so aestheticized that they can only be considered a hint of "muscularity."

Anatomical Armor (part 3)

Japanese breastplate no-do. Left - front, right - behind.

The mirror has become a typical Turkish armor, as well as "Muscovite" in the XVI century. This armor could be worn on ordinary clothing, and on chain mail, he had shoulder pads, a breastplate and a backrest, and side panels. That is, it was convenient for the archer, but it was also convenient for the equestrian shooter from the gunshot weapons.

Turkish mirror.

The Chinese also used similar armor, they did not wear chain mail unless it was mined as trophies, as well as the Indians. They had armor very similar to the Chinese din ga armor, that is, a thousand nails. In Indian it sounds “chilta Khazar Masha” and is translated as “a robe of a thousand nails”. In fact, there were only plates and rivets, as well as large polished plates sewn into the fabric.

Indian armor "chilta Khazar Masha", XIX century Royal Arsenal in Leeds, England.

In India, they also learned how to manufacture cuirass-like European ones, and again with a hint of "muscularity," though not at all. That is, “anatomy”, both in Europe and in Asia, did not take root and, in general, remained a part of the culture of antiquity.

A mural depicting a rider in armor of plates (or strips of leather, judging by the image, we can assume this and that) from Penjikent.

Here again, it must be noted that since the times of ancient Assyria (and Sumer!), The East preferred plate armor. The plates, the plates and once again the plates are found in the burials of the Minusinsk Basin and practically throughout Asia. They are depicted in frescoes from Penjikent and in miniature books of “Shahname”, that is, where people shot from a bow with a horse, namely armor, consisting of many metal or leather plates, was the most optimal means of protection.

Samurai armor with vertical stripes cuirass.

However, we know the country where traditions, religion, local conditions, and ... acquaintance with someone else's, in this case, European culture, had the most unusual effect on the development of the cuirass. The Indians also began to do cuirass with an edge on his chest after meeting with the Europeans who wore them. However, it was in Japan that the development of an armor cuirass was perhaps the most bizarre and unusual.

Typical armor of the yokihagi-hisithoji-okegawa-do Sayotome Ietada. Edo era, approx. 1690 - 1720

Since Japanese armor has already been described here, we only recall that the earliest of them were also lamellar, like all other Asians, and there is really nothing surprising about this, because Japanese belongs to the Altai group of languages, that is, on its islands where, in the opinion of one of the authors, HE formed a “natural empire”, they were newcomers who fought a fierce battle with local natives of the landie for land and domination. The main weapon of the alien Japanese was a big bow, from which they shot from their horse, and here they were replaced by their old "negligent cut" of armor, and new boxing, like charayin, but armor made of individual plates came . Three types of metal plates were used for their production: large ones with three rows of holes, medium ones with two and very narrow ones with one row. Their combination made it possible to obtain exceptionally strong and tough (!) Armor. At the same time, the chest part of the armor was covered with a bright cloth so that the bowstring of the bow could slide along it freely.

Tamesi-do is the so-called “tried-on armor. Bullet traces were a guarantee of their quality! Tokyo National Museum.

Over time, other armor appeared, already without fabric on the chest, but the very principle of using the plates remained unchanged. Until the Japanese got acquainted with the firearms brought by Europeans. And literally immediately after the spread of it began, Japanese gunsmiths create three types of new armor at once: yokihagi-hishitoji okegawa-do, tatehagi-okegawa-do and just okegawa-do. It is possible that the design of the first armor of the Japanese was overlooked by the Europeans, who already had at that time cuirass of metal bands. In it, the cuirass consisted of longitudinal metal plates, connected by lacing and wire crosswise. Their entire surface was covered with varnish, and sometimes the coating was so thick that the cuirass seemed completely smooth and only the fastenings themselves were visible on it. In the armor, okegawa-up plates were joined by forging. In addition, each of them had a "side" clearly visible on its outer surface.

Typical okegawa-do with plates joined by forging and a strange addition in the form of upper plates on cords. The name of this armor will be so long that it makes no sense to reproduce it. Metropolitan Museum, New York.

The armor of tatehagi-okegavado was called so by the word "tate" - "shield", which the Japanese made of vertical boards brought down between themselves, and served as an analogue of the European pevezi. These armors were assembled from vertical metal plates connected by hidden rivets. The surface of such a cuirass was also covered with various types of primer (here the Japanese showed themselves to be unsurpassed craftsmen!), For example, powdered ceramics and coral, chopped straw, gold powder, and again varnish, through which the primer shone through.

Chased cuirass armor from the Walters Museum in Baltimore, USA.

If the heads of the rivets were visible, then the armor was called kakari-do. The yukinosita-do armor was box-shaped and consisted of solid-forged and practically flat sections, joined at the hinges. They were also called Kanto-do and Sendai-do (by the name of localities) and became very popular after the famous commander Date Masamune dressed them in the whole army.

Another chased 1573 breastplate is 1623's. from the Walters Museum, Baltimore, USA.

At the same time, the one-piece forged globular form of hot-te-do cuirass and ... the fancy “mixture” traditional for Japan - dangae-do: top of the cuirass from horizontal stripes, and the bottom of traditional plates on cords! Actually, in Europe, such armor called brigandine was known in the XIV century and was widely distributed during the Hundred Years War, but they were arranged differently. In them the strips were riveted on the fabric from the inside, and not in the way of Japanese armor.

The design of the European brigandine. Fig. A. Shepsa.

However, there were in Japan very amusing armor, it is unclear how it appeared, and most importantly, it is not clear why and why. This is the armor of the same type of "tosei gusoku", that is, new armor that has an "anatomical cuirass of no-do" or "torso of a buddha." One of the Japanese religious sects believed that there were as many buddhas as sand grains on the banks of the river, and if this is so, why not make a Buddha-shaped shell? Naturally, the "torso" looked purely Japanese, there was no antique grace in these saggy skin folds and ascetic ribs. The cuirass was not covered in pink paint, but on top of it with varnish, which further enhanced its “nudity”.

Breastplate non-do, XIX century

But the most original was the armor of Katanuga-do, in which part of the cuirass was solid-forged, in the form of the “torso of the Buddha”, and some of the plates connected by cords imitating the monastic robe. Why did the Japanese need "this"? Who knows?

Katanugi-do armor, allegedly belonging to Kato Kiyomasa, Muromachi era, Tokyo National Museum.

Finally, the Japanese used the European-style cuirass, imported by the Portuguese and the Dutch, as well as those made by local craftsmen according to European designs. They were attached to the kusazuru leggings, and so it was a typical European cuirass of the appropriate time and purely European fashion. True, they were not polished. The Japanese painted and varnished them.

Namban-do ("Southern Barbarians Armor") by Sakakibar Yasumasa. Tokyo National Museum.

Breastplate namban-do with a characteristic for the European cuirass on the lower side. The Japanese attached kusazuri to it and covered it with brown varnish.

Finally, flat cuirass with hammered images of dragons and gods also spread — a purely Japanese invention, although cuirass decorated with overlaid metal details and also chased, were also well known in Europe.

Parade armor of the Swedish king Eric XIV, 1563 - 1564 all were completely covered with engraving, chasing and metal carving with blackening and gilding. Beautiful, isn't it? But the Japanese would not like such armor. Museums Zwinger, Dresden.

Thus, we can conclude that the fashion for “anatomical cuirass” ended in Japan, and already quite late, somewhere in the nineteenth century, and never returned.

Well, over time, the value of the cuirass gradually faded away. And above all, because if they were still holding the bullets, what kind of cuirass could protect against a cannonball? Moreover, the guns were becoming more maneuverable and rapid-fire! The hole from the 6-pound core in the carabinier’s cuirassé of the 2 9th Carabinieri Regiment of Napoleon’s Army, Army Museum, Paris.
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  1. +1
    21 October 2016 07: 29
    Indian armor "chilta Khazar Masha", XIX century
    .... Thin, however, the work ... A work of art ... only in parades to wear ... Thank you .... good article ..
  2. +4
    21 October 2016 09: 15
    The last photo of the cuirass is simply awesome. Thanks to the author for the material.
    1. +2
      21 October 2016 10: 44
      The plate on the window was written, it seems, that the cavalryman was killed in the Battle of Waterloo.
  3. +3
    21 October 2016 09: 33
    ... And above all, because if they were still holding the bullets, what kind of cuirass could protect against a cannonball? ...
    Well, there is less chance of "catching" a cannonball than a modern artillery shell. This is clearly not the reason. Elementarily expensive and required the launch of production. Cuirasses appeared both in the First and Second World Wars, which did not save from a rifle bullet, well, with rare exceptions only, especially from a cannon projectile of any caliber, but they held well fragments and pistol bullets and, of course, bayonets.
  4. +1
    21 October 2016 10: 41
    Good article thanks.
  5. 2-0
    21 October 2016 11: 23
    Yeah-so ... Largely unlucky 2 th carabinerine regiment of carabineers. I'd like to hope that the core was ours, and our gun is domestic.
    1. 0
      21 October 2016 13: 35
      It seems in the battle of Waterloo. So the gun is English.
      1. 2-0
        21 October 2016 22: 01
        Well, well, the Union core ....
  6. 0
    1 June 2017 11: 57
    Another would be the author would add info as a rolling mill in the Middle Ages did metal sheets for armor would be generally good. All that is not made of pieces of metal (plates) and non-casting resembles modern crafts.
    1. 0
      25 July 2017 12: 53
      the sheet can be made not only by rolling between rolls. But also forging. Only very tiring for the hammerman. Therefore, for the production of sheets, mechanical hammers driven by a water wheel were widely used.

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