Japanese Ashigaru Jingasa Helmet, Edo Period


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Ashigaru were foot-soldiers who were employed by the samurai class of feudal Japan. The
type of armor they wore varied greatly and one type of helmet they wore was the conical
jingasa, made of lacquered hardened leather or iron. Its conical shape could deflect most
blows from an edged weapon, even if its material was lightweight and not particularly
strong. This example is made from hardened leather, approximately 1/4″ thick with a small
rim around the bottom edge. Rather than coming to a point as do most jingasa, this
example has a 2 ½” diameter flat top. It is lacquered with alternating bands of black and
gray (some losses, especially on the rim). Near the top it is pierced with four pairs of small
holes for attaching a lining with leather cord; some of the cord remaining, but lacking the
lining. Diameter 12 1/8″ at base, height 7 1/4″. Former collection of film producer John D.
Schofield ( “As Good as it Gets”, “Jerry Maguire”, “Enemy at the Gates”, “The Brothers
Grimm”, etc.).