The armor is comprised of a round helmet with a neck protector and a crescent-moon shaped ornament; a mask with fake mustache; an upper-body protector with sleeves from waist down and paulownia crest in the middle; a thigh cover; two metal leg protectors; two arm and hand protectors. The suit is stored in a black lacquered box with the gold crest.
The helmet is made of red-painted metal lined with indigo-died cotton fabric and deer skin leather trim, which is attached to the metal helmet. The cotton is quilted with indigo-dyed cotton threads. There are two loops on side and one loop in the back, to hold a code for tying below the wearer’s chin. The code is indigo-dyed and then plaited; there are some fading areas. On the outside of helmet, the paulownia crest is on side flaps (to protect ears). There is a hole in the middle of the helmet for a head ornament. The metal leaves are interlaced with cotton strings. Ceremonial knots of yellow code on the back. It weights about 10 pounds.
The helmet ornament is in crescent moon shape and made of lacquered wood in gold color. There is a slot on the back to place the ornament in the helmet. The slot is nailed to the wood; it looks like a later creation.
The mask covers below the wearer’s eyes, ears, nose and mouth, and down to front neck. The upper part is made of metal; the neck is in metal pieces and cotton codes. The mustache is made of animal hair. The mouth has fake teeth painted with gold.
The arm and hand protectors are made of red-painted metal shell and silk fabric with small flower motifs lined with deerskin and indigo-dyed cotton fabric. The shell is consisted of small metal panels connected with chains. The hand protectors have three different crests. The protectors are tied with indigo dyed cotton codes on back.
The leg protectors are also made of red-painted metal with silk fabric lining. On the metal surface of each piece, there are the artist’s signature and seal.
The body is consisted of metal panels, lacquered with gold in design of peonies and vines. The family crest appears in the middle. Metal knots are in chrysanthemum design. Inside is lined with leather printed with lions and peonies. The shoulder pads are made of cotton quilt in tortoise shell design.
The apron for thighs is made of silk fabric quilt and metal panels. The metal panels protect thighs. The apron belt is made of cotton kasuri; the back is lined with indigo dyed cotton.
The thick belt for the body is made of padded silk fabric.
Elaborate suit of armors were produced since the mid-Heian period (794 - 1185) throughout the Edo period (1615 - 1868) in Japan. Battle field was a place to show one's wealth and lineage, as well as heroism; armors thus embodied sophisticated taste and high craftsmanship. Often times flamboyance was emphasized more than practicality. The large crescent-moon ornament on the helmet here is a good example. The family crests such as this paulownia crest are often decorated on the armor since they indicate the lineage of the samurai. The household of this armor's original owner may have been a retainer of Toyotomi Hideyoshi, a military ruler of Momoyama period (1583-1615).
This white porcelain jar has the design of six Chinese sages and an attendant boy with blue underglaze in delicate brushwork. One sage is reading a book, while another is listening. The attendant boy is standing next to the sage with a book. Other four sages are looking at a long hand scroll. Some sages hold staffs on their hands. One sage has a string instrument. The jar has a broad shoulder and an inverted mouth, where the lid is placed. The knob of the lid is in a shape of a reclining boy (unpainted), surrounded by books, hanging scrolls, a cane, and a fan, which are painted with blue underglaze. It also has a shallow foot.
Chinese sages are engaging in literati activities: reading books and looking at scrolls.
A large group of young women inside a building surrounded by male servants. The women all wear various styles of kimono, though the predominant colors are red and green. The inside of the building is on the bottom floor with a set of steps leading up to a second floor, not depicted.
A print showing the inside of a brothel in Yoshiwara. The finely dressed courtesans are walking around while young attendants are busy with chores, such as one man blowing air into a furnace, as if the brothel is about to open. The clean state of the brothel implies that it caters to sophisticated and wealthy clients. This print is part of a series of five.
A group of 18 women inside a building wearing various kimono with the predominant colors being grey, red, black, and green. Some of the kimono also have orange coloring. The patterns and designs on the kimono vary from images of flowers to geometric designs. A rice paper door is seen in the background leading to a room at a slightly higher level and an image of a phoenix can be partially seen on the wall in the back and to the left. One of the women near the front is tying the string around a package while three other women near her are arranging small footed trays. One of the women in the forefront and to the left appears to be holding a cup or jar.
The image shows a group of courtesans and their servants and assistants in a brothel in Yoshiwara preparing to open. Female servants in the image wipe off dust from small footed trays while the courtesans walk about. The intricate wood details and the image of the phoenix in the back impy that this house caters to wealthy clients. This print is from a series of five.
A print of 15 women inside a building dressed in various kimono with the predominant colors being grey, red, black, and green. Some of the kimono also have orange coloring. The patterns and designs on the kimono vary from images of flowers to geometric designs. One male is kneeling towards the back and another man can be seen in the background leaving the room. Two women to the very back and left of the image appear to be adjusting their makeup. Three women to the front sit around a tea set (partially visable) and two women to their right are whispering to each other.
A print of a group of courtesans at a brothel in the Yoshiwara district. One male servant is seen in the back kneeling over something while another man, possibly another servant, can be seen exiting the room to the back. The movement of the servants and the image of the two courtesans adjusting their makeup implies that the house is preparing to open for business. The intricate design of the building's interior and the clean floors imply that this house catered to wealthy clients. This print is from a series of five.
This plate has durable body and protective glazed surface. Seven brown ring-like patterns (said to be modeled after horse eyes) decorate the inner rim of the large plate. The outermost edge is ringed in brown.
One of the world’s oldest and largest ceramic production sites remaining today, Seto has produced both high quality tea ceremony wares and utilitarian potteries. This plate, called ishi zara (stone plate), is a good example of the everyday type of Seto ware.
An elegant writing box, which originally came with a paperknife, a water-dropper, and a stone for grinding the ink. Black laquer with poetic motifs formed out of abalone shells, gold, silver and corroded lead.
An autumnal scene of a lone gate with tree, thatched fence and the moon. Interior of the box is decorated with wild autumn flowers done using the laborious maki-e technique.
In this print, sophisticated use of soft lines, rounded forms, dark sky, and subtle tones convey the utter silence and weariness of the figures as they trudge through the night-time snow near Kambara.
This print is said to be the best in the series, and among Hiroshige's finest work. The scene conveys a sense of silence, and weariness. The villagers hunch under the weight of their loads, the snow and cold, and the night sky.