Chest armour

The chest armour, cuirass or do, is the main source of protection for the samurai. This do consists of the front and back plate (clamshell shaped or Hotoke-do) that are hinged together. The do is fastened shut under the right arm. One cannot see the plates of armour, it has a smooth lacquered surface. It resembles more a European cuirass.

The front plate is decorated with a painted dragon (nihon no ryu). Dragons in Japanese culture are wingless and have three claws, unlike their Chinese counterparts. This dragon is a celestial dragon writhing in the clouds of the sky and it’s clutching a divine pearl which has healing powers.

Object Summary

Accession Loan No.
Collection Class
Arms and armour
Collection Area Region
Common Name
chest armour
Simple Name
chest armour
Production Town
Hiogo (now Hyogo)
Production Country
Production Year High

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chest armour (do)