Akoda Nari Bachi
Place of Origin: Muromachi period, Japan
Overall Height: 170mm
Bowl Diameter: 270mm
An interesting late Muromachi period (1333-1573) multi plate akoda nari bachi (helmet bowl) circa 1520. Made from 28 individual long triangular iron plates iron riveted together in a symmetrical fashion. Each plate is formed with a standing suji (flange) to give strength and rigidity. The top of the bowl is finished with a four stage tehen kanamono (decorative metal fixture) in copper, gilt and silver and finely engraved with scrolling karakusa (vines). The front plate is applied with three shinodare (arrow shaped fittings that were originally added for strength). The surface of the helmet bowl now has a beautiful russet iron patina with the external rivet heads finished flush.
A rare feature are the two folding fukigaeshi (protective turn-back ‘flaps’), which are connected to the remaining top lame of the shikoro (neck guard). Folding fukigaeshi were preferred by samurai archers as they could be pushed flush to the side of the helmet so as not to catch the bowstring.
During the Muromachi period this style of helmet bowl was considered to be the finest of all helmet designs, it was both strong and light and was favoured by many high ranking Samurai.
A similar helmet is illustrated by I. Bottomley & A.P Hopson, p.75 and p.144.