Russet Iron Ryûbu Men-pô
Place of Origin: Japan
Date: Edo Period 1615-1868
Overall: 210mm (8.26 inches)
Tetsu sabiji (russet iron) men-pô (below eye-level face armour) in the Ryûbu style.
Ryûbu men are described as having a serene appearance rather than the more commonly encountered Ressei-men: a mask with a snarling, aggressive expression.
This mask has two odayori-gane (flanges continuing down the cheeks) which are designed to stop the helmet cords being cut. Gilded copper ue-ba (teeth) and a striking bristle kuchihige (moustache) are distinctive features of this mask and provide a confident and handsome visual.
An iron tube juts from the underside of the chin to allow perspiration to drain away. The large ear guard plates (mimi) have been decorated with inverted heart cut outs called inome (boar’s eye).
The four-lame throat guard (tare) is made in the kiritsuke ko-zane (simulated small-scale) style with closely spaced lacing (kebiki odoshi), finished in dark blue silk.