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Tankō (短甲): Kofun period laminar armor

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Tankō (短甲): Kofun period laminar armor


A classic Kofun period warrior wearing tank
ō armor, from 短甲冑着用男子図.

Before reading all of this, I have to say that this article was made possible thanks to the book of Mr. Trevor Absolon: " Samurai Armour: Volume I: The Japanese Cuirass: 1 (General Military) . Bloomsbury Publishing". Without his work, this would not have been possible. If you want to buy his book, I strongly recommend to do, since aside few flaws it is probably one of the best books on the subject in English.

One of the first armor associated with the Japanese culture is the so called Tankō (短甲), a solid clamshell cuirass made with riveted or laced iron plates used during the Kofun period (古墳時代), in between the 4th and 6th century.
Although it is often said that this armor was the first type of armor developed in Japan, it wasn't; armor have been used in Japan since the Yayoi period, and the Tankō was neither an entirely Japanese design.

In fact, the origin of such armor …

Defeating Late Japanese Armor - Tosei Gusoku (当世具足)

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Defeating Late Japanese Armor - Tosei Gusoku (当世具足)

A section of the famous ukiyo - e "ten brave takeda warriors" -武田勇士揃 by Utagawa Sadahide.

This was an article that was requested and one that I've really enjoyed writing, although it took a lot of efforts and researches.
It is a follow up of my complete analysis of the heaviest possible configuration worn by a wealthy samurai during the late 16th century, Tosei Gusoku (当世具足) - Body Coverage Explained; if you haven't read it yet, I highly suggest you to do so in order to better understand this topic.

So today I will cover the various way to specifically deal with that type of configuration and how it was done historically during the Sengoku period.
Before start, I will do a quick recap on the main weakspots of the armor:

A sketch of the most protective possible configuration of a late 16th century tosei gusoku. I'm not an artist but all the armor pieces you see are based on real pieces found in museum, private collecti…