aSaddle and horse armour of a mounted Samurai.
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By Periklis Deligiannis
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The armour and equipment of the Samurai’s horses are equally impressive with the respective items of the warriors themselves. The specific military equipment of rider and horse originates from continental Asia, specifically from the nomads of the Eurasian steppe who passed it to the Chinese and the Koreans when the latter founded armored cavalry units of the nomadic type, and later passed it in their turn to Japan. The well known Chinese Empires and also the Korean states (especially the kingdoms of Baekje, Silla and the Gaya confederacy) played an important role in this conveyance. But already from the beginning the Japanese developed differently the original Continental prototypes, following a specific style of their own; I guess because of their insular isolation and their permanent tendency to be self-sufficient. Thereby they totally developed their own types of lamellar and scale armour, stirrups, bridle, chanfrons and other equipment for the riding and the protection of their horses in battle. However Chinese influence is evident, particularly in the chanfrons in which the Japanese were usually giving the form of a dragon, specifically in the Chinese style.
This is a photographic collection of horse armour, stirrups, bridle, chanfrons and other horse equipment of the Samurais mainly of the Muromachi (Ashikaga) and Edo periods of the Japanese history.

a-1

Saddle and horse armour of a mounted Samurai.

a (2)

Horse chanfron in the form of a dragon

a (4)

Japan at the end of the Muromachi period. Map showing the territories of major daimyo families.

a (3)

Japan at the start of the Edo period. Map showing the provinces during the shogunate of Tokugawa Ieyasu.

a (5)
Horse chanfron in the form of a dragon

a (6)

Horse chanfron in the form of a dragon

a (7)

Saddle and horse armour of a mounted Samurai.

a (8)Saddle.

a (9)

Stirrups

a (10)

Stirrups

a (11)

Saddle, horse armour, harness and chanfron .
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CONTINUE READING IN PART II
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Periklis Deligiannis
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