Two Japanese ‘Boy’s Day’ miniature samurai suits of armour
Possibly late Meiji/early Taisho Period, late 19th/early 20th century
One larger and one smaller, both in gold lacquer, comprising kabuto with demon mask, the cuirass threaded in gold with sleeves and kawara haidate and shoes. Both in a wooden armour box and on a stand.
H. 114 / 68 cm
Private collection, the Netherlands
Traditionally, ‘Children’s Day’ is celebrated in Japan on the 5th of May. Also known as Tango-no-Sekku, or Boys’ Festival, and is marked by special customs and observances focussing on the healthy growth and development of young boys. On this day, the elaborately miniature masculine suits of armour are displayed in homes, and also the famous carp kites are risen in front of the house, one each for every member of the family. The day is the counterpart of hinamatsuri or Girl’s Day, during which the famous dolls of the imperial court are placed in homes.