AB 1131 b


  • AB 274 Samurai doll (front)
  • AB 66-19 Kaiken
  • AB 61-2 Kabuto (front)
  • AB XX 80 Tsuba (side A)
  • AB 60-10 b Stirrup
  • AB 1131 d Miniature Katana and Shoto
  • AB 625 Katana & Scabbard
  • AB XX 133 Mace
  • AB 955 b (front)
  • AB 928 Tsuba (front)
  • AB 60-11 Samurai Doll (front)
  • AB 59-5 Samurai on Horseback Doll
  • AB 1131 j Arrows & Stand (both)
  • AB 1131 b Suit of Armor
  • AB 360 Horse (front)
  • AB 965 b-e Sword Caps
  • AB 60-2 e Shoto Sword
  • AB 604 g Arrowhead
  • AB 61-1 Samurai Armor
  • AB 60-2 c Sword

Kodomo no Hi Did you know?

What is it?
Miniature Suit of Armor
What is it made of?
Where is it from?
When was it made?
Object ID
AB 1131 b

This miniature samurai suit of armor is part of a Tango no Sekku (Boys' Day; now Kodomo no Hi, Children's Day) festival set. The suit of armor consists of seven pieces: the helmet (kabuto), mask, upper body armor, apron, leggings, shoes, and wooden stand. The helmet is made of black lacquer with a brown suede front piece and a brass horseshoe-shaped finial featuring a detachable dragon. The back flaps over the neck are brass, tied with orange cord. The mask with bib is also black lacquer and features large shoulder pieces with woven orange cords. The upper body armor includes a metal breastplate with woven orange cords. The front has two small bronze rings with tassels (only one of which is still attached). The belt at the waist is made of white silk with four flaps of brass and woven cord. The apron piece has double panels of purple and gold brocade fabric and purple and white cords. The leggings are two large pieces that go over the legs, made of purple and gold brocade fabric. The shoes/boots are propped up under the legs. Made of black lacquer, they have gold designs and are orange at the bottom, with black plush toes. Finally, the wooden stand for the body armor, mask, and helmet sits on top of the lacquer chest (AB 1131 a), while the remainder of the pieces would be propped up against the chest. 

On Kodomo no Hi, families raise a carp-shaped flag, called a koinobori, for each boy or child in the family. Koinobori flags are chosen because when flown in the breeze, they look as if they are swimming upstream, alluding to a Chinese legend that holds that when a carp swims upstream it becomes a dragon. Families may also display samurai dolls and other figures in the home, such as a Kintaro (Golden Boy) doll, typically depicted riding on a giant carp and wearing a kabuto military helmet. Traditional foods on Kodomo no Hi include mochi rice cakes wrapped in Kashiwa (oak) leaves and chimaki (sweet rice paste wrapped in an iris or bamboo leaf). 


Donated by Mr. H. Leland Lowe, 1960
AB 1131 b Suit of Armor