This lacquered and gold-leaf suit of samurai armor with red cording includes: breast- and backplates with panel apron attached; six panels hung from the waist; needlepoint shoulder padding under shoulder straps; two panels between the waist and the knee; a two-toned blue brocade and felt with two gold and two black lacquer bands laced with red cord; chain mail gauntlets/sleeves with gold lacquered hand- and thumbpieces; ribbing on the arm and at the shoulder over a tan, navy blue, and gold brocade; two kneepieces of blue brocade, with lacquered gold ribs connected horizontally by bands of chain mail, a section of gold cloth on each and a tie in the back; a bronze half-mask lacquered red on the interior with a badger hair mustache and goatee (mask covers the nose but not the eyes); and a "bib" made of four bands of gold lacquer with red cord.
Samurai armor originated during the 4th century, and continuously evolved to suit different styles and militaristic needs throughout the history of the samurai class. Both mounted and foot troops would wear armor on the battlefield. There are varying types of armor, to reflect status and styles; the pinnacle is generally considered to be the ō-yoroi ("great armor") type. By the Edo period (1600-1868), when samurai were no longer engaging in battle due to the "Pax Tokugawa," samurai armor became increasingly decorative and elaborate.