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13,615 media by topicpage 1 of 137

Sword Guard (Tsuba)

This tsuba comes from a burial mound (kofun) in Shioda, in the Japanese province of Bizen, and is one of the earliest sword guards to survive from Japan. It was part of the exchange of objects between the Imper... more

Stirrup (Wa Abumi)

Excavated from the burial mound at Wada, in Nara Prefecture, this stirrup is an example of the earliest type used in Japan, probably imported from China or Korea.

Straight, Double-Edged Sword Blade (Ken)

The ken, a sword with a straight double-edged blade based on Chinese prototypes, was used in Japan from at least the third century until the sixth century. At the end of that period, the double-edged sword was ... more


This rare Japanese helmet was excavated in Ise Province, Mie Prefrecture. The type of construction—horizontal rings to which rectangular scales are riveted—was probably importated from China or Korea. Most helm... more

Cuirass of a Tankō

The earliest known armors worn in Japan were of either the keiko type or the tankō type seen here. The keiko is of lamellar construction, with overlapping bronze or iron scales laced together with leather or fa... more

Three poems from the “Later Collection of Japanese Poems” (Gosen wakashū), known as the “Karasumaru Fragment” (Karasumaru-gire)

Traditionally attributed to Fujiwara no Sadayori (Japanese, 995–1045) Heian period (794–1185)

Three Poems from the “Later Collection of Japanese Poems” (Gosen wakashū), or “Shirakawa Fragment” (Shirakawa-gire)

Traditionally attributed to Monk Saigyō (Japanese, 1118–1190) Heian period (794–1185)