A Miniature Japanese Armour for the Boys’ Festival, mid-19th century

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Item ref: 5030

  • Late Edō or early Meiji Period, Japan
  • Iron, silver, brass, silk, leather, copper, gold, lacquer, wood


Private collection, Austria

This is an example of a miniature armour created for the 'Boys Festival' or tango no sekku, celebrated annually on 5 May, and since 1948 renamed Children’s Day,
kodomo no hi. Gifts such as this model armour, bows, swords and a variety of banners and standards, including carp streamers called koinobori were given on the holiday.

This festival, first recorded in the 9th century, increased in popularity through the Edō period, and such gifts continue to be given to the present day.