Monday, May 11, 2015


Takara Tomy A.R.T.S. Ashigaru gashapon. Each capsule contains 2 figures and a variety of alternative weapons which include a sword, a Hoko yari (long spear), a Yumi (the Japanese asymmetrical bow) and a tanegashima (Japanese matchlock). A sashimono (banner/flag) is included in each capsule and can be attached to either figure. 
Ashigaru (足軽 lit. lightfeet) were foot-soldiers who were employed by the samurai class of feudal Japan. The first known reference to ashigaru was in the 1300s, but it was during the Ashikaga Shogunate-Muromachi period that the use of ashigaru became prevalent by various warring factions.

Ashigaru were commonly armed with naginata, yari, yumi and swords. Ashigaru armor varied depending on the period, from no armour to heavily armored and could consist of conical hats called jingasa made of lacquered hardened leather or iron, chest armor (dou or dō), helmets (kabuto), armoured hoods (tatami zukin), armored sleeves (kote), shin protection (suneate), and thigh protection (haidate).

The warfare of the Sengoku period (15th and 16th centuries) required large quantities of armour to be produced for the ever growing armies of ashigaru. Simple munition quality (okashi or lent) chest armour (dou or dō) and helmets (kabuto) were mass produced including tatami armour which could be folded or were collapsible. Tatami armour were made from small rectangular (karuta) or hexagon (kikko) armour plates that were usually connected to each other by chain armour (kusari) and sewn to a cloth backing. In the 16th century the ashigaru were also armed with matchlocks of the type known as tanegashima. Small banners called sashimono could be worn on their backs during battle for identification.

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