The Haidate, or thigh shields, are one of the three principle parts of the armor (called Sangu), that protected the extremities of the samurai in Feudal Japan. These thigh guards started to feature new designs towards the mid-Muromachi Period (~1450). It was a time when the samurai started fighting more on foot rather than horseback. Many warriors of this period found it to be too cumbersome and uncomfortable. They often disdained using the haidate favoring freedom of movement and speed but eventually accepted the haidate for the needed protection.
As they became more of a necessity and the haidate developed, crafters sought to increase the comfort factor by adding leg straps to the back. They added a leather loop at the front and center of the haidate. It could attach to the dō, or be tied around the shoulders and supported like a pair of suspenders. Towards the end of the Sengoku Period, padding was also added to the outer edges to help protect against glancing blows.
Traditionally haidate were crafted using linen, leather, brocade and/or silk materials with iron plating and sometimes kasari (chainmail) that was sewn to the thigh sections. The plates where often overlapped like roof tiles and took the form of different shapes and patterns. Some warriors preferred spacing the plates out, and then added kasari between the plates to allow more flexibility.
To learn more about the unique history and development of Sangu armor like the Haidate, you can read more in our blog article “About Sangu and Sode Armor Parts.”
Features: Traditional design in a variety of different styles.
- Optional material, paint color, designs and styles.
- Custom design is available. Send us an image of the design you would like.
- EDGING OPTIONS: Padded edges are Edo style. No edging is Sengoku Period style.
- A kosaru-gawa can be added for additional support.
The Haidate is handcrafted by Iron Mountain Armory at the time of your order. Please allow 2 weeks for crafting of this item.
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