The O-Tengu Menpo (face armor) is a Taisho Class reproduction of an original menpo found with a kawari kabuto (unusual shaped helmet), from the Edo period. The o-tengu menpo features a “o” (large) tengu (bird like) nose as well as facial shiwa (wrinkles), odayori ore kugi (posts), hana (detachable nose) guard, mimi (ear covers) and tare (throat guard). The Tengu were believed to be malevolent human-like avian creatures or deities from the high mountaintops of Japan. Spoke about by the Shugendo sect of monks, the Tengu caught the imagination of samurai who wanted to replicate their image in their armor, gain their favor and possibly receive their blessing and supernatural powers, or simply strike fear into the heart of any enemy. Either way they make for a great look and a unique menpo.
History: The menpo was traditionally used, not only to protect the face in battle, but to help hold the cords of the kabuto (helmet) to the warrior’s head, while providing protection from the shinobi-no-o (kabuto rope). The shinobi–no–o would typically tie around the ore kugi (L shaped post), located on the menpo cheeks and then down under the chin. The menpo could have a cord, which ties over the crown of the warriors head, and/or could be tied to the shinobi-no-o, which is secured to the samurai warrior’s face.
Our menpo, like all of our armor, are full sized and functional. It can fit your existing kabuto or looks great displayed by itself with one of our Menpo Display Stands. It can also be worn for decoration at a re-enactment, or as part of a costume.
Features: Traditional design.
- Full sized and functional
- Various tare, paint, art silk lace and other options available
- Taisho handcrafted quality
Crafted by the Iron Mountain Armory at the time of your order. Please allow 2 to 3 weeks for crafting time.
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References: “The Samurai Armour Glossary” by Ian Bottomley & David Thatcher / “The Watanabe Art Museum Samurai Armour Collection Volume 1: Kabuto & Mengu” By Trevor Absolon