Edo Period Samurai Kusari Katabira Chain Mail Jacket
A Kusari Katabira, or chain mail armor jacket, worn by samurai of the Edo period in Japan. The jacket is in heavy black cloth with a standing dark blue wool collar. The exterior of the jacket is covered with chain mail links in the split/twisted link style. The chain mail also connects numerous small metal plates, each plate being about 1 3/4 by 2 3/4 inches in size. These plates were gilt covered. The jacket cloth loops and buttons on the cuffs for closing the sleeves tightly around the wearer’s arms. There are cloth loops on the front of the jacket as well, although the corresponding buttons are missing. There are some spots where a bit of the chain mail has been lost, and there is, not surprisingly, some rust to areas of the chain mail. However, considering its age, and the use and wear that it would have seen almost a century and a half ago, the jacket is in very good condition.