Japan – Tokugawa Armour in the Tower of London

29 03 2008
Tokugawa Armour 1

I had the opportunity to visit the Tower of London that houses part of the Royal Armouries collection. One of the most interesting displays was this armour given to James I.
From the Tower of London information

“This armour is one of two presented to James I by Tokugawa Hidetada, Shogun of Japan, in 1613 and brought back from Japan by Captain John Saris of the East India Company. ”

Tokugawa Armour 2

From the Royal Armouries information

This important armour, made by Iwai Yozaemon, was a diplomatic gift from the Shogun. It was one of two presented in 1613 to King James I on the occasion of the signing of trading rights between England and Japan. It has been on display with the Royal Armouries collections since the 1660s. (Lent by Her Majesty the Queen.)

Tokugawa Armour 2

It should be said that the factory set up from the trading agreement failed to make and profit and was closed in 1623.

Tokugawa Hidetada at Wikipedia.com (no mention of the armour)
Royal Armouries – Shogun : Life of Lord Tokugawa Ieyasu exhibition
Copy of Tokugawa Hidetada’s Drama Worn Armor

Note: Whilst I did see this display, my camera photos didn’t come out that well so I borrowed these images instead.
Picture 1 – Royal Armouries
Picture 2 – Victoria and Albert museum
Picture 3 – Bigbigplanet.com



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