Japanese Gallery (Honkan) Room 14
April 7, 2015 (Tue) - July 5, 2015 (Sun)
Located on the western tip of the Shimane Peninsula in western Japan, Hinomisaki Shrine contains armor, swords, texts, and other treasures that have been passed down through the ages. Two of these – Armor with White Lacing (National Treasure) and Haramaki Type Armor, with black leather lacing in katasusodori style (Important Cultural Property) – were entrusted to this museum in 1953 and subsequently exhibited.
In the Edo period (1603–1863), Armor with White Lacing was known for having been dedicated to Hinomisaki Shrine by the shogun Minamoto no Yoritomo (1147–1199). Towards the end of the Edo period, Matsudaira Harusato (1751–1818), who was head of the domain where the shrine was located, ordered the restoration of this armor because of damage to the lacing and other sections. It was restored in Edo (now Tokyo) in 1805, taking on its present form without losing its original appearance. White leather, dyed with the inscription “1805 Repairs,” was used to mend damaged areas, while the lacing and other damaged parts were removed and put into safekeeping separately from the armor. On this occasion, the head of the restoration, Teramoto Ataka, wrote the Record of Repairs to the Armor of Minamoto no Yoritomo, which contains 61 sections. Harusato’s approach to restoring a treasured object provided a model similar to that employed in the restoration of cultural properties today.
This exhibition is the first ever to display fragments of the armor that were removed during restoration, Ataka’s records, and sketches of the armor from before restoration. With the addition of the aforementioned Haramaki Type Armor, which was restored in 1856 following the example set by Armor with White Lacing, visitors will be introduced to these model restorations of the Edo period.