Legendary Samurai cloak Horo
• The legendary samurai cloak Horo
Japan - a country which is not easy for Europeans to understand. The Japanese have plenty of their own traditions, which does not overlap with the traditions of other nations. Special tradition in the Land of the Rising Sun existed in military armor. They were not only special, but also have a variety of useful functions for which it was difficult to guess ignorant. One of these unusual items - cloak Horo, where samurai were sent into battle.
Ornate helmets, birth marks and other unique ammunition were popular among bushi, elite warriors who served for a fee emperor or shogun, and among the samurai - a warrior whose life "belonged" Shogun. The difference between these two types of soldiers was mainly socio-economic - samurai "quoted" higher than bushi, but we both had a high status in society.
Oykago - frame for Horo
An unusual addition to the elaborate Japanese armor was Horo, who wore bushi riders still in the Kamakura period in 1185-1333, respectively. It was a special coat made of silk, which is fastened to the back of the helmet and the waist. While driving, he inflates like a balloon, forming a layer of air between the fabric and the back Soldier. Horo, it was usually about 2 meters long, and it was made of several strips of silk fabric, woven together and decorated with the emblem of the warrior.
Statue of Maeda Toshiie, Kanazawa
Silk was strong enough to make the arrows shot at the soldier's back, bounce. And if the arrow still punched silk, it will just fall into this air space, and not in the back. Soon bushi improved horo, began to fill their lung tissue.
The samurai in battle.
Even more interesting solution found Hatakeyama Kayyama Masanaga in 1467-1477 years - he invented a ribbed frame of whalebone, known as "oykago", which was used for permanent retention in the horo "inflated" position. Gradually more and more complex Horo began to emerge, which are also inflated and forth, covering the horse's head. They might look a bit comical, if the rider was riding with a huge pumpkin in the background.
Samurai in "horo" - clothing used for protection from arrows.
What is the horo.
These unusual coats also have mysterious meaning. They put to the evil forces not prevented the mission bushi. Moreover, bushi were encouraged to wear horo in combat. If the warrior died in battle, how written Japanese poet Hosokawa Fujitaka, defeated his opponent was obliged to use Horo to turn in her severed head bushi. This allowed us to identify a person who fell in battle and bury his body properly.
Horo in expanded form.
When the soldier could no longer fight, and he knew that he would die on the battlefield, he cut the cord Horo and strengthen the power cord to the hook on the helmet. This showed that a soldier will no longer resist.
Horo - one of the best ideas of Samurai.
With the advent of gunpowder, horo became no longer suitable. Currently, such "cloaks against arrows" can be seen in museums.