Art/ Collection/ Art Object


5th century
Iron, copper, gold
H. 8 1/2 in. (21.6 cm)
Credit Line:
Fletcher Fund, 1928
Accession Number:
On view at The Met Fifth Avenue in Gallery 377
This rare Japanese helmet was excavated in Ise Province, Mie Prefrecture. The type of construction—horizontal rings to which rectangular scales are riveted—was probably importated from China or Korea. Most helmets of this type were made of iron, but some were made of gilt copper, probably for ceremonial display. This example is unusual because it combines both materials.
#4417. Helmet
For Audio Guide tours and information, visit
Excavated at Choja zuka, Sakume, Asami mura, inami gun, Ise provinceDr. Seki Yasunosuke, Japan (until 1927; his sale, Kyōto Bijutsu Kurabu, Kyōto, November 28, 1927, no. 19, to MMA).
Kyōto Bijutsu Kurabu. Seki Yasunosuke-Shi Shozōhin Nyūsatsu Mokuroku. Kyōto: Kyōto Bijutsu Kurabu, November 28, 1927. no. 19, ill.

Hoopes, Thomas T. "Recent Acquisitions of Japanese Arms and Armor in the Metropolitan Museum." Metropolitan Museum Studies (May 1930), pp. 221–23, n. 2, ill.

Suenaga, Masao. Nihon Jōdai No Katchū. Ōsaka-shi: Sogensha, 1944. pl. 7.

Okada, Yuzuru, and Tōkyō Kokuritsu Hakubutsukan. Pageant of Japanese Art: Ceramics and Metalwork from 551 (pre-Buddhist) to 1868 (Edo period). Vol. 4. Tokyo: Tōto Bunka, December 1952. pp. 39, 75, fig. 66.

Grancsay, Stephen V. "The New Galleries of Oriental Arms and Armor." The Metropolitan Museum of Art Bulletin (May 1958), pp. 252–53, ill.

Grancsay, Stephen V. "The Japanese Armor Gallery in the Metropolitan Museum of Art." The Connoisseur (September 1961), p. 12, ill.

Vianello, Gianni. Armi in Oriente. 1st ed. ed. Milan: Fratelli Fabbri Editori, 1966. pl. 48.

Nickel, Helmut. "Arms and Armor from the Permanent Collection." The Metropolitan Museum of Art Bulletin (Summer, 1991), pp. 56, 64, ill.

Related Objects

Shirt of Mail and Plate

Artist: Date: 15th–16th century
Accession Number: 04.3.456b
Date: 15th–16th century Medium: Steel, iron, copper alloy, gold, silver, leather Accession: 04.3.456b On view in:Gallery 379

Helmet (Spangenhelm)

Artist: Date: 6th–7th century
Accession Number: 42.50.1
Date: 6th–7th century Medium: Iron, copper alloy, gold Accession: 42.50.1 On view in:Gallery 370


Artist: Date: 5th century
Accession Number: 28.60.2
Date: 5th century Medium: Iron, copper, gold Accession: 28.60.2 On view in:Gallery 377

Shaffron (Horse's Head Defense)

Artist: Date: late 15th–early 17th century
Accession Number: 2004.402
Date: late 15th–early 17th century Medium: Iron, leather, gold, silver, brass or copper alloy, textile Accession: 2004.402 On view in:Not on view


Artist: Date: early 16th century
Accession Number: 04.3.208
Date: early 16th century Medium: Steel, iron, copper alloy, leather Accession: 04.3.208 On view in:Gallery 379