Pair of kote (armor for the arms)
Metal (steel?), lacquer, cotton, asa, deerskin, tortoiseshell

These kote did not see any battle. There is little of the damage that comes from friction or impact, and the sparse metalwork seems to indicate that the wearer realized these were only for show. They would not have afforded him much protection from any sort of weaponry. Only the tortoiseshell toggles have suffered, and that due to insect damage (tortoiseshell is a protein).

The outer cotton arm material is stenciled with conventionalized irises, a favorite design among the military aristocracy. The iris might at first seem an unlikely choice for an iconic military design, but in Japanese the word for iris and for militarism are homonyms (both are pronounced shobu), so the irises are an elegant and subtle pun.

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