Tag Archives: samurai

A Shield As Soft As Silk

When thinking of suitable materials for armor one would not usually think of soft light silk. The Samurai had an ingenious fabric invention that actually deflected arrows in battle.

“Samurai wearing a horo” by Utagawa Kuniyoshi (Wikipedia)

Horo is a light fabric cape / cloak that inflates like a balloon behind the wearer while riding a horse. Amazingly, the bag of air acts almost like a cushion for the arrow to bounce off of.

Various fabrics were used. Here you can see a very informative example and test run of how this works with a silk horo. (Starts 2min30sec into vid.).

First used in early 1100s this is an ancient and traditional protector. Japanese archery is still practiced today as an art form and horo are still worn ceremoniously.

Perhaps one day I will find one in my antique textile searches. If so, you will be sure to find it in FurugiStar.

For more information on horo check wikipedia.

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