Nodowa – Face Protection

In Europe Gorget refers to the throat. It was originally a band of linen wrapped around the neck and head of women during medieval period. Later this evolves into a form of protection made of steel or leather collar designed to protect the throat which is known as Nodowa.

Nodowa is composed of plate armor that hangs from the neck covering the chest and throat area. Gorget in Japan is a piece of armor classified under Japanese Samurai Armor or Yoroi.

These are worn as part of the Samurai Suit. Simply put, Nodowa is neck protection that is composed of metal, fabric, silk, and leather. Most often than not the plates are attached to a padded collar that fits directly to the neck.

Kusari-Nodowa is tied on the outside of the chair armor plates. This is similar to Guruwa which is also a form of neck protection. Guruwa is wrapped completely on the neck though. The best Nodawa is made of Kozane.

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Nodowa Japanese Version

Gorget can be constructed with the use of 22 gauge iron and cotton lace. A cord is used to hold this neck protector in place. Each of the pieces that go in these is handmade.

These are made of scales or small plates laced tightly with the use of U shape plate. This comes in different colors making it not just a form of weapon but, a true work of art.

This Samurai Armor can fit under the menpo or will stand alone looking great when placed on display. This can be placed on the wall as wall décor or on offices.

There are some owners who use these for re-enactment purposes or use them as part of a costume during special events. A handkerchief or Fakusa is worn between this mask and the chin.

Samuraiantiqueworld [CC BY-SA 3.0], via Wikimedia Commons

Nodowa Designs

Menpo with Nodowa features is common. This has three sane ita instead of two. The most gorget has an intermediary band of flexible leather known as Komori-tsuke. This design connects the ni-no-tare to the base flange of the Menpo.

The proper way to fasten this neck protection is by fastening this at the back of the neck using cords. Meguriwa uses hooks while eriwa uses a buckle. Manjiuwa is fastened to the menpo and to the upper part of the corselet.

A warrior does not prefer this because it was not satisfactory to use during the fighting. The use of Nodowa restricts the mobility of the head and shoulders.

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Samurai Menpo

Samurai Menpo is a mask used by Samurai during feudal Japan. This armor is considered as an expressive part of the Samurai armor after the better known Kabuto or battle helmet.

Aside from protecting the one who wears these, it is used to intimidate the enemy. Hence designs for these looks like it is something of supernatural origins. This covers the face below the eyes and includes the nose.

There are different types of face masks that may at times cover the entire face. Hanbo is a half mask that covers the chin, jaw, and cheeks. Nodowa serves as the throat guard that hangs on the neck.