Suneate – Shin Guards Ankle Protection

Suneate protects the leg specifically between the knee and ankle. This is a part of the components that protect the extremities of Samurai warriors and their retainers during feudal Japan.

Suneate is part of the Samurai Suit that is handcrafted by the most experienced armor craftsman. This craftsman uses authentic materials and methods; placing great attention to detail to produce a Samurai Armor like this.

These greaves may come in Gashira class. This simply means that it comes with padding and brass fittings. The said shin guards are patterned from Samurai Armor of long ago keeping traditional Japanese weaponry intact as possible.

These shin guards consist of vertical armor plates of iron and leather. These plates are attached to the cloth backing with the help of cloth straps that ties the Suneate to the lower leg.

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A leather guard referred to as Abumi-zure is attached to the inner side of the place where it comes in contact with the stirrup. When worn, Abumi-zure is placed toward the inner side of the leg.

When Gashira class is mentioned this means it was specifically made for collectors, museums and martial artists. This does not entail additional expenses like those seen in higher class armor.

The call for protection will depend on what specific greaves were used. This will protect the shin like those seen in traditional pieces made of steel or rawhide. There are times when these can be made entirely of chainmail.

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

Classifications of Suneate and Materials Used

These are categorized into light, medium and heavy depending on what the owner can carry. Light Suneate is crafted out of cloth, leather, silk and ribbed iron plates.

Those that ride horseback are advice to wear thick cloth pieces that will protect the knees. Medium greaves are those crafted with cloth, silk, leather, split iron plates and uses a thick cloth as plating support for the knees.

These are popular among martial artists. The heavy piece is crafted with a full iron plate. This has curved iron-plated knees.

However, this is not conducive to rolling around movements. For those who want to be able to do these movements, they can order for light or medium types.

Those who want to order materials using silk brocade has this option as well. Greaves can also be made with cotton and bamboo pieces tied with black leather.

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Long cords are tied to the legs to ensure that these are properly secured, after all, it is not the beauty that counts but, on how well the Suneate can protect the wearer from harm whether on the battlefield or when practicing with martial arts.

Brigandine style knees can be added for those that want more. Other options include the use of three-piece knees that offer more coverage. These are designed with a pattern that resembles a fireman or policeman’s shield.

An earlier piece from long ago comes with large knee guards. These were popular during the Edo period. By the way the most common types fall into either of these two: Shino and Tsubo. Shino has splint greaves while Tsubo has metal platings.