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Japan Photo Journal: Pottery shop creates mini 'kabuto' armor ahead of Children's Day

(Mainichi/Tatsuya Onishi)

Production of samurai "kabuto" helmet pottery is underway at a ceramics manufacturer in the west Japan city of Koka, Shiga Prefecture, ahead of Children's Day on May 5. At Meizan Ceramics Industry Co., a craftsman put the finishing touches on the Shigaraki-ware ceramic helmets to bring forth the unique texture of the pottery. The "maetate" ornament adorned with gold dust on a black background symbolizes a strong and dignified composure. The company is set to create some 400 mini handcrafted helmets that fit in the palm of one's hand. It has been preparing three sizes, which are between 9 centimeters and 18 centimeters tall. Ninth-generation Meizan Ceramics owner Shinya Ishino, 43, commented, "We're creating the products in the hope that children will grow up big and strong." A set including the smallest samurai helmet costs 28,000 yen (about $220). For inquiries, please phone the company at 0748-82-8077 (in Japanese).

    (Japanese original by Tatsuya Onishi, Osaka Archive Department)

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