Hanpo – Restoration Project
Hanpo Restoration Project
I had this momoyama period hanpo that I listed for sale as it was ready to lace. I thought that it would be an ideal time as the new owner would be able to choose the colour of the odoshi.
The mask itself was rather odd as the hanpo has ears, this is a somewhat of a rare feature, also there was a goatee in place which added some character.
A novice collector from Canada contacted me and asked if I could possibly make a new tare throat guard that would match the shikoro of his Kabuto. As I had never done this before I accepted the request and took in onboard as a challenge.
I’d like to point out that I made no extra charge for making the tare as this would be a part of my learning curve. I received an image of the shikoro and was rather surprised that it had a bespoke abstract pattern (image below) to the lower section. My main concern with this custom build was that it would match the shikoro in scale and look old.
I decided not to make the kirisuke with points as it would be too time-consuming therefore they are flat. The base was made from mild steel which was primed with urushi. After adding a few thin coats of sabi-ji I glued a number of vertical strips of rawhide in place to form the kirisuke. These were filled with kokuso and then coated with sabi-urushi.
The abstract pattern present the biggest challenge for me as I had no idea how it was originally made. This is part of the fun being a katchushi, you get to experiment and try to work out how the original shokunin made the original.
As the pattern was raised I decided to mix a very running sabi-urushi which I applied with a cocktail stick. When dried the shapes that I had created held solid, the sabi was strong and all I had to do was flood the area over and over with a thick urushi coat.
When finished I cut back all the kirisuke plates and applied a number of urushi top coats which I polished and then added a matte patina.