It’s a good opportunity to get a close up look at the intricate detail and workmanship that went into making these striking outfits, designed with not only protection in mind, but also as ceremonial dress, and possibly the outfit in which the wearer might meet his maker.
Those who know their stuff will get a good deal out of this. The casual viewer lacking fairly advanced Japanese reading skills, who doesn’t know the difference between their Ō-yoroi and their Douseiguzoku or between their Hoshi-kabuto and their Suji-kabuto, however, will have to be content to just look. There is no English explanation at all. This a shame, as the whole (and noble) point of the display is to explain the finer details and history of samurai armor in everyday Japanese to the lay visitor. It just the kind of display that, if it included foreign language guidance, would be perfect for overseas visitors and international residents without the requisite Japanese reading ability.
The Katsutenai! Yoroi Kabuto Emaki display continues in Hiroshima Castle until April 8. Admission to Hiroshima Castle is ¥360 for adults and ¥180 for kids. Guides give a 15 minute introduction to the display on (in Japanese) Sundays and holidays at 11am and 2pm.