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Saddle tree (kura) 1580 - 1650

Wood, lacquer, lead foil | 28.0 x 39.0 x 45.0 cm (whole object) | RCIN 71609

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Until the fifteenth century, warfare in Japan mostly took place on horseback. Mounted warriors stood up in combat on solid stirrups. The design of gourds and vines on this set suggests it dates from the Momoyama period (1573–1615), and so may have been part of the first diplomatic gift to Britain, in 1613.

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