All About Japan

Get 4 Famous Warriors in 'Gachapon' Form

| Samurai , Toys

Toy and hobby manufacturer Bandai will be miniaturizing some of Japan’s most famous military commanders for the gachapon capsule toy market, with a focus on historically accurate helmets and armor. There are four warriors to collect, each with a special gold version, ready to take a place of pride on your desk at work or home.

Tokugawa Ieyasu

Tokugawa Ieyasu (1543-1616) was a powerful and influential warrior who, in 1603, established the Tokugawa Shogunate, which would rule the country for more than 250 years following the end of the Sengoku Jidai, or Warring States Period of Japan (1467-1590). The armor of the Tokugawa family is viewed as “auspicious armor” due to Ieyasu’s victory in the Battle of Sekigahara in 1600, so if you’re looking for good luck in studies or in business, this is the capsule toy you’re after.

Sanada Yukimura

Sanada Yukimura (1567-1615) is enjoying renewed interest in Japan at the moment as the leading character in the 2016 NHK year-long TV drama Sanada Maru. As the leading general on the defending side of the Siege of Osaka, Yukimura’s legend has been retold over the centuries, with the military leader known as the “Crimson Demon of War” due to his distinctive red armor. His helmet has hand-carved wooden antlers and six Kan’ei Tsuho, copper coins once used for currency, which are also the symbol of the Sanada Clan.

Kuroda Nagamasa

Kuroda Nagamasa (1568-1623) was a prominent military commander known for his distinctive kabuto (helmet), which featured a pair of imposing water buffalo horns. The horned helmet was used as a symbol of reconciliation when Kuroda exchanged it with the helmet of the lord of the Hiroshima Domain, Fukushima Masanori (1561-1624), as a testimony to their friendship after battle. The helmet was returned to the Kuroda family in 1844.

Kato Kiyomasa

Kato Kiyomasa (1561-1611) is known for building Kumamoto Castle, one of Japan’s most esteemed fortresses. Known as a ruthless fighter, Kiyomasa’s battle armor is distinctive, both in its shades of color and its large bull's-eye, which is the Kato family crest. Modeled on the eboshi traditional headdress worn by Shinto Priests, the extra-tall naga eboshi helmet shown here was reserved for only top-ranking samurai.

The 7- to 8-centimeter (2.8-3.1 in) tall figures will be available for ¥400 (US$3.55) from March 18 at souvenir store gachapon capsule toy vending machines at Osaka Castle, Kumamoto Castle, Himeji Castle, Hikone Castle, Nijo Castle and Ueda Castle.

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