Trivia

Hard

The Men-Yoroi Was A Distinctive Piece Of Armor Worn Where?

Feudal Japan
Ancient Greece
Renaissance Italy
Victorian England
Photo of a Japanese somen, a full facial metal mask.
Vassil/Wikimedia

Answer: Feudal Japan

If you’ve ever wandered through the arms and armor section of a museum, even if you don’t recall most of the armor you saw, you likely recall the distinctive look of the Japanese men-yoroi. Unlike other armor styles that hid the wearer’s face behind a smooth and cool sheen of steel, the men-yoroi hid the wearer’s face behind, well, another more terrifying face.

The defining characteristic of the men-yoroi, especially the widely recognized somen and menpō styles that covered the whole face and the lower face respectively, is that the facial armor was designed to look like a more terrifying version of a human face—at times complete with facial hair.

In addition to terrifying their enemies and protecting their faces, the men-yoroi also served a very practical purpose: they balanced out the weight of the top heavy kabuto (the actual helmet portion of the head armor) and helped secure the chin cord (shinobi-no-o) of the kabuto to keep the helmet positioned firmly and safely atop the wearer’s head.

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