Neck protector for fireman's helmet (hikeshi-shikoro)

late Edo period
19th century

Object Place: Japan


150 x 90 cm (59 1/16 x 35 7/16 in.)

Accession Number


Medium or Technique

Wool, plain-weave, fulled, appliquéd with gilt leather; lining: silk, twill-weave ground with gilt paper strip discontinuous supplementary patterning wefts in twill-weave

Not On View


Asia, Textiles and Fashion Arts



Samurai fireman’s semi-circular neck protector for helmet (hikeshi-shikoro) with design of two diamond crests at the top, below which are stylized Chinese flower motifs (karahana) and rows of linked hexagon tortoiseshell pattern (kikkô-mon) in appliquéd gilt leather on a brown fulled wool ground; lined in red silk with design of dragon roundels and fretwork pattern in gilt paper strip discontinuous supplementary patterning wefts; slit 3/4 way up the center back with “frog” closure at neck.


By 1911, purchased by William Sturgis Bigelow (b. 1850 - d. 1926), Boston [see note 1]; 1911, gift of Bigelow to the MFA. (Accession Date: August 3, 1911)

[1] Much of Bigelow's collection of Asian art was formed during his residence in Japan between 1882 and 1889, although he also made acquisitions in Europe and the United States. Bigelow deposited many of these objects at the MFA in 1890 before donating them to the Museum's collection at later dates.

Credit Line

William Sturgis Bigelow Collection