maedate 前立
KEY WORD : art history / sculptures
Abbreviation of maedatemono 前立物. Also tatemono 立物. An upstanding decoration found on the front of a soldier's helmet *kabuto 冑, first seen in the Heian period. Many shapes of maedate were used, including the kuwagata 鍬形 (hoe-shape), hangetsu 半月 (half-moon), various animals especially dragons and lion-heads *shigami 獅噛, antlers of deer or buffalo, round forms representing the sun, mirrors, swords, fans, types of plants and shells, musical instruments, and various other emblems. Religious symbols were used on helmets of Buddhist guardian figures. Outstanding examples of maedate include the tall kuwagata helmet in Kiyomizudera 清水寺 (Heian period), Nagano prefecture, the Edo period gilt wood dragon decoration in the collection of Yoshii Tadao 吉井唯夫, the large half-moon and sun on the helmet in the Uesugi Kenshin 上杉謙信 collection, and the double mulberry-leaf maedate in Sada Jinja 佐太神社, Shimane prefecture. Among the most important Buddhist symbols used as helmet decorations are flames, kaen 火焔 (see *enpatsu 炎髪), the five-tiered stupa *gorintou 五輪塔, the swastika, manji 卍 (see *manjimon 万字文), and a miniature figure of *Fudou Myouou 不動明王.


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