Have you ever visited a museum in Japan and found it hard to tear yourself away from the samurai exhibits, wanting desperately to reach past the “don’t touch” sign to prod the delicate folds of metal armour and the faded material with stains from a bloody war?

Well now there’s a range of samurai armour you can take home with you, and despite their petite size, they’re actually faithful recreations of suits worn by famous warriors in Japanese history.

Certified by the Japanese Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry as a “Wonder 500” product, awarded to 500 of Japan’s finest goods, foods and travel experiences, this unique range of warrior suits can either dress up your figurines or safeguard your favourite bottle of sake, wine or shochu.

Designed to fit over 900-millilitre (35-ounce) sake (Japanese rice wine) and shochu (Japanese distilled liquor) bottles, the Samurai Armour Bottle Cover range also works perfectly for 750-millilitre (25-ounce) wine bottles.

▼ Clockwise from top left: Date Masumune (7,020 yen/US$58.23), Toyotomi Hideyoshi (8,100 yen/$67.22), Mouri Motonari (7,560 yen/$62.75), Takeda Shingen (8,100 yen) and Sanada Yukimura (7,020 yen).


While each of the characters in the series has an interesting history, you might want to keep an extra-sharp eye on Sanada Yukimura (whose armour appears bottom-left, above) as he will be the star of NHK’s year-long Taiga drama series in 2016.

▼ Two of the most spectacular in the range: the gold Tokugawa Ieyasu and the silver Oda Nobunaga both retail for 10,260 yen ($85.06) each .

The collection has received a huge response from people in Japan who are eager to get their hands on the well-made suits of armour.

▼ Twitter user @aoi_nishimata bought the Sanada Yukimura piece at the Osaka Castle gift shop to use as a PET bottle cover.

@spgd_minai shows us how the armour is regularly used, on the left, and on the right, how a doll owner uses it.

With such a variety of characters and elaborate helmet crests, we’re going to have a hard time choosing just one. Which one is your favourite? Let us know in the comments section below!

Images: Samurai AgeTwitter/@aoi_nishimataTwitter/@spgd_minai
[ Read in Japanese ]