Because who doesn’t look forward to receiving a battalion of samurai in the mail?!

Ever sent someone a message card and felt like something was just… missing? Maybe it’s not heartfelt enough, or maybe it’s missing a legion of Japanese foot soldiers from the Sengoku period. Not just any old Sengoku samurai, but specifically the army from the Battle of Sekigahara. Taking place over 400 years ago, the epic ‘East vs. West’ battle was fought between the armies of Ishida Mitsunari and Tokugawa Ieyasu and is often considered the greatest battle in Japanese history.

Thanks to Japanese company Memories on Paper, you can enjoy your own mini version of the Battle of Sekigahara, with the size of the soldiers being no bigger than 2cm (just over half an inch tall). Each foot soldier is stunningly crafted from cardboard with details so fine, you can even see the uniforms and weapons.

▼ Despite being so tiny, they’ve got amazing details.

Each sheet of cardboard holds 38 troops, with two generals in the centre. While some of the solider silhouettes get repeated, there’s enough variation in the troops for you to recreate your own battle. Made using a laser cutter that can cut out using margins of errors of 0.05mm, you can really appreciate the detail in each individual unit.

Each soldier has a weapon, too. Swords, spears, bows… the archer troops even have wakizashi, the smaller side swords often seen on samurai. Japanese history buffs will likely be able to tell the types of unit being displayed just by looking at the weapons.

Memories on Paper comes as part of a letter set, so you can add a bit of historical flair to your letters, but the company hopes there can be a more heartwarming use for their products. You see, Memories on Paper doesn’t just make cardboard versions of historical clashes, but of other parts of Japanese culture. For example, you can currently purchase a mini Awa Odori set, as well as other cardboard versions of popular festivals and events.

With the arrival of the coronavirus, many summer festivals had to be cancelled or otherwise altered for everyone’s safety. While understandable, festivals make up a huge part of summer in Japan. Memories on Paper hope that people can enjoy summer memories that may have been through the cardboard substitute.

There are many other designs available, including customisable wedding scenes, where you can add the name of the bride and groom.

As the coronavirus doesn’t look to be going away anytime soon, the company hopes to create more scenes in the future, such as sightseeing spots or cancelled events, so you can have your own mini version at home to enjoy.

Each set retails for 1,100 yen (US$10) and is available in limited quantities, so samurai fans should snap them up soon!

Related: Memories on Paper
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[ Read in Japanese ]