Japanese Giant

Giant shown as he might have worn these items displayed in the Tokyo National Museum. They date from 400-600 AD with the exception of the spear point, which is a little older. By Artist Brian Snoddy

This shield (right) is over 5 feet tall, at a time when the average Japanese wasn't more than that tall himself. The Japanese didn't use shields that long, and by the NARA ERA 646-793AD, they didn't use them at all, so shields are pretty rare.

Large shields like this could have been used to hide behind while shooting a bow. However, that style of fighting is usually done during siege warfare. This was a time when large armies didn't exist in Japan. It is also made of iron plates, which would be very heavy, not something a person standing 5 foot would likely carry. If the bearer of this shield were 8 feet or taller, it would fit his body proportions.






2. ARMOR: This item (below) is a TANKO style, used by a normal-sized Japanese of the time. The wearer of this armor would have been a little over 5 feet tall at most. The Japanese started making iron armor after 300 AD and this style was in use for a couple hundred years. You can see below, the size comparison of this armor and the large shield. This museum had several sits of this style armor and all were made to fit rather small people.

In Photo below , there are three pieces to a sword handle. They are displayed next to pieces for a horse saddle. There are two ear-shaped piece that form the handle end, or pommel, and the third piece is the HILT. These pieces were enormous in size. When compared to a sword on display next to this other sword, they were more than double in size.

If comparing the handle pieces to this other sword, it gives you a sword six to seven feet long. Japanese did use extra long swords in this size range, called NODACHI, however, this was not till sometime later. A warrior 8-10 feet tall would be in proportion to this sword.

4. SPEAR. The spear point is about three feet long. Photo 4 shows a few other spear points considered more "normal" sized. This spear is older than the other items in this collection and is located in another part of the gallery. It is also made of bronze, and not iron. The blade is not curved like a glaive (NAGINATA in Japanese), a large curved blade would make a great slashing weapon. So why make a spear point this big? Perhaps a gigantic spear to be used by a gigantic man?

5. BRONZE SHOES. This pair of ornamental bronze shows were over 20 inches. The heels have corroded off, so that indicates they were even bigger. The wearer of these shoes must have been at least 7 feet tall. Since these shoes were not for walking around in the woods, they may have been worn in a court room or palace. Was there a giant king?

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