This superb sculptural and decorative kabuto or helmet, is in the form of a shachi, which in Japanese folklore is a mythical fish with the head of a tiger, dragon scales and the stylised arched tail of a carp. Believed to cause rain and protect against fire, they were therefore often unsurprisingly, represented in military armour.
Fukutake Ichiro is considered to be the amongst the most talented smiths of his generation and his particular skill was embossing. Although his work is often not signed, the present example is almost certainly one of his pieces. For comparative pieces see S. Yoshihiko, Shin Katchushi Meikan, 2000.