This magnificent armour can best be described as eccentric in both design and construction. Its overall appearance seems to be a balance between intimidation and humour and although it is very well made, many features of its manufacture are unconventional, making it an exceptional example in every way. The karasu-tengu on which it is modelled are mythical creatures inhabiting trees in mountainous areas, living in groups and ruled by a long-nosed 'king'. Part bird and part man in appearance, winged and with crows' features, they are fond of playing tricks and often considered more mischievous than evil. Particularly skilled in the use of the sword, the tengu are also linked with the story of the hero Minamoto no Yoshitsune (1159-1189) who whilst under tuition at a temple as a child would escape at night to be taught the martial arts by them. They are also associated with the Shugendo sect whose members, known as yamabushi, wandered through the mountains of Japan practising their faith and frequently intervening in military conflicts. One striking feature of their attire was a small pill box hat worn on the forehead as on this armour, divided into twelve sections representing the juni-innen or twelve-fold chain of causal origination which explains the cause of human happiness, past, present and future.