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Pricey gold Samurai helmets on sale for Japanese boys

/ 05:18 PM March 18, 2016
An employee of Japan's jeweler Tanaka Kikinzoku Jewelry displays the all-five samurai helmets made of pure gold and sterling silver at their main shop in Ginza shopping district in Tokyo on March 17, 2016.   The helmets will be on sale from March 17, ahead of Children's Day on May 5, a traditional festive event to celebrate the growth of children. / AFP / KAZUHIRO NOGI

An employee of Japan’s jeweler Tanaka Kikinzoku Jewelry displays the all-five samurai helmets made of pure gold and sterling silver at their main shop in Ginza shopping district in Tokyo on March 17, 2016. The helmets will be on sale from March 17, ahead of Children’s Day on May 5, a traditional festive event to celebrate the growth of children. AFP

TOKYO— ­­Gold and silver ornamental samurai helmets went on sale for tens of thousands of dollars at a Japanese jewelry store on Thursday ahead of an annual festival for boys.

Samurai helmets and samurai warrior figures are common decorations in Japanese homes with small boys, as the traditional armored warriors are symbols of virility and symbolic of the wish that male children will grow up healthy and strong.

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Jewelry store Tanaka in Tokyo’s glitzy Ginza shopping district unveiled this year’s collection of helmets featuring designs modelled on those actually worn by famous medieval warriors.

They are made with up to 430 grams (15 ounces) of gold each, worth as much as six million yen ($53,700), and besides their beauty are well suited as an investment asset, Tanaka said.

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Despite being called Children’s Day, the May 5 holiday is a seasonal family event to pray for a healthy life for boys, and follows Girls’ Day on March 3 focused on traditional dolls.

Famous samurai remain popular in Japan and are often featured in historical television dramas and movies.

They often had original helmet designs to identify themselves, often with characteristics such as dear antlers or figures of a crescent moon.

Tanaka’s collection on sale at its outlets nationwide features helmets of five iconic medieval warriors, including Tokugawa Ieyasu, a legendary shogun, or military ruler, who put Japan on a roughly 250­year period of peace after ending a period of intense internecine fighting.

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TAGS: Japan, Jewelry, Samurai, Tokyo, world
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