Part Nine -- The Sashimono

A sashimono is the flag that is mounted on the back of your armor. They were very common in the 1500's as method of identification, much like the European surcoat.

There are two parts to this section. First is the construction of the flagpole, and second is the construction of the flag.

The Flagpole

Materials:

  • A 1/4" diameter (approx.) X 5' (approx.) fiberglass safety flag for a child's bicycle
  • Two 1.25" (minimum) hardwood balls (from a craft store) OR two pieces of 1.25" (minimum) hard plastic rod (such as nylon or Tivar 1000) which are 2.5" long (PLEASE NOTE: We've had a continuing problem over the years with the hardwood balls breaking in combat. For this reason I am going to switch to hard plastic. I have not tried this yet, but I see no reason why it shouldn't work. Because of this I am recommending it for future use.)
  • Two part epoxy
  • A small piece of thin leather
  • Red spray paint
  • Three feet of cord

    Construction:

    At the base of the safety flag is a metal bracket. This will be the bottom of the main pole. Measure up about 43" from the base and cut the pole in two. From the remaining section of fiberglass rod, cut a section 17" long. Discard the extra piece. Take one your wooden balls or sections of plastic rod. Select a drill bit which is the same size as your fiberglass shaft. On a drill press, drill halfway into one end of the ball (or rod). Take the second piece and drill halfway through just as above. Now turn the piece 90 degrees and drill a second hole. Liberally coat the ends of the fiberglass with epoxy, and force them into the drilled holes as far as you can. (SEE DIAGRAM 9-1) Set the assembly aside and let it dry completely. When it has dried, spray paint it red. Once the paint is dry, cover the metal bracket with the leather so no sharp or rough edges are exposed. Rivet the leather in place, making sure that you punch a hole in the leather to correspond with the mounting hole in the bracket. (This is where you will lace the sashimono base to your armor.)

    The Flag

    Materials:

  • 2/3 yard of red poly-cotton fabric
  • 7 one-inch pieces of Velcro
  • White fabric paint

    Construction:

    Cut out a rectangle of fabric 16.5" by 24". Hem the edges. Cut out seven rectangles which are 7" X 2.5". Fold them in half lengthwise and sew them shut. Now turn them inside out and press them flat with the seam in the center of the back of each piece. Tuck the raw ends inside and sew them closed. Space three of them out along the narrow (top) edge of the large rectangle. Place the remaining four along one of the long sides. Box stitch them in place. (SEE DIAGRAM 9-2) Sew your Velcro pieces to the ends of all your tabs. (NOTE: You can also use snaps, or you can do the period thing and stitch them in place. I recommend Velcro.) With a pencil, sketch the Clan mon onto the top of the flag on both sides. It should measure about 8" square. Paint in the mon and let it dry. Attach the flag to the shaft. Take about 10" of cord and knot it through the base plate of the sashimono so that two loose ends hang down. Take the remaining cord and fold it in half. Knot this around the sashimono shaft about 20" from the base so that the ends hang freely. Tie the base of the sashimono to the lacing cords at the top of your kusa-zuri in the very center of your armor's backplate. Tie the two long ends of the remaining cord to the armor lacing on the back of your armor's shoulders. Make sure that when the sashimono is pulled away from the armor, there is no more than 4-5 inches between the knot and the backplate. You're done. Now they will know where to bring your headless body when the battlefield is cleaned.
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