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
There are two parts to this section. First is the construction of the
flagpole, and second is the construction of the flag.
A 1/4" diameter (approx.) X 5' (approx.) fiberglass safety flag for a
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"
(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
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.)
2/3 yard of red poly-cotton fabric
7 one-inch pieces of Velcro
White fabric paint
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
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
You're done. Now they will know where to bring your headless body when
the battlefield is cleaned.
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