Japanese samurai are famous all over the world, but one Belgian man has taken his passion for these medieval warriors to a whole new level by making his own authentic armor from thousands of custom metal pieces and hundreds of meters of cord.
Danny had always been fascinated by the history and culture of the samurai. He began collecting Japanese swords when he was 16 years old, and dreamed of one day owning his very own armor. He couldn’t afford to pay tens of thousands of dollars on an authentic samurai costume, and replicas, though cheaper, weren’t built for his impressive nearly two-meters-tall size. But he wasn’t going to give up on his dream too easily, and with the help of some supportive metalworking friends, the now 42-year-old bank teller set out to build his own samurai armor. Just like the Japanese craftsmen of old, Dennis assembled his protective suit out of traditional chainmail and 3,000 small pieces of metal, every one of which was hammered by hand to the correct shape and size, strung together with 225 meters of cord. It took two long years to finish the whole thing, but the end result is simply breathtaking.
Inspired by the impressive armors of Japanese daimyo, Danny’s creation was preceded by countless hours of historical research. It weighs a whopping 35 kilograms and only fits the man it was created for. Although he doesn’t rent out his suit to anyone, Danny often appears at Japanese-themed cosplay events, wowing everyone with his unique armor. You’d think someone who is obsessed with everything samurai would have some problems in their personal life, but that’s not Danny’s case. His wife has always supported his passion, and often makes appearances alongside him dressed as a geisha.
For more info on this Western samurai and photos of his incredible armor, check out The Golden Dragon website. It’s currently only in Dutch and doesn’t seem to have been updated in a while, but with the recent media coverage, that may change very soon.