Monday, 11 March 2013

Short guide about uniforms in the Boshin war

This short guide has the intention of help to paint your miniatures.
Most of the uniforms used on the Boshin War were of western style for modernized troops with some japanese touch, like the jingasa (war hat),  jinbaori (coat without sleeves), etc.The uniforms were usually dark (black, dark blue). Some traditional troops worn japanese clothes, or a mixed of both.

 They worn their clan emblem on a small fabric slip on the upper left sleeve. 

 Kingire: Emblem of the Imperial court troops to distinguish them from the shogunate troops.
Gold brocate with white back.


 Many types of jingasa (war hat) were used during this conflict, for officers and NCOs their marks were distinguished with gold lines and heraldry.

Shaguma, Haguma and Koguma was a type of headgear worn by the officers of the Japanese Imperial troops in the Boshin War. The headgear was quite peculiar, involving the used of long, colored, "bear" hair. The "Red bear" (Shaguma) wigs indicate officers from Tosa Jinshotai, the "White bear" (Haguma) wigs officers from Chōshū, and the "Black bear" (Koguma) wigs officers from Satsuma. 



  1. Where did you get those pics? i have never seen most of them!

    1. I found those pictures thanks to some japanese friends.

  2. Very interesting information. Could you share which books you used in this post? Thank you,


    1. Thanks Isaias,

      - Armies of the 19th Century: Asia: Japan and Korea by Ian Heath (English text)

      - Japanese Military Uniforms 1841-1929
      From the fall of the Shogunate to the Russo-Japanese War by Ritta Nakanishi (Japanese and English text)

      - Illustrated Boshin & Seinan War by Gakken (Japanese text)

      I hope this can help you.

  3. Thank you, I just didn't know how to research the period. I love the samurai but this is one area I don't know very well.