Ryoto (a formal dress for ancient military officers) (裲襠)

Ryoto is an armor of honor worn by military officers as their formal attire (at court). Also, it is a kind of costume for players of gagaku (ancient Japanese court dance and music). This term is used for costumes called ryoto-syozoku (ryoto costumes).

Ryoto is an imitation of ancient Chinese armor called kake-yoroi (a kind of ancient armor made of metal or leather slats spliced to each other with strings). There are two kinds of ryoto, one with tassels on pauldrons and another decorated with gold brocade, but basically there is little difference between the two in their uses, depending on characters of the wearers.

It is made of heavyweight silk cloth trimmed with exquisite embroidery, tailored in the shape of kantoi (a simple type of clothing consisting of a large piece of cloth with a hole in the middle for the head) without sleeves, with open sides, and covering down to the knees. Ryoto is worn over ho (a round necked robe worn by nobility) and girded by a sash.

Ryoto is worn by players of gagaku when they portray bujin (warrior) and ryujin (dragon god) in such programs as Ranryo-o (gagaku), Nasori, and so on.

[Original Japanese]