(All excerpts are from Ray Bradbury’s The illustrated man. Any words from his story are italicized.)
(Y/N) lay curled up on their bed, their eyes scanning over the words in front of them as they drank in every word, an almost high coming over them as they did. The story painted such a vivid picture for them that it was hard not to read the entire book in one sitting, something they had done quite frequently but they had promised themself that they’d savor this book, take in every word and sentence until their head ached but nearly 120 pages in and that promise was flying out the window. (Y/N) was so in depth in the book that they could barely here the door creak open when it did, the soft sound of feet on their shabby carpet. In fact it wasn’t until a certain supersoldier laid beside the reading body that (Y/N) snapped out of their book trance, gasping softly.
“Bucky!” (Y/N) exclaimed, “You scared me!” Bucky gave them a sleepy little smile as he closed his eyes, humming to himself.
“Sorry doll,” He whispered, nuzzling his face against the pillow beside them. “What’re you still doing up? I thought you’d gone to bed ages ago,” (Y/N) smiles at their lover sweetly as they reach out, gently brushing some of his hair away from his eyes.
“I’m actually reading,”
“It’s called the illustrated man, it’s really good,”
“Really?” Bucky cracks an eye open to look at (Y/N), his eyes glazed over with exhaustion. (Y/N) nods, cracking a smile as they glanced at the words a few paragraphs ahead.
“It’s really good,”
“What’s it about?” Bucky asks as he shifts a little closer to (Y/N), draping an arm over their leg as he pressed a gentle kiss to their hip.
“It’s about a illustrated man, he’s covered in tattoos but every night the tattoos will shift and change. These tattoos essentially predict the future-”
“Will you-” Bucky yawns a bit, licking his lips afterwards. “Will you read some to me?” (Y/N) smiles as they nod, one hand reaching down to play with Bucky’s hair while the other kept the book upright.
“They moved away. Suddenly the floor plates were laced with bone and white skulls that screamed,” Bucky curls against (Y/N) more, resting their head on their warm thigh as they recite the words to him.
“The captain did not dare look down, and over the screaming he said ‘Is this where Perse is?’ turning in at a hatch.” Bucky shifts once again, wrapping more of himself around (Y/N). (Y/N) halts in their reading, looking down at Bucky fondly. He looked so sweet like this, all sorts of sleepy and affectionate, his face pressed against (Y/N)’s thigh to the point that it was squishing his cheeks. (Y/N) smiles a bit as they sigh, running their fingers through Bucky’s rather long hair.
“Why’d you stop?” He asks, lifting his head up just enough to look at (Y/N) sleepily.
“Sorry…you just look really cute like this,” Bucky smiles sleepily, his eyes closing once again. He hums, resting his head back against (Y/N)’s legs.
“Well thank you,” (Y/N) gives him a look over, noting the way half his body was curled against them and the other half was not. With a sly little smirk (Y/N) parts their legs, allowing Bucky’s head to fall off their lap.
“(Y/N), what are you-”
“I want you between my thighs,” Bucky looks up at (Y/N), smirking just a bit.
“Doll, I’d love to but I am way too tired to even-”
“Not like that you dork,” (Y/N) smiles, shaking their head lightly. “Like when I sit on your lap, I want you to sit on mine,” Bucky eyes them warily, his sleep deprived eyes looking them over a few times.
“So you want me to sit in between your legs?” (Y/N) smiles a bit more, nodding.
“You’re already half curled up on me, why not just sit here instead?” Bucky looks between (Y/N)’s legs only for a moment before crawling between them, resting his larger body against their chest. His back presses against (Y/N)’s chest and he curls up against them a bit, pulling their sheets over their legs to keep them warm. “You ready?” (Y/N) asks, scratching at Bucky’s head again. The man nods, yawning a bit as he does. (Y/N) smiles as they wrap their arms around his waist, holding the book out in front of them as they attempt to find where they had left off. Finding their spot, (Y/N) gives the top of his head a quick peck before continuing on with their story.
“The captain walked to a port. He smelled of menthol and iodine and green soap on his polished and manicured hands. His white teeth were dentrificed, and his ears scoured to a pinkness, as were his cheeks,” Bucky shifts a bit, turning his head to rub his nose against (Y/N)’s neck, his body nearly going slack against theirs. He inhales deeply and exhales too, his warm breath hitting (Y/N)’s neck softly.
(Y/N) could tell he was on his way out, he never did last long when (Y/N) would read to him and they were sure their warmth and arms around him wasn’t helping. With a tender smile (Y/N) continues on, resting their chin atop the brunette’s head.
“His uniform was the color of new salt, and his boots were black mirrors, shining below him. His crisp crew-cut hair smelled of sharp alcohol. Even his breath was sharp and new and clean.” Suddenly Bucky’s breath evens out, a steady in and out against (Y/N)’s neck, his nose bumped right up against (Y/N)’s pulse point; he’d fallen asleep.
(Y/N) gingerly sets their book down, settling it down on their bed as they reach over and flicks off their bedside lamp, only shifting enough to get comfortable against their headboard. With a little huff of air (Y/N) reaches down and grabs their sheets, pulling it up to Bucky’s chin to keep him warm.
“Goodnight my sweet angel,” (Y/N) whispers, pressing a kiss to Bucky’s head as they close their eyes, allowing their own exhaustion to take over. Bucky shifts once more in his sleep, this time the movement much more subtle, a simple quirk of his lip was all, a simple, sleepy, and all too adorable smile.
A chart I made showing the names of the various main components of a suit of “modern samurai armour” or tosei gusoku. Tosei gusoku refers to armour worn by samurai that began to appear during the middle of the Muromachi Period (1337-1573) with the introduction of firearms.
A full suit of tosei gusoku as shown in my chart would have weighed in at around 30 kilograms or so including weapons - there is after all a considerable amount of iron plates and lacing!
Lower class samurai such as foot soldiers (ashigaru) would have carried their own rations, bedding, and other equipment, but their armour was somewhat lighter being generally less ornamented.
At this point in time, known in Japanese history as the Sengoku Period or the Warring States Period, the most common samurai weapon was the spear followed by the bow and arrow. The sword at this point in time was a secondary weapon relied upon during close combat.
The sword carried during this period was the longer, gracefully curved tachi and was worn edge down on the left side supported either by it’s own tachi mounting (tachi koshirae) or by using a special leather “sling” (koshiate) if it was mounted without hangers (ashi).
Another shorter sword called a chisagatana - literally “little sword” - was carried together with the tachi at the left hip up until the Momoyama period (1573-1603) when it was abandoned. The chisagatana was originally a throw away weapon reserved for use by conscript foot soldiers (ashigaru), but higher ranking samurai soon took up the carrying of one as a back up weapon.
Higher ranked samurai, those in charge of troops and generals in particular, also carried a short stout blade called a metezashi at the right hip, with the handle facing forwards. This weapon was designed for extreme close combat and used to penetrate the weak spots in an opponents armour. When swords were crossed, the metezashi could be drawn with the left hand and thrust into the opponent’s armpits. It could also be drawn with the right hand and thrown underarm in an instant to distract and stun an opponent before following up with the sword.
Replica O-Yoroi Armour dated 1929 from Japan on display at the Royal Armouries in Leeds
O-Yoroi or ‘Great Armours’ worn by mounted Samurai during the 14th Century and were the most important Medieval Japanese armours. Several survive in the treasuries of Shinto shrine in Nara, established in 768 CE. This armour is an exact copy of the red-lace ‘Plum and Bush Warbler’ votive armour preserved in the Kasuga Great Shrine at Nara, an ancient capital.
Like the original, this armour is made of small iron and leather plates laced into strips with leather, lacquered black, then laced together with red silk. The Nara armours are famous for their lavish fretted gilt copper fittings (Kanemono). The stencilled leather covering the front of the cuirass is decorated with the warlike Buddhist deity Fudo Myo-o. The armoured sleeves (Kote) are copies of those associated with Minamoto Yoshitsune, also preserved at Nara.
Minamoto Yoshitsune was a nobleman and military commander of the
Minamoto clan during the Genpei War during the 12th Century.