Sōhei (僧兵) or "warrior monks" were a monastic order that were largely present during medieval and feudal Japan. Due to their considerable political and military power at certain points of history, they were largely regarded with respect from both military and imperial governments. One of the most famous Sōhei, Musashibo Benkei, has become a figure of both myth and legend in Japanese historical accounts.
Being skilled in multiple forms of combat, the Sōhei were known for the usage of a wide array of armaments. While they were most known for their mastery of the naginata (pole weapon), historical accounts have shown that they were proficient with everything from a yari (spear), yumi (bow), tachi (sword), to a tantō (short sword). They were also known to engage in combat from horse-back, and often wore the o-yoroi armor of the Samurai class into battle.
The SŌHEI bracelet pays tribute to the four largest temples in the Heian and Kamakura periods (Tōdai-ji, Kōfuku-ji, Enryaku-ji, and Mii-dera) with four beads of folded steel interspaced amongst an assortment of rose wood beads. The design of the bracelet takes inspiration from traditional ojuzu (数珠) which are used during devotional services, and is strung together using an expandable material that can stretch to accommodate wider wrists. Each bead used in the bracelet is individually handcrafted by the smith and his apprentices and is approximately 1/3 of an inch in size.
Standard: ~ 8 inch rope, with an inner (expandable) circumference of about 7 - 9 inches
Large: ~ 9 inch rope, with an inner (expandable) circumference of about 8 - 10 inches
Make sure to measure your wrist carefully and reach out to us at firstname.lastname@example.org if you are unsure as to whether our preset sizes will fit you. We will be more than happy to produce a custom size!
Please note that larger sizes will come with the standard number of four metal beads but an increased number of wooden beads to fill in the spaces.
Like any of our accessories, the SŌHEI comes in a custom bamboo box.
As the smith does not mix chromium into the metal used in the beads, your SOHEI bracelet should be kept away from water. We have applied a layer of lacquer to give the steel beads a measure of water resistance, but it is always better to be safe than sorry! As this layer will eventually wear off over the course of normal wear, it is highly recommended to replace it with a jewelry sealant (or an alternative) to protect the finishing of the steel and maintain its water resistance.