In 1929, U-M Athletic Director Fielding H. Yost accompanied the University’s men’s baseball team to Japan to play against Meiji University. The U-M team won 11 of 13 games. Instead of a trophy, Yost was presented with this late Edo period (AD 1600–1848) suit of armor and associated weapons. The suit was initially put on display in the Yost Field House on the athletic campus and likely was removed in response to anti-Japanese sentiment during World War II. In 1952, Mrs. Yost donated the suit to the Museum of Anthropology. For several decades, it was displayed in the Asian Galleries of the U-M Museum of Art. Its place in U-M history was largely forgotten until 1998, when an undergraduate student, Valeri Nao Yoshimura, traced its story as part of a class project. In the last few years, the suit has been exhibited at the Toledo Museum of Art and the Detroit Institute of Arts and visited by students interested in Japanese history.
In honor of the University of Michigan’s 2017 bicentennial, we are celebrating the remarkable archaeological and ethnographic collections and rich legacy of research and teaching at the Museum of Anthropological Archaeology by posting one entry a day for 200 days. The entries will highlight objects from the collections, museum personalities, and UMMAA expeditions. The Kelsey Museum of Archaeology is also posting each day for 200 days on Twitter and Facebook (follow along at #KMA200). After the last post, an exhibition on two centuries of archaeology at U-M opens at the Kelsey. Visit the exhibit—a joint project of the UMMAA and the Kelsey—from October 18, 2017 to May 27, 2018.