Haramaki is a type of chest armour (dou or dō) worn by the samurai class of feudal Japan and their retainers.
Haramaki were originally constructed with the same materials as the o-yoroi but designed for foot soldiers to use as opposed to the o-yoroi which was for mounted warfare. Haramaki refers to any Japanese armour which is put on from the front and then fastened in the back with cords. Other types of dou (dō) open from the side (ni-mai dou (dō), dou (dō)-maru, maru-dou (dō)) instead of opening from the back as the haramaki dou (dō) does.
Modern haramaki refer to a thick cloth undergarment worn around the belly to increase body heat retention during the winter.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Samurai armour.|
-  traditional Haramaki photographs
-  Anthony Bryant's web site about construction and history of Japanese armor