Suitou - Samurai Canteen/Gourd
Suitou (Sui-tou) is a canteen typically made from bamboo or gourds which were used by samurai, ashigaru and peasants alike throughout the history of Japan. The suitou samurai canteen can be used for carrying water, wine or of course any liquid.
The sui-tou gourd canteen are more complicated to make as more time / care is required in cleaning and treating with bee’s wax, inside and out, to ensure the surface is preserved. The gourd also features a plug with rubber ring to ensure leak free, freshness of your beverage.
The gourd canteen can also be used as a Kayaku Ire (Gunpowder Flask), an important accessory for your teppo. Used for centuries, both the bamboo and gourd canteens are natural and safe to drink from. Water can stay fresh for several days and the canteen can be re-used for years. Like the waraji, the suitou bamboo and gourd canteen are essential to any samurai armor set or display.
These Suitou (Canteen) are cut, smoothed, cleaned and crafted by Iron Mountain Armory from the bamboo groves and gourd farms just outside the armory. We offer the option, for both bamboo and gourds canteens, to burn a samurai clan mon or your own personal mon / logo into the side. Please note that this option might add some extra time in the crafting of your Suitou canteen.
Weather and influx in orders can also slow crafting time so please be patient when ordering.
Bamboo can crack as it dries or when liquid is added after it dries. We suggest the bamboo be used more for “decorative” purposes. Gourds are much more durable and make much better long term canteens.
Order Notes: Please select which style of natural canteen you would prefer, bamboo or gourd. Both are reusable with proper care (see instructions below). Bamboo is prone to cracking and will require more care (see below).
- Traditional and Natural
- Can be used for drinking, storage, display
- Average Bamboo Dimensions: 20 ~ 25 cm tall by 8 ~ 10 cm wide / Holds average of 590ml-700ml of water
- Bamboo canteen are currently out of season.
- Average Gourd Dimensions: 15 ~ 20 cm tall by 8 ~ 10 cm wide / Holds average of 530ml to 590ml of water
- Gourd canteen comes with base stand, funnel and cleaning packet (as seen).
Caring for your canteen:
Sui-tou are typically meant for short term use, however with proper care they can last for 1 or more years. Store in cool dry place, out of direct sunlight. Fill your canteen to 1/4 with dry rice and shake vigorously for 25 seconds. Then empty the rice and any dust from inside before filling with liquid. You can sanitize your canteen by adding a solution of 1 teaspoon of non-scented liquid household chlorine bleach to a quart of water (mix well). Add sanitizing solution in your sui-tou, filling to about 50% then shaking it for 25 seconds (do not let soak). After sanitizing the bottle, thoroughly rinse out the sanitizing solution with clean water and let dry. Never use hot or warm liquids (greater then 88 f / 31 c). We use a natural wax on the surfaces of our samurai canteens to help preserve and prevent cracking, however cracking may occur, more so with the bamboo canteens. If cracking occurs, dry your canteen, apply wood glue to the outside surface of crack. Allow dry and repeat if needed, finally smoothing the surface. Your canteen should be “set” and there should be no more leaking, but you might need to replace this procedure.