Cuirasses and helmets were manufactured in Japan as early as the 4th century.Tankō, worn by foot soldiers and keikō, worn by horsemen were both pre-samurai types of early Japanese armour constructed from iron plates connected together by leather thongs. Japanese lamellar armour (keiko) passed through Korea and reached Japan around the 5th century. These early Japanese lamellar armours took the form of a sleeveless jacket and a helmet.
Armour did not always cover all of the body; sometimes no more than a helmet and leg plates were worn. The rest of the body was generally protected by means of a large shield. Examples of armies equipping their troops in this fashion were the Aztecs (16th century DC), and the hoplites in Ancient Greece.
In East Asia many types of armour were commonly used at different times by various cultures including, scale armour, lamellar armour, laminar armour, plated mail, mail, plate armour and brigandine. Around the dynastic Tang, Song, and early Ming Period, cuirasses and plates (mingguangjia) were also used, with more elaborate versions for officers in war. The Chinese, during that time used partial plates for “important” body parts instead of covering their whole body since too much plate armour hinders their martial arts movement. The other body parts were covered in cloth, leather, lamellar, and/or Mountain pattern. In pre-Qin dynasty times, leather armour was made out of various animals, with more exotic ones such as the rhinoceros.