Dogs have been used in military operations for centuries, but this outlandish suit of canine samurai armor from the Edo period is truly something special. Historically, there's a loose precedent for forcing your puggle into that undignified Darth Vader costume every Halloween.

This one-of-a-kind rawhide suit and lacquered wooden mask was for sale on the Japanese antiques site Toraba several years back. According to the seller, the armor hailed from around 1800-50 and was primarily used for ceremonial applications by the nineteenth-century equivalent of my favorite stock character, Hypothetical Insane Billionaire:

General opinion is that this set was made from a dog belonging to a very senior samurai, possibly a daimyo, who apparently was extremely found of this canine companion [...] This set is of dubious practical value, and was almost certainly produced as a novelty item to appease the whim of an apparently very wealthy, powerful, and one can only assume, somewhat eccentric samurai warrior. The armour was most like used likely limited in its use to being worn during [...] formal parade-like situations.

Now, one of you archaeologist types dig up some Egyptian and Viking dog armor tout de suite so I can finally accrue that venture capital for my million-dollar idea, The Fluffiest Warrior. For recent (old) samurai weirdness, see the samurai go to the Sphinx. [Via Eff Yeah Asian History]