Lethal Beauty: Samurai Weapons and Armor
September 28, 2013 – January 5, 2014
Deadly weaponry, artistic beauty, dynamic heroism... This comprehensive exhibition of samurai culture celebrates the history and artistic craftsmanship surrounding these universally renowned warriors. Sixty-three works by 30 master craftsmen from the 13th to 20th centuries will engage and delight audiences. A stunning array of long and short swords, full suits of armor, helmets, warrior hats, face masks, daggers, rifles, and more showcase a quintessential part of Japanese history. Many of the swords in this exhibition have been certified by the Japanese government as Important Cultural Property.
Bushido (literally, "the way of the samurai") is the code of chivalry that the samurai lived by, and encompasses not only mastery of the martial arts but also the ideals of morality, bravery, compassion, respect, honor, glory, and loyalty.
A samurai's most prized weapon was his sword, often referred to as the "soul of the warrior." This outstanding short sword has been attributed to Rai Kunitoshi, one of the three greatest sword makers during the Kamakura period, Japan's golden age of swords.
The hereditary samurai warrior class served the nobility through periods of intense warfare as well as periods of peace. The samurai are considered distinct from any other warrior class in history, and continue to fascinate people of all backgrounds, cultures, and ages.
Lethal Beauty was curated by Dr. Andreas Marks, Clark Center for Japanese Art and Culture, and tour organized by International Arts & Artists, Washington, DC.