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Samurai: The Warrior Class of Japan

September 19, 2003 - September 19, 2003

Samurai: The Warrior Class of Japan

The samurai of old Japan were amongst the greatest, most courageous, but also most cultured warriors in the world. The samurai followed a strict code of behaviour known as Bushido or the way of the warrior. The samurai’s life was directed by righteousness: he must not disgrace his status and must live up to the honour and obligations expected of him. The samurai had a tremendous sense of moral obligation and loyalty to his lord, his family and his society. Martial bravery was very important to the samurai. His sense of honour was derived from his military skills and from being a warrior descended from warrior ancestry.

Samurai includes 60 prints illustrating the life and times of this warrior class, including prints of the famous story of the 47 Ronin (one of Japan’s greatest samurai tragedies). The exhibition also includes scroll paintings and five suits of armour and swords, as well as artefacts that represent their non-military lifestyle, their enjoyment of Noh theatre, the tea ceremony, and worship of Zen Buddhism. The highlight of the exhibition is an ancient sedan chair (palanquin) used by members of the shogun’s family.

Catalogue will be available in The Gallery Shop.

Samurai Illustration by Robin SudburySamurai Family Guide

Free with Admission
Bringing the family to Samurai?
Pick up a copy of the Samurai Family Guide designed to help you and your children ? aged 8-12 years ? explore facts and questions behind this fascinating exhibition. Your imagination will do the rest! Special thanks to student Robin Sudbury for her work on this project.

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