Special Japanese exhibition successfully held at the Oriental Museum with CVAC funding.
A CVAC-sponsored exhibition, The Shogun’s Cultured Warriors, was held at the Oriental Museum, from 7th June 2016 to 27th November 2016. The samurai were the military class of Japan who developed from provincial warriors into the ruling elite. They were a powerful force in Japan for more than six centuries and so had a profound effect on military and political life. High ranking warriors were also expected to develop their literary skills and they played an active role as patrons of the arts. The exhibition explored the role of the samurai class as patrons and producers of the arts. It also examined the legacy of samurai culture which remains a potent source of inspiration in Japan – and the west – today.
The exhibition was seen by 12,769 visitors to the museum galleries.
The exhibition was created to support the conference: ‘400th Anniversary of the Death of the first Tokugawa Shogun: The Life and Legacy of Tokugawa Ieyasu’ (7th-8th June, 2016), which was being hosted by the School of Modern Languages and Cultures. The creation of the Tokugawa shogunate (1603-1868) was one of the key turning points in Japanese history, and 2016 marked 400 years since the death of its founder, the first shogun, Tokugawa Ieyasu. To mark this important anniversary, the conference brought together experts on Japanese history, religion, and material culture to commemorate, explain, and explore Ieyasu’s career and legacy.
Rebekah Clements, January 2017