Cord-Wrapped Sword Mounting (Itomaki no Tachi), Edo period, 17th century
Japanese Gallery (Honkan) Rooms 5 & 6
August 30, 2022 (Tue) - November 20, 2022 (Sun)
The samurai ruled Japan for nearly 700 years, from the late 12th to the 19th century. They emulated the imperial court, which was the home of high culture, but also borrowed from the practices of common people. Wishing for divine protection in this life and salvation in the next, they worshipped both Shinto and Buddhist deities. The culture of the samurai was complex and ever–changing, but always reflected their authority as the warrior class of Japan.
This gallery focuses on the most prominent symbols of samurai authority: swords, armor, and other military equipment. These had many purposes. Through diverse colors and materials, they showed the tastes of their owners. Differences in shape and construction reflected differences in rank and social standing. Many samurai passed down this equipment as heirlooms, while high–ranking samurai exchanged it as diplomatic gifts. Swords and armor were also donated to Buddhist temples and Shinto shrines in prayer for victory in battle.
|Highlight||National Treasure||Armor ("Yoroi") with White Lacing||Kamakura period, 14th century||Lent by Hinomisaki Shrine, Shimane|
|Important Art Object||Letter||By Tokugawa Ieyasu (1542–1616)||Edo period, 1615||B-2483||On exhibit from October 12, 2022|
|Highlight||Cord-Wrapped Sword Mounting ("Itomaki no Tachi")||Edo period, 17th century||F-19931-1||On exhibit from September 6, 2022|
|Important Cultural Property||Blade for a Long Sword ("Tachi")||By Sadazane||Kamakura period, 13th century||Gift of Meitokukai Foundation of the Mitani Clan of Izumo Province, F-20156-1||On exhibit through September 4, 2022|
|Important Cultural Property||Armor ("Dōmaru") with Black Lacing, White at the Top||Nanbokuchō period, 14th century||Gift of Ms. Fujiwara Kiyoko, F-19972|
|Armor ("Gusoku") with a Two-Piece Cuirass and Red Lacing||Edo period, 17th century||E-19929|