Cliff-Shaped Helmet with Iris Leaves, Azuchi-Momoyama–Edo period, 16th–17th century
Japanese Gallery (Honkan) Rooms 5 & 6
November 22, 2022 (Tue) - February 12, 2023 (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.
|Important Cultural Property||Armor ("Gusoku") with a European-Style Cuirass and Dark Blue Lacing||Azuchi-Momoyama period, 16th century||F-20137|
|Important Cultural Property||Cord-Wrapped Sword Mounting ("Itomaki no Tachi") with Paulownia Flowers||Muromachi period, 15th century||F-19991||On exhibit from November 29, 2022|
|Important Cultural Property||Blade for a Long Sword ("Tachi"), Named “Hōjō Tachi”||By the Ichimonji school||Kamakura period, 13th century||F-151-2||On exhibit from November 29, 2022|
|Highlight||Important Cultural Property||Chain-Fitted Sword Mounting ("Hyōgo Gusari no Tachi") with Triple-Triangle Crests||Kamakura period, 13th century||F-151-1||On exhibit from November 29, 2022|
|Highlight||Cliff-Shaped Helmet with Iris Leaves||Azuchi-Momoyama–Edo period, 16th–17th century||F-20135|
|Armor ("Gusoku") with a "Dōmaru" Cuirass and White Lacing||Edo period, 17th century||F-17209|
|Important Cultural Property||Armor ("Haramaki") with Black Lacing in the Middle||Muromachi period, 15th century||F-19990|
|Highlight||Surcoat ("Jinbaori") with Lions||Reportedly given to Tomita Ippaku by Toyotomi Hideyoshi||Azuchi-Momoyama period, 16th century||I-221||On exhibit from January 2, 2023|
|Highlight||Surcoat ("Jinbaori") with Lions||Reportedly owned by Toyotomi Hideyoshi||Azuchi-Momoyama period, 16th century||I-3456||On exhibit from January 2, 2023|