Katana Mounting (Uchigatana), Azuchi-Momoyama–Edo period, 16th–17th century (Important Cultural Property)
Japanese Gallery (Honkan) Rooms 5 & 6
February 14, 2023 (Tue) - May 7, 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.
|Highlight||Amor ("Gusoku") with a Two-Piece Cuirass and White Lacing||Edo period, 17th century||Gift of Mr. Tokugawa Yoshihiro, F-20117-1|
|Important Cultural Property||Cord-Wrapped Sword Mounting ("Itomaki no Tachi") with Paulownia Flowers||Muromachi period, 15th century||F-19991||On exhibit through February 19, 2023|
|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 through February 19, 2023|
|Important Cultural Property||Blade for a Long Sword ("Katana")||Attributed to Motoshige||Nanbokuchō period, 14th century||F-19992-1||On exhibit from February 21, 2023|
|Highlight||Important Cultural Property||"Katana" Mounting ("Uchigatana")||Azuchi-Momoyama–Edo period, 16th–17th century||F-19992-2||On exhibit from February 21, 2023|
|Important Cultural Property||Armor ("Dōmaru") with Black Lacing, Horizontal and Triangular Patterns||Muromachi period, 15th century||F-19987|
|Highlight||Surcoat ("Jinbaori") with Lions||Reportedly owned by Toyotomi Hideyoshi||Azuchi-Momoyama period, 16th century||I-3456||On exhibit through March 5, 2023|