An exhibition showcasing the artistic beauty of the deadly weaponry of Japanese samurai opened earlier this month at the Honolulu Museum of Art, highlighting a range of artifacts belonging to the celebrated warriors.
Running through Aug. 18, “Lethal Beauty: Samurai Weapons and Armor” features more than 60 works by 30 different craftsmen, spanning the 13th through 20th centuries and offering viewers a closer look at the exquisite craftsmanship in a collection of full suits of armor, helmets, warrior hats, facemasks, long and short swords, daggers and rifles.
“The influence of samurai art is felt in popular culture around the world, from martial arts to film, anime and even comic books,” said Shawn Eichman, curator of Asian art at the museum. “Both traditional and contemporary Japanese art resonate strongly with our Hawaii audience, and through this exhibition they will be able to see how history shapes the present.”
The exhibition also includes a selection of folding screens painted by artists to depict battles dating back to the 17th century and provides viewers more insight into the longstanding tradition of artistry and craftsmanship associated with the samurai sword.
For a short time, film fans can also enjoy the Sword and the Screen: A Summer Samurai Film Festival, featuring the work of masters Akira Kurosawa, Masaki Kobayashi and Kihachi Okamoto, running through July 3 at the Honolulu Museum of Art’s Doris Duke Theatre.