Lords of the Samurai 6/129/20/09, Asian Art Museum, San Francisco, CA
- Coming this summer to San Francisco's Asian Art Museum:
"More than just warriors, Japanese samurai of the highest rank were
visionaries, writers, and artists as well. The Hosokawa clan, powerful
military nobles with a 600-year-old lineage, embodied this duality of
fierce warrior and refined gentleman. This exhibition features more
than 150 works from the Hosokawa family collection housed in the
Eisei-Bunko Museum in Tokyo, the Kumamoto Castle, and the Kumamoto
Municipal Museum in Kyushu. Objects on view will include suits of
armor, armaments (including swords and guns), formal attire,
calligraphy, paintings, teaware, lacquerware, masks, and musical
I attended a museum event last night, which included tea demonstrations one could not get anywhere near, tastings of three ludicrously expensive sake (yes, they were all lovely, but $60 a bottle is just not gonna happen for me), and of course, the exhibition itself, which is in its early weeks.
If you are in the area (or plan to be*), it's a must-see. The armor is all Edo-period, but they have some sword blades and tsuba from our period, an exquisite late-period matchlock, a go set reputed to have belonged to tea master Sen Rikyu, ink paintings and manuscripts by Miyamoto Musashi, and a number of noh costumes. As with many exhibitions at the Asian, they will be rotating in some additional pieces later in the summer, so it's worth visiting twice, if at all possible.
(*Plan to be? Drop me a note. I'm a museum member, which means I can get one guest in free. Be sure to check the website above, as there are additional programs and lectures all summer relating to the exhibition.)
Saionji no Hanae