Learn about the Japanese samurai and their appreciation of finely honed skills in forging and polishing steel to make weapons of lethal beauty.
First recounted by oral narratives, the stories of battles, heroic pursuits, and famous samurai warriors became popular subjects of literature, theater, and pictorial arts that have endured through the ages. And their swords, polished and decorated, were revered as treasured emblems of their honorable heritage.
This exhibit features two important fourteenth century swords, a wakizashi, a short sword signed by the maker, Yoshioka Ichimonji Sukehide, dated to July, 1363, and a katana, a longer sword typically wielded with two hands, that were purchased with funds realized from the sale of the late Robert Clemons’s bequest to SAMA. Japanese swords are admired for the strength of the steel, which comes from heating and folding the metal many times, and by shaping the steel to a fine, sharp blade.
Other samurai weapons and objects round out this introduction to a major aspect of traditional Japanese culture.
Please note that this focus exhibition is included with your general admission ticket purchase, is free for members, and is included in our Bexar County Free Hours (Tuesdays 4:00-7:00 p.m. and Sundays, 10:00 a.m.-noon).