San Antonio Museum or Art

A Search for a Beautiful Death: The Japanese Samurai Aesthetic by Dr. Louis G. Perez, Professor of Japanese History, Illinois State University


Sunday, October 20, 2013
3:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m.


Price: Free with Museum admission.

For seven centuries (1150-1868) warriors (samurai) ruled Japan.  As they finely-honed their martial skills, their world evolved from the serenity of Buddhism into what they called a “Search for a Beautiful Death.” Their sense of artistic aesthetics similarly mutated from the artistic path to religious salvation into an appreciation for the stark beauty of the killing machines wielded in war. The lecture is a brief attempt to explain the rationale behind the worship of the horrifically sublime.

Louis G. Perez is Professor of Japanese History at Illinois State University. He has earned several teaching awards and is the author of seven books on Japan as well as the editor of the recently-published Japan at War: An Encyclopedia.