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“Samurai” exhibition at Edo-Tokyo Museum


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  • Special Exhibition
    -Peacekeeping Contributors in Edo Period*

    14 September – 4 November 2019
    Edo-Tokyo Museum

    *original translation

    Without a doubt, “samurai” is one of the most prevalent clichés used to imagine Japan.

    What the word actually means, however, may vary greatly from one person to another. It may indicate armoured warriors, from elite warlords to low-class soldiers, knight-like swordsman and crime avengers, villains and wandering ronin.

    Or it can be the embodiment of idealized masculinity, of the virtue of loyalty and the Way of the samurai. Such images have been crystalized by books on the subject, as well as Japanese and Hollywood movies.

    But what were they really during the Edo period, from 1603 to 1867, when Japan’s internal war period had been forgone, with the last big battle fought in 1615? Their warrior status was made redundant in the “Pax Tokugawa”.


    In the 17th and 18th centuries, the town of Edo (present-day Tokyo) under the Tokugawa shogunate became the largest city in the world, with the largest population of samurai living in the country.

    This show, bringing together a number of precious objects, pictures, and photos, will elucidate the life and profession of the samurai in and around the town of Edo during the Tokugawa period.

    *Reproduction of images in this article is strictly prohibited.

    Highlights of the “Samurai” Exhibition


* The above is the information known at the time of publication and subject to change without prior notice.

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