Bishop Mann Gallery Samurai Installation

January 31 – May 13, 2018

The image of the samurai is unmistakable: hair styled in a topknot, posed in a wide stance, and with two swords – one short and one long – ready to be used against his enemy. Add the scaled armor and helmet with protruding kuwagata (stylized metal horns), and this imposing figure is one you certainly do not want to face in battle.

In this installation, you will come face to face with full set of armor, explore the details of tsuba (handguards), swords, and examine male and female samurai in woodblock prints. Imagery used by samurai represented their brave and honor-bound spirit, and also served to identify their allegiances. Today, samurai imagery and legends continue to inspire us, from costume design in the Star Wars™ sagas to historical dramas like The Last Samurai.

This installation would not have been possible without the generous help of William S. Green, Director of the Southeast Japanese Sword Show & Auction, Dr. Robert Drapkin, and other private collectors.