From: Asian Art Museum Limited Edition: 30 Exhibition: Lords of the Samurai Material: Printed vinyl Dimensions: 35" x 72" (88.9cm x 182.88cm)
Hanging Hardware Included
During the Edo period (1615-1868), Japan was relatively peaceful and stable. A samurai scholar at the time said, "When you learn and practice both bun (culture) and bu (arms), you demonstrate both authority and generosity, so people are friendly but also intimidated, and they will be obedient." Perhaps it was the code of the samurai, bushido, that naturally brought peace and order to society. So, despite their beautiful and formidable suits of armor, many samurai warriors never saw battle. This is one in a series of three banners used to promote this exhibition.
These banners are offered for sale as a pair. The complete image spans two banners which, hung side-by-side, create an amazing diptych which covers a 6’ by 6’ space. Just place one (1) banner in your shopping cart, and you will receive two so you may display the banners as originally designed.
The Asian Art Museum’s exhibition Lords of the Samurai displayed artifacts from the Hosokawa clan of Japanese warriors to showcase the samurai warrior life and their code of conduct dating back 700 years. The concept of samurai not only as warrior but as patron of the arts is woven throughout the exhibition through the display of suits of armor and weaponry along side exquisitely made silk textiles, painted scrolls, and tea wares. This sense of balance between bun and bu, translated as “culture” and “arms'" was essential to a fulfilled samurai life. The samurai general Imagawa Ryoshun, who spent years on a military campaign and rule of the island Kyushu wrote in the fourteenth century:
”It is natural that training in the martial arts is the Way of the Warrior, but it is most important to put them into actual practice. First, it is written in the Confucian classics as well as in the military writings that in protecting the country, if one is ignorant of the study of literature he will be unable to govern. Just as the Buddha preached the various laws in order to save all living beings, one must rack one’s brain and never depart from the Ways of both Warrior and Literary Man.”
The banners used to promote the exhibition feature a suit of armor from the Hosokawa clan, with a grooved helmet and full metal face plate embellished with a woven chin strap. An armor set of this type would include a cuirass comprised of small iron plates to protect the body and a helmet specifically shaped to deflect a strike from a sword, spear, or arrow.
Three sets of diptych banners were used to promote the Samurai exhibition, each featuring a suit of armor from the Hosokawa clan, including Samurai 1 and Samurai 3.
Each set of banners is designed to be hung side-by-side on a street pole, so hanging two together creates a complete diptych. On the front, the image floats on a dark red to black gradient background. Across the lower third of the banner, white text reads “Lords of the Samurai/Asian Art Museum”. Above the image on the back of the banner are the exhibition dates, “June 12-Sept 20”.
These banners were displayed around San Francisco from June 12 through September 20, 2009 to promote the exhibition, Lords of the Samurai.