For Japan’s warriors, prowess on the battlefield was matched by an acute aesthetic sensibility. Samurai presents the art and ethos of this warrior culture. From the austerity of lacquer and tea bowls to the opulence of golden screens and armour, this exhibition demonstrates how the ethos and tastes of the Samurai (a military elite whose name means ‘one who serves’) permeated every aspect of Japanese art and culture from the thirteenth to the nineteenth centuries.

The online resource Samurai transformed: warrior, culture, class, commodity is supported by The Japan Foundation, Sydney.

Kobayashi Kiyochika, born Edo (Tokyo) 1847, died Tokyo 1915, Taira no Tadanori (1144–1184) resting under a cherry tree, 1884, Tokyo, woodblock print, ink and colour on paper, triptych, 36.5 x 25.5 cm (each sheet); d'Auvergne Boxall Bequest Fund 2013, Art Gallery of South Australia, Adelaide, photo: Stewart Adams.

Samurai Transformed

Join us for a free online symposium to celebrate the final weeks of the exhibition

Myôchin Munesuke, creator, cuirass, 1688, 1735, Samurai armour, with breastplate depicting Fudō-myōō and inscribed 'A Fortuitous Day, the 8th month of the 12th year of Genroku (1699), Myochin Munesuke', c 1699, Edo (Tokyo), iron, gilded, silvered and patinated copper, gold leaf, wood, silk, cotton, leather, animal fur, 170.0 cm (height); Gift of Max Carter AO, Susan Cocks, John Crosby, Dr Peter Dobson, Sandra Dobson, Frances Gerard, Arata Gwinnett, Sam Hill-Smith, Shane Le Plastrier, Mark Livesey QC, Joan Lyons, Dr Leo Mahar, Skye McGregor, Diana McLaurin, John Thornton, Zena Winser and David C. Urry through the Art Gallery of South Australia Foundation Collectors Club 2016, Art Gallery of South Australia, Adelaide.

Education Resource

Learn about Japanese art, history and culture and develop and understand Australia’s engagement with Asia