What's Going On
What's Going On : Discover the Japanese Samurai
Date posted: January 1, 2017
Posted by: Jill Dunne, Cincinnati Art Museum
Photos/images: provided by Cincinnati Art Museum
The Cincinnati Art Museum is proud to present an in-depth look at the historical and cultural influence of
Japan’s Samurai in the exhibition Dressed to Kill: Japanese Arms and Armor, Feb. 11–May 7, 2017. More than
130 warrior-related objects from the 16th to 19th centuries will be on display from the Cincinnati Art Museum’s
collections and first-ever loans from the outstanding holdings of collector Gary Grose.
Samurai began as skillful provincial warriors before rising to power as members of the powerful military caste
in feudal Japan. Their traditional moral principles, known as bushidō or “the way of the warrior,” stressed
loyalty, mastery of martial arts and honor until the death.
Dressed to Kill aims to reveal the true story and deepen the understanding of the warrior-nobles of Japan.
Contrasted with popular depictions, the context and understanding of Samurai is integral to Japanese art
This exhibition features 11 full suits of armor including one commissioned for a youth between ages 11 and 13,
weapons, banners, costumes, prints and paintings, many on view for the first time. Celebrating Japanese art
and fine craftsmanship, this exhibition explores the powerful impact of Samurai ideals, principles and power
that influenced the historical and cultural development of Japan.
Cincinnati Art Museum Curator of Asian Art Dr. Hou-Mei Sung organized this rare look into Samurai. “Dressed
to Kill is an eye-opening exhibition intended to separate Samurai fact from fiction,” says Sung. “We hope to
contribute a unique and deeply impactful historical depiction of the role Samurai warriors played in Japanese
The Cincinnati Art Museum houses one of the oldest and most extensive Japanese art collections among all
Transcending Reality: The Woodcuts of Kōsaka Gajin
Running concurrently, Transcending Reality: The Woodcuts of Kōsaka Gajin celebrates the Cincinnati Art
Museum’s Howard and Caroline Porter Collection, the largest repository of the woodcuts of Kōsaka Gajin
outside the family in Tokyo, Japan.
Transcending Reality captures the beauty of Japan’s landscape and architectural monuments in a manner that
is modern in its individualized expression as well as related stylistically to European and American abstract
painting. The exhibition will be shown next to Dressed to Kill in Western & Southern Gallery 233.
Joint special exhibition tickets allows entry to both Dressed to Kill and Transcending Reality. All ticketed
exhibitions are free for museum members. Non-members may purchase tickets at cincinnatiartmuseum.org or
at the art museum. $10 ticket for adults; $5 for children ages 6–17 and college students with ID. Other
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