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Samurai Exhibition - Portland Art Museum

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Samurai Exhibition - Portland Art Museum

Postby Steve Hubbell » Fri Oct 04, 2013 10:04 +0000

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PORTLAND ART MUSEUM
1219 SW Park Avenue
Portland, OR 97205
503-226-2811 | info@pam.org

About the Exhibition

Travel back in time and discover remarkable objects that illuminate the life, culture, and pageantry of the samurai, the revered and feared warriors of Japan—from one of the finest and most comprehensive collections in the world. Samurai! Armor from the Ann and Gabriel Barbier-Mueller Collection presents a treasure trove of battle gear made for high-ranking warriors and daimyo (provincial governors) of the 14th through 19th centuries. The exhibition illustrates the evolution of the distinctive appearance and function of samurai equipment through the centuries and examines their history.

During the centuries covered by the exhibition, warfare evolved from combat between small bands of equestrian archers to the clash of vast armies of infantry and cavalry equipped with swords, spears, and even matchlock guns. Arms and armor were needed in unprecedented quantities, and craftsmen responded with an astonishingly varied array of armor that was both functional and visually spectacular, a celebration of the warrior’s prowess. Even after 1615, when the stern rule of the Tokugawa military dictatorship brought an end to battle, samurai families continued to commission splendid arms and armor for ceremonial purposes. Because the social rank, income, and prestige of a samurai family were strictly determined by the battlefield valor of their ancestors, armor became ever more sumptuous as the embodiment of an elite warrior family’s heritage.

Drawn from the renowned Ann and Gabriel Barbier-Mueller collection, Samurai! features the full panoply of warrior regalia, with full suits of armor, helmets and face guards, weapons, horse trappings, and other battle gear. Highlights include helmets of lacquered metal adorned with emblems often inspired by nature—which signaled the status of the wearer, differentiated samurai from each other, and also frightened the enemy on the battlefield; armored horses carrying combat-ready samurai; and a full ensemble of armor and ceremonial jackets worn by the high-ranking samurai of the Mōri family. The Mōri, who traced their roots to famous warriors of the13th century, were among the most powerful warrior families in western Japan. Portland will be the only West Coast venue for Samurai!

Event Details
At the Museum with Dark Horse Comics

Sat, 2 Nov, 2013 12:00 PM - 3:00 PM

Noon

The Rabbit Samurai in Portland: Stan Sakai on Usagi Yojimbo


Whitsell Auditorium

Comic artist Stan Sakai, creator of Usagi Yojimbo, visits the Portland Art Museum to talk about his award-winning series and to share insights on his drawing techniques in a live demonstration. In 1984, Sakai created the beloved saga of the “rabbit samurai” Usagi Yojimbo, a character inspired by the life of the famous 17th-century samurai Miyamoto Musashi. Usagi lives without a master during an age of unrest and political intrigue, wandering the land on a musha shugyo (warrior's pilgrimage), and occasionally selling his services as a bodyguard. Sakai’s stories and drawings include faithful references to Edo period (1603-1867) Japanese history and folklore, architecture, armor, and weapons. Usagi Yojimbo is also heavily influenced by Japanese cinema and includes references to the work of Akira Kurosawa (the title of the series is derived from Kurosawa's 1961 film Yojimbo) and to icons of popular Japanese cinema such as Lone Wolf and Cub, Zatoichi, and Godzilla. Stan is the recipient of a Parents' Choice Award, an Inkpot Award, an American Library Association Award, a Harvey Award, four Spanish Haxtur Awards, and several Eisner Awards. In 2003, he won the prestigious National Cartoonists Society Award in the Comic Book Division, and in 2011 Stan received the Cultural Ambassador Award from the Japanese American National Museum.

1:30 p.m.

The Lure of the Samurai: A conversation with Stan Sakai and Mike Richardson


Whitsell Auditorium

Two legendary figures in the comic art world, Stan Sakai and Mike Richardson, come together to talk about their passion for all things samurai. Why is the figure of the samurai such an enduring subject in the popular imagination, especially for comic artists and readers? Mike Richardson is the founder and president of Portland-based Dark Horse Comics. He and artist Stan Sakai recently collaborated on the short series 47 Ronin, among the best-known tales in Japanese history. The legend of the 47 Ronin and their epic mission to avenge their disgraced master epitomizes the samurai code of honor and has been endlessly interpreted throughout the ages. Learn more about how Richardson and Sakai brought their creative energies together for this critically acclaimed series.

1:00 p.m.
2:30 p.m
.

Book Signings

Stan Sakai will sign copies of his books at 1:00pm and will be joined by Mike Richardson at 2:30pm following their conversation. Bring your own copies or visit the Museum Shop to purchase selected titles.

Download free Usagi Yojimbo video game

In conjunction with Samurai!, the Museum is pleased to present a special free version of Usagi Yojimbo: Way of the Ronin, a new video game based on the comic book. It is the first video game in 25 years featuring characters from the award-winning Usagi Yojimbo comic-book series by Stan Sakai. Players who visit Samurai! Armor from the Ann and Gabriel Barbier-Mueller Collection gain access to a special passcode that will allow them to unlock a special level of the game. The video game was developed by Happy Giant in association with Dark Horse Comics. Developed exclusively for Museum of Fine Arts, Boston. Licensed with permission.

Tickets $20, free for museum members. Ticket includes entry to both the noon and 1:30 talks, as well as admission to Samurai! and other Museum exhibitions. Purchase advance tickets online. This event is a partnership between the Museum and Dark Horse Comics.

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