Nihontō: The Samurai Sword

Nihontō: The Samurai Sword
Newfields Hours

This exhibition will explore the history, physical attributes, symbolism, aesthetic qualities and utility of the Japanese samurai sword from the vantage point of beauty and function. The scope of the exhibition will be expanded to include sword fittings, other weapons and suits of armor that further demonstrate the exacting importance placed on both beauty of form and practicality of performance and use. Through permanent collection objects and over 80 loans from private collections, visitors will be introduced to historical development, various schools and styles of swordsmiths, function and connoisseurship of the art of sword making and the related crafts and accessories that amplified the beauty of these objects whose ultimate purpose lay in warfare, injury, and death, but that also came to symbolize honor, courage, self-discipline, self-sacrifice and benevolence as hallmarks of a samurai.

Organized by Jidai Arts.

May 10 - November 3, 2019
Indianapolis Museum of Art Galleries
Included with admission

Japanese, Tachi mount with dragonfly motif fittings, 1800s, wood, lacquer, silver, gold and shakudo, 42 in. Courtesy of Jidai Arts.