Discover the lost world of the Samurai in the only touring exhibition of its kind in the UK.
Before Japan opened up to the West, it was ruled for centuries by its nobility, the warrior class of the Samurai. This exhibition examines the origins of the military tradition and the fascinating warrior code of Bushido. It also reveals the true nature of the Ninja, the much-fabled assassins of the Samurai, and examines their weaponry and training.
As well as armour, weapons and heraldry, a wide range of artefacts help explain what life in medieval Japan was like for women of the same class, and how feudal society was organised. The decline of that society is explained through the story of the final Samurai and the forces that brought an end to a unique way of life.
However, not all was lost as Samurai culture and philosophy remained an important part of Japanese life – and its influence can be traced across the world. It has been particularly prevalent in the arts, and this exhibition demonstrates how Samurai films heavily influenced Star Wars.
There is also a large display of costumes and armour from Hollywood blockbuster The Last Samurai, which starred Tom Cruise. Exhibited for the first time in the UK, some of these Oscar-nominated props come straight from the Weta Workshop in California, and help vividly bring to life an extraordinary period of Japanese history.