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Time: various am
Kids get in free!** May 12 through September 30, 2012
Exclusive Frazier Museum exhibition unlocks the mysteries of the ancient samurai Museum hosts an epic display of myth-busting secrets, exquisite artifacts and interactive features related to this mysterious, and misunderstood, culture
Samurai were as artistic and philosophical as they were dangerous. The epic tale of the one of the greatest warrior cultures in history, and how it shaped an entire nation, is the theme of an extraordinary new exhibition opening May 12 at the Frazier History Museum. The beauty, artistry and richness of this ancient culture are explored through “Samurai,” a 3,800 sq. ft. exhibition that immerses visitors in the mysterious, and often misunderstood, world of this vanished Japanese noble class.
Produced by the Frazier History Museum in partnership with the Kokusai Tosogu Kai (KTK), “Samurai” presents a once in a lifetime opportunity to see some of the world’s finest artifacts relating to the legacy left by this great warrior culture, including over 200 objects– from armor and swords to rare textiles, artwork and religious items. Shown exclusively at the Frazier, this original exhibition will feature national treasure-level artifacts from collections in Japan and around the world. Four years in the making, it opens in conjunction with the centennial celebration of the gift of cherry trees made to the people of the United States by the people of Japan in 1912.
Visitors will see a diverse collection of artifacts spanning 1,500 years– including kimonos, wood block prints, theater masks, religious items and tea ceremony objects—from a culture that’s often portrayed in movies and TV, but that few people truly understand. Centuries old armor made of iron, silk and gilded metal showcase how the samurai used their artistry to convey ferocity and instill fear. Personal items, such as painted scrolls and screens, reveal a more intimate side of samurai culture and help expose the role of women in samurai society.
In addition to authentic historical objects, “Samurai” explores the real stories behind the iconic samurai, ninjas and geisha that are so prevalently portrayed in pop culture. What’s more, the exhibit was designed with children in mind and includes a number of interactive stations and hands-on elements, including try-on costumes, touchable swords, multiple exploration areas and audio-visual features.
On top of amassing one of the most impressive collections of samurai-related objects ever on display in the U.S., most of which has never been seen by the public, the Frazier Museum’s “Samurai” is significant because it’s a rare introduction to a driving force of Japanese history. “What we think of as ‘Japanese’ culture today is actually very much driven by what was the samurai way of life,” said Frazier Museum director Madeleine Burnside. “Samurai values influenced fashion, theater, architecture and all aspects of Japanese culture, helping form the very foundation of the Japanese society that we know today.”
“Samurai,” which is included in regular museum admission, opens to the public on Saturday, May 12 and runs through September 30, 2012.
**During the run of the Samurai exhibition, children 14 and under get in free. Children must be accompanied by an adult. Maximum of two children per each paid adult. Additional fees for the Diana exhibition apply.
Adult admission (15 and older) is $10.50. Discounts are available for military, seniors and groups. The Frazier History Museum is open Monday through Saturday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., Sunday noon to 5 p.m. For more information on visiting the Frazier Museum, click here. For information on other upcoming exhibitions, including “Diana: A Celebration,” click here.
To read Dr. Burnside’s blog regarding her trip to Japan, click here.
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The Greater Louisville International Professionals (G.L.I.P.) showcases Louisville’s welcoming and inclusive nature by serving as a trusted source of information, conversations and connections between international professionals and the region’s business community. G.L.I.P. also offers a valuable forum for the area’s professionals or companies doing business internationally and thinking with a global perspective.