The legacy of the samurai culture
Recently I visited the Odessa Museum of Western and Eastern Art, the exhibition "Samurai. ART OF WAR ", which were presented to: Samurai armor and weapons, ceremonial kimono, and everyday objects, engravings, paintings and scrolls.
The purpose of the project - familiarity with the cultural heritage of the samurai - the privileged military class, which was in power for almost seven hundred years of Japanese history, from the late 12th century until the mid 19th century.
The exhibition features over two hundred exhibits related mainly to the Muromachi period (1333 - 1573) and Edo: weapons, armor, works of arts and crafts, painting and calligraphy, prints, household items. They are the clear evidence of spiritual and material values of the samurai, their ideals and preferences, aesthetic tastes, daily activities, the relationship to the traditions and creative ingenuity - that is, all that was a reflection of a particular way of the samurai life, called "Way of the Warrior."
The word "samurai" is derived from the verb "saburau" - "serve a higher-ranking person." Samurai were not only knights, but his bodyguards overlord - the daimyo, and at the same time servants in their daily lives. According to the most widespread opinion, samurai originated in the east, northeast and far south of Japan where the Ainu tribes fiercely defended their land from the imperial troops.
The basis of the samurai made voluntary fugitive peasants and hunters. Also in other areas, where: the uprisings of peasants, then hunted by pirates and robber gangs, governors of provinces and know, without relying on the imperial troops, to create small professional military units.
In the 10-12 centuries in the numerous and bloody civil wars, which now and then unleashed The sovereign daimyo, seeking to expand their own possession, finally took shape the military samurai class. By the time the foundations were formed and unwritten moral code of the Samurai "The way the bow and horse" (Kuba, but michi), then transformed into a set of commandments "Bushido," (Way of the Warrior). Military estate belonged to the real power in the country since 1192 (when Minamoto Yoritomo became the first shogun irremovable, the title begins to be inherited) until the Meiji Revolution in 1868. The emperors were mostly mere puppets in the hands of the shogun - the head of the military government bakufu.
Not surprisingly, it is the figure of the samurai warrior has become a symbol of Japanese history, and armor and weapons carefully passed down from generation to generation in the Japanese families from the 8th century.
Samurai - a unique personality. A brave warrior, a refined poet and inspired the artist in one person. Possession of fine arts was no less important than the possession of the military arts. It is said that the style of calligraphy warrior could anticipate and his style of fighting. A death-poem written by the great samurai before committing seppuku - ritual suicide, entered the golden fund of world poetry.
For the Samurai there is nothing that would stand above of duty and loyalty to his master. And for the sake of duty, he is ready to sacrifice his life.
The detachment of the samurai.
At the center of this small group - the rider. For the first time horses were introduced to Japan from the continent in the 5th century, they are always valued very highly, so only the noble warriors (bushi) were cavalry. Animals that time was very short and had unbridled temper, but they are extremely hardy, remarkably specific speed and ability to perform highly complex maneuvers - which is especially important for Japan, with its mountainous terrain, covered with rivulets.
Harness (bug) Japanese are largely borrowed from the Chinese, it includes chicken saddle cinch harubi, pillow and stirrups abum under saddle saddle-blanket laid kitsuke. He helped manage a horse bridle kutsuva, naschechniki kangava ita, hanagava noseband and reins kutsu-vadzura. Among these are armor. To the left of the rider's armor clan Otawara 17th century. This style of clothing is called "namban" - the southern barbarians. Cuirass namban NIMA to-metal front plate with a Spanish style morion, with traditional Plate skirt kusazuri six wedges consisting of lightweight leather silvered plates connected blue cord. Bracers tsutsugote of metal tubes connected by hinge loops which are decorated with images butterflies performed gold lacquer.
Horseman armor presented Matsudaira clan of the 18th century. Matsudaira clan rose rapidly in the 16th century, when it stood at the head of Matsudaira Motoyasu - later changed his name to Tokugawa Ieyasu. He completed the process of uniting a fragmented feudal Japan, and was the first of the Tokugawa shoguns who ruled the country until 1868.
The third armor with the arms Maar-audio-ichi (horizontal band in a circle) the end of the 18th century is a classic armor tôsei gusoku. This outfit was typical for each of the military era of the warring provinces of Prince in the late 16th century.
On the horse in Japan usually sat right on the heels. Horseman holding the reins in both hands until it came closer to the enemy at a distance melee. Then he hitched the reins of the rings on the breastplate and drove horse knees shifting the body in the right direction. A trained horse felt as his master, instinctively, in sync with the movements of the rider, bouncing, spinning on his hind legs, was rising on its hind legs to lift the rider to attack, and threw himself into the fight.
Behind the rider flag called sashimono. As the war became more widespread, there is a need in some way to identify the troops and military leader. One method of identifying such a steel, silk or cotton flags sashimono with emblem of clan who fought for warrior.
To the left and right are warriors with the main weapon of the samurai - bows o-yumi. For the medieval Japanese warrior of the word "war" and the phrase "bow and arrow" (Yumi-I) were synonymous. The left hand is in Japanese yunde (yumi-no-te - "hand, which held the bow") By the way, the Japanese have always held his left hand more important than the right. It was believed that if a person was missing the little finger on his left hand, he will never be able to wield a sword well. Apparently, hence the tradition of cutting himself on the little finger of his left hand as atonement for serious misconduct.
The sharp rise of interest in the bow of the ancient Japanese is observed in the period of the appearance of horses, when to replace the infantry coming riders with bows and a long sword. Initially, the archers may have been only a noble warrior. The peculiarity of the Japanese bow to its unique asymmetrical shape: about two-thirds the length of the bow are above the handle and only one-third - below. The average length of a large battle bow dikes or, Yumi was 2 meters 20 centimeters, but some specimens reached 2, 5 meters or more. tension force of bows could be very high. In some cases, one person could not cope with this task. Sunny Bari - so-called bow, which can pull the string only after it is bent two people.
The next room, which displays three remarkable armor and some items of samurai clothing.
Armor with the family crest of the Minamoto family Rindo 18th century.
As a family crest - Mona - in the armor used motif sasarindo connecting bamboo leaves and flowers of gentian.
This mon used birth Minamoto - a group of families of the ancient and medieval Japan, which took place from the children of emperors, who were denied the status of princes and translated into the category of subjects, while assigning the surname Minamoto and AcOH title, ie "Dynasty servant." These genera are also known as Genji and Genke. This practice of the imperial government, which is thus to eliminate the excess of princes and reduced fiscal costs of the imperial family, led to the appearance of 21 kinds of Minamoto. To avoid confusion, these genera were called by the names of monarchs, the board of which kind of founders have a new name and title.
Armor tôsei gusoku.
This armor is a replica of the armor of the Tokugawa. Founded in the early 19th century, fighting vestments performed in compliance with all of the technology of protective clothing. It looked like he Tokugawa Ieyasu during military parades and ceremonies. Each element emphasizes the high position of "chief of the Samurai." Maedate helmet in the form of a dragon - a symbol of power over the world, breastplate decorated with shamrocks mallow, Tokugawa clan signs.
Armor cuirass decorated with the technique mokume-gane. The second half of the 18th century.
Cuirass this armor elements decorated in the art mokume-gane. "Moku" means "tree", "ME" - "Eye", "gane" - "metal". Typically, this name is translated as "wood metal eyes". It was first used in the 17th century to decorate the rim samurai swords.
During operation in this technique master forges bars of metal layers which are joined under pressure at high temperature. These bars are made up of various combinations and alloys of gold, silver and copper, prokovyvalis, sliced, and are obtained from metal plates - each with a unique pattern, resembling the structure of wood bark. "Sandwich" mokume may have up to 30 or more different compositions, hue and thickness of the layers.
Today mokume gane technique with some modifications is used mainly for creating extraordinarily beautiful jewelry.
The image on the traditional Japanese screen.
Screen - the subject of the interior, which serves to separate the space. However, in Japan, and many other items, a screen superior to its practical purpose and it becomes the subject of art.
In a traditional Japanese house with no paintings in the usual European sense of the word. Instead of pictures used mnogostvorchatye partitions that perform both practical and aesthetic role.
Picturesque scenes screens very different: from the landscape motifs to court scenes, paintings of hell to the sayings of philosophers, accompanied by illustrations. In certain parts of the house in a specific location of the room was a screen with a well-defined plot.
Breastplate armor representative of the Tokugawa clan -
is one of the most valuable exhibits are presented under glass (1580 - 1600 years).
Tokugawa (1542 - 1616) - outstanding commander and the administrator, who has completed the process of combining fragmented feudal Japan initiated its great predecessors - Oda Nobunaga (1534 - 1582) and Toyotomi Hideyoshi (1537 - 1598).
After the death of Toyotomi and the victory at the Battle of Sekigahara (1600), Tokugawa Ieyasu proclaimed himself shogun; and for nearly three centuries, Japan operated his direct descendants - the Tokugawa shoguns. This period of Japanese history is known as Edo.
This Breastplate obviously belonged to the main representatives of the Tokugawa clan. This is indicated not only Mon Clan of gilded copper, inlaid with gold and silver, and engraving, but also other unique details.
A few head-helmet hats Samurai.
Sword Katana pattern Sambong-sugi. The next room is the exhibition was dedicated to samurai swords.
According to legend, in the sword of the samurai concluded his soul. This accounts for the respectful and reverential attitude to the weapon by which the swords for centuries carefully preserved, handed down from generation to generation, and now we can see samples of weapon skills even 10-11 centuries. The traditional form of slightly curved single-edged blade appeared in the 10th century and became the ideal of the sword, the beauty of which was evaluated by bending to the unique, exquisite pattern tempered edge of the blade on the metal color and almost translucent texture on its surface.
The exhibition reflects the three great epochs of making swords. This old swords (up to 1596). Such renowned schools gunsmiths as Sue-Seki and Naoe Mino Province, School of Bungo Takada province, as well as the work of a blacksmith Fuyuhiro from Wakasa and the sword of the legendary master Sang Muramasa from Kuwana Ise province. The so-called New Swords (1596-1781) is the blade of the school Minamoto Nobukuni. Master of the third period (1781-1876), regarded as a kind of revival of the era of the old traditions of gunsmiths ages 13-14, in favor of a blacksmith Tadayoshi sixth Hizen province.
Ascending to ancient temples swords custom offerings show unique patterns of more than one meter in length, specifically designed for sacred offerings, such as the pupil of the outstanding work smith Taykeya Naotane.
Muramasa Master Sword - the pearl of the collection. The blades of this wizard - and this is the only example in history - were persecuted, but, despite this, have always been the object of longing Samurai, and later - and collectors. With Swords Muramasa due huge number of mysterious stories.
Kathir (solemn frame) katana sword. 18 century. Wood, lacquer maki-e.
The scabbard is covered with a pattern in the form of a small dragon, curled up in the ring. This pattern has a female character and peculiar ladies noble military origin. Also decorated with dragons tsuba set, Futi-Kathir and menuki (sword guard and metal elements on the handle).
Decorative frame tanto swords, late 19th century. Carved ivory.
Of course the execution of military weapons beauty is very impressive.
The next room is devoted to traditional Japanese clothes mean - kimono.
Modern type of kimono comes from kosode - undergarments aristocracy of the Heian period. In contrast, the multilayer along with a wide sleeve. In the Middle Ages was the main kosode clothing samurai class. This kimono covered bright-painted, a cheaper and low-status than plain woven patterns on the clothes of the nobility.
The heyday of samurai class in the Edo period gave a wide variety of designs kosode: restrained and rhythmic at the 17th century to the 19th century, they gave way to the ornaments and paintings, almost completely covering the surface of the dress.
In the 21st century, it remains the most expensive kimonos, ceremonial dress and the cheapest (summer yukata robe). Particularly expensive kimonos are taken for rent, and it has a positive impact on their artistic level: masters create new masterpieces.
Kimono from the movie "Memoirs of a Geisha."
Figure of the geisha in traditional garb.
Wedding dress Japanese bride.
This dress is fully reflected the solemnity of the event: the most expensive fabrics (silk, brocade), complex embroidery (golden or silver thread), hand-painted on silk.
Wedding dress includes two very different kimonos. Absolutely white kimono called "Shiro-Maku" (Shiro - means white and poppy - immaculate). The upper mantle is called "uchikake" and is used as a particularly formal wear at the ceremony and reception.
A couple of T-shaped garments.
Samples of ancient painted pottery.
The vase depicts a scene from the life of medieval Japanese.
The exhibition concludes with a small shop where you can buy themed souvenirs.
The figure of the famous commander of the Japanese 16th century Toshiie Maeda, who was famous for skillful lances with which he depicts.
A very interesting picture on a beautiful scroll: Buddha, Christ, Confucius.
In other words, I really liked the exhibition, the exhibits are selected in such a way that during one visit, at least superficially, yet acquainted with such an interesting, mysterious and distant culture of Japan, and even more mysterious culture of its soldiers - samurai.