Opening of The Spirit of Budo: The History of Japan's Martial Arts
Aug 9, 2012Lifestyle
CityNews - The exhibition explores the history of the martial arts in Japan from battlefield technique to international sports and will be on display until 30 August 2012. Exhibit Hours: 9 am – 4:00 pm Closed: Mondays and Tuesdays (Chiang Mai-Lampang super Highway, Muang, Chiang Mai 50300 Tel: (053) 221-308
The first half of the exhibition is a display of reproductions of historical weapons and implements, such as sword mountings, bows, arrows, helmets, and suits of armour. The original artifacts are preserved in museums and castles, and what you see in the exhibition are reproductions that were faithfully crafted using traditional techniques. The warriors of this period endured strenuous physical training with special emphasis on spiritual growth. This spiritual approach to battle resulted in a close relationship with a wide range of arts, such as poetry, visual arts, and crafts.
There are eight superbly designed helmets in this collection from the Warring States period (1467-1568)--an age of nationwide incessant violence--that are presented in their original splendour as they appeared at the time of their creation. Although elaborately designed, the originals were actually worn in battle by renowned warlords such as Nagamasa Kuroda (1568-1623) and Yukimura Sanada(1567-1615). Highly individual and unique, these helmets reflect the warriors' ambition and will-power achieved through their training in martial arts.
Twice in its modern history, the Japanese martial arts confronted a crisis of survival. The first was marked by the end of feudalism and the beginning of modernization in the Meiji period (mid-19th century). The second was during the post-WWII democratization of education. In response to societal changes, Bujutsu (the techniques for fighting) was transfigured by educators and practitioners into Budo (the philosophy of bravery) in which the physical practices aim to achieve a higher level of spiritual control of self.
The second half of the exhibition focuses on the contemporary practice of the martial arts. Away
from the war zone, the equipment and clothing were developed to prevent injury during training.
Bamboo swords, protectors, gloves, and Hakama pants are on display, along with descriptive panels and a DVD presentation of practice scenes.
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