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San Antonio Museum of Art announces Lethal Beauty: Samurai Weapons and Armor

The San Antonio Museum of Art presents Lethal Beauty: Samurai Weapons and Armor an exhibition on view September 28, 2013 – January 5, 2014.

Samurai, which literally means “those who serve,” were a class of warrior in traditional Japan, active from the twelfth to nineteenth centuries. The moral code of the samurai—that stresses loyalty and honor, and mastery of martial arts—is a celebrated aspect of this unique type of warrior lifestyle. The samurai served the nobility during both periods of intense warfare and times of peace (such as the Tokugawa period, 1603–1868). Samurai were officially disbanded in 1876 and were banned from carrying swords.

Samurai are celebrated in Western popular culture through movies, novels and video games. The reach of samurai culture in America is evident in works ranging from the Star Wars films to the Ronin comic books. Samurai became unofficially enshrined in mainstream culture through the parodies of John Belushi, Quentin Tarantino and others. Samurai culture has even spawned an entire genre of international cinema (chanbara).

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