Welcome to this display of Samurai Art in the form of swords, sword fittings and armor. Samurai, the warrior class of Japan were not just fierce warriors but also great admirers of the arts.
The sword was the soul of the samurai and has been appreciated as art from the beginning of time. Their unique construction along with their beautifully designed mounts are admired all over the world.
Unmatched by any other culture in technical form and construction, the samurai sword and armor far exceeded the functionality they were designed for. The use of precious and semi-precious metals, fine silk and lacquer make them art pieces.
The armor designed to protect the samurai from arrows, musket shot and sword was also a reflection of the personality of the wearer and his status amongst his peers.
During the Second World War Japanese Officers again carried swords into battle. The sword represented the samurai spirit of their ancestors. Most of these swords were mass produced and are not considered art. Some officers did go to war carrying swords owned by their family for generations and are what we consider art swords today.
When viewing the swords please look at the temper line (human), a white line running the length of the blade above the cutting edge. Also look at the grain of the sword (jihada), the texture of the steel. These traits make every sword unique.
The artifacts you see here have previously been on display in the Art Gallery of New South Wales and the National Gallery of Victoria.
Brian Tateson – Memorabilia Box Hill RSL.