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" An Imaginary Guide. Japan ”


On November 9, 2017, at the Mystetsky Arsenal National Cultural, Artistic and Museum Complex, an exhibition of traditional and contemporary Japanese art, An Imaginary Guide. Japan ”, dedicated to the Year of Japan in Ukraine.

On November 9, 2017, at the Mystetsky Arsenal National Cultural, Artistic and Museum Complex, an exhibition of traditional and contemporary Japanese art, An Imaginary Guide. Japan ”, dedicated to the Year of Japan in Ukraine. The opening ceremony was attended by President of Ukraine Petro Poroshenko, Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs of Japan Kazuyuki Nakane, Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of Japan to Ukraine Shigeki Summe.

The exhibition presents works by contemporary Japanese artists and exhibits from the collections of Japanese art of Ukrainian state museums in Kiev, Lviv, Odessa, the Dnieper, works from libraries and private collections. In the exposition you can see shrouded in legends, exquisitely decorated samurai weapons from the collection of FELDMAN FAMILY MUSEUM. Mostly these are swords, knives and daggers with ancient swords, forged better by Japanese craftsmen.


The oldest blade has one of the short swords represented, known as wakizashi. It was made at the beginning of the 15th century, that is, 600 years ago, by the famous master Morimitsu, who worked during the Oy period (1394-1427) in the city of Osafuna, in the historical province of Bizen, in the west of the island of Honshu. The products of Morimitsu, the founder of the blacksmith school oi-bizen, are called the pinnacle of Japanese art of making swords of the specified period. His blades are not just “classic”, they have greatly contributed to the establishment of the very concept of “classic Japanese sword”. When incredible things were told about the blades of Morimitsu, such as the fact that they can affect the mood and well-being of their owners. Even today you can hear that the Morimitsu blades do not require special care, always retain their amazing sharpness and remain cold even with strong heating.

Some of the presented samples of Japanese weapons are known that they once belonged to prominent historical figures. Among them is the magnificent tachi sword, the first owner of which was Hosokawa Tadatoshi (1586-1641), the son of the famous Japanese Christian martyr Hosokawa Gracia and the owner of the principality of Kumamoto in the province of Higo, in the northwest of Kyushu. Most of all, Hosokawa Tadatoshi is known as a close friend and patron of the legendary ronin Miyamoto Musashi (1584-1645), who somehow saved his life. Miyamoto Musashi, also known as Kensei ("The Holy Sword"), is considered one of the greatest fencers in Japanese history. He is the author of the famous "Book of Five Rings" and one of the cult figures in modern Japanese culture. Hosokawa Tadatoshi appears in Eiji Yoshikawa’s historical novel Musashi (1935-1939) and the movie trilogy Samurai: Miyamoto Musashi (1954-1956) based on it. By the way, the blade of this sword was forged in 1634 by the master Tadahiro (1576-1634) from the Hizen province, in the north-west of Kyushu. He is known as the founder of the Hizen Blacksmithing School and one of the ten best Japanese blade manufacturers in the Edo period (1603-1868). Apparently, this blade was one of the last products of an outstanding master.


Exhibition “Imaginary Guide. Japan ”in the Art Arsenal will last until December 17, 2017.