Japan – Shadow of the Shoguns

During the Tokugawa period of Japanese history, the country was ruled by shoguns, a military leader, and the emperor assumed a largely ceremonial symbolic role. In 1603, Ieyasu was appointed Shogun by the emperor and established his government in Edo (Tokyo). The Tokugawa shoguns continued to rule Japan for a remarkably peaceful 250 years. 

A strict four class system existed during the Edo period: at the top of the social hierarchy stood the samurai, followed by the peasants, artisans and merchants.

New art forms like kabuki and ukiyo-e became very popular, and artists like Hokusai created woodblock prints that have influenced world art.

The Museum has a diverse Japanese collection including important samurai swords and sword furniture, lacquerware, prints and wood blocks.