Thursday, June 11, 2009
Lords of the Samurai 3: Samurais R Us
The new director of the Asian Art Museum, Jay Xu (above), has done an excellent job marketing the institution, and attendance is up over 50% since his arrival last year.
So instead of trumpeting the fact that these objects from the Hosokawa Family collection have never been seen outside of Japan in history...
...the emphasis in marketing has been on the Japanese version of the feudal knight or American Western gunslinger.
One room has been turned into a "Daimyo For A Day" space...
...where you can throw on a robe...
...and pretend you're Lord for a Day.
There are even plans afoot to teach the ancient Japanese game of Go and sponsor tournaments, which would be cool for games masters like Matt Hubbard (click here).
The long lineage of warrior artists is continuing with former Prime Minister Hosokawa Morihiro, who retired from politics in 1998. He then became an apprentice in ceramics to Tsujimura Shiro, one of Japan's most gifted, eccentric artists (click here for a fascinating Japan Times interview with Morihiro on his experience).
A few examples of Hosokawa Morihiro's pottery is included in the Samurai exhibit (above).
If you would like to meet the former Prime Minister, he will be at a public ribbon cutting ceremony for the exhibit on Friday the 11th at 10AM.