Anatomy of a Samurai Warrior

This armor is on display at Seattle Art Museum through December 1.



This is wonderful.


I’m a bit surprised that you buy so much into the romance of this particular instance of aristocracy.

It is true that samurai cultivated the social graces and arts, just as so many of their western counterparts did.

But surely, above all, this is a status symbol, in the most literal sense of the word: it displays the wearer’s social class, just as surely as an ability to compose the perfect haiku does.


Check out every single battle scene in the Heike Monogatari. It's hilarious. They charge into battle, and then there is a pause, so the narrator can give a detailed description off their clothes and armor. It's like they hop of their horse and take a quick walk down the runway, turning and showing the elaborate brocades and inlays to photo flashes and applause, then hop back onto their horse to cut down or be cut down.