The Samurai exhibit at LACMA (Los Angeles County Museum of Art) was bursting with culture, color and history. As an outsider to Japanese history, the exhibit was an excercise for my eyes as well as my mind.
I learned that in 792 Japan ended a policy of mandatory military service. From that time on provincial landowners had to rely on private security forces which gave rise to the Samurai class. By 1165 Japan was run by a military government run by the shogunate ruling in the name of the emperor. This arrangement lasted amidst rival clan clashes for nearly 700 years.
In 1868 social and governmental changes occurred in support of the imperial system, slowly displacing the shogunate. Japan opened itself up to the world, ushering in a modern Japan.
Today we are left with a glimpse of that romantic period by viewing the armor and weapons from this intriguing time in history.
Thanks for looking.