The Slovenia Times

Traces of samurai on Slovenian soil to be explored at Metelkova


The exhibition on Japanese weapons and the warrior culture on the Slovenian soil will showcase museum exhibits as well as pieces from private collections.

Some 50 select pieces of Japanese weapons and protective gear, including state-of-the-art swords and a rare gem, a fully preserved samurai armour, will be on display until 5 November.

The project is a collaboration between the National Museum - Metelkova, experts in Japanese culture and battle gear, regional museums, several private collectors, institutions including the NUK library and the Academy of Sciences and Arts (SAZU) as well as the department for Asian studies at the Ljubljana Faculty of Arts.

According to the author of the exhibition, Tomaž Lazar, Slovenians very much admire Japan and the museum boasts many Japan-related objects, especially weapons, but these are little known in public.

All the exhibits have been thoroughly studied and dated and are now presented in a comprehensive catalogue that accompanies the exhibition.

One of the initiators of the exhibition, Bojan Šibenik, said that years of cooperation had evolved into a unique research project that had led to the exhibition and the catalogue, which was the first academic publication on Japanese weapons in Slovenia and the ties between Slovenia and Japan.

Professor Chikako Shigemori Bučar of the Faculty of Arts said that the department for Asian studies had been investigating East Asian collections in Slovenia since 2003.

Japanese, Chinese, Korean and Taiwanese objects and texts on East Asian countries found in Slovenia date back to the mid-18th century, she said.

In her opinion, the biggest value of the project is the catalogue's dictionary of Japanese expressions related to Japan's history, martial arts, films, ceramics etc.

The museum's head, Barbara Ravnik, pointed to the programme accompanying the exhibition, including guided tours, lectures, origami and kamishibai workshops, martial arts day and various activities for children.

The exhibition is part of a wider project dubbed Japan Among Us - Japom, promoting Japanese culture in cooperation with various institutions.

Japom started in mid-May with an exhibition of works by Japan-based Slovenian photographer Gorazd Vilhar at the Slovenian Ethnographic Museum and is to close with a presentation of the Slovenian seamen in Asia at the Sergej Masera Maritime Museum of Piran.

The project will also feature an exhibition of works by artists from Osaka at the Vžigalica gallery and a film series The Spirit of the Samurai at the Kinodvor and the Slovenian Cinematheque.


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