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Shogun: The Life of Lord Tokugawa Ieyasu

Date: 2005 February 10 11:52

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Since our readership pride themselves on being cultured, I'm sure you'd be interested to know about a major Japanese Exhibition held at The Royal Armouries. Their summer 2005 exhibition will be Shogun: The Life of Lord Tokugawa Ieyasu. British otaku better head over to Leeds sometime this year!

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Press release as follows:


War Fan

The Royal Armouries, Britain's national museum of arms and armour, is delighted to announce it's extraordinary summer 2005 exhibition, Shogun: The Life of Lord Tokugawa Ieyasu.

This important international exhibition, Shogun runs from 6 June - 30 August and brings together for the first time an incredible collection of powerful and beautiful objects from shrines and museums in Japan. These objects will illustrate the fascinating life story of one Japan's most remarkable men, the warrior Lord Tokugawa Ieyasu (1543 - 1616), who attained the rank of Shogun and remains a renowned and revered figure in Japanese culture nearly 400 years after his death.

Displayed in the Royal Armouries Hall, Leeds the exhibition will take the visitor on a journey of discovery using objects, live interpretations, workshops and special events through Tokugawa Ieyasu's rise to power; the battle of Sekigahara; his life as Shogun; his death and his legacy. The exhibition contains over 80 objects that combine power, fascinating history and beautiful art, including armour, weapons, scrolls, costumes, screens, art and documents. Fifty of these have been loaned from Japan, with the remainder from the Royal Armouries own collection and other British lenders, including private collections.

This is the only time these objects will be seen together, and is the first time many of the objects have travelled outside Japan. Highlighted pieces include Tokugawa's personal war standard, a stunning fan made from gilded paper and bamboo, which is over 400 years old and accompanied him to all major battles. Dramatic armour gifted to King James 1, together with the diary of Captain John Saris who negotiated the important trading treaty between the English and the Japanese and returned from his perilous voyage with the gifts for his King.

Royal Armouries is renowned for bringing history to life and the exhibition will provide an unparallel quality of interpretation for all visitors. Within the Shogun exhibition there is a performance area where live interpretations will be staged daily along with a workshop for interactive, hands-on sessions for all. In addition, the entire museum will be Japanese themed and the exhibition will be accompanied by an exciting and exclusive programme of events and activities, such as spectacular Japanese horseback archery, origami, Japanese tea ceremonies, martial arts and calligraphy

The Royal Armouries permanent collection, including the spectacular Oriental gallery, will extend the visitors experience of the exhibition, by highlighting the relationships between the objects of the Shogun exhibition and those in the permanent collection. Royal Armouries Education will deliver a programme for schools and groups devoted to Tokugawa Ieyasu and his times.

Lord Tokugawa was appointed Shogun by the Emperor, after an illustrious and eventful military career. He established a dynasty, which held the real power in Japan for over 250 years. After his death a shrine was built to his honour at Nikko, one of Japan's most important and impressive cultural destinations, and a world heritage site. Royal Armouries has been twinned with the shrine since 1992.

The Shogun exhibition at Royal Armouries will give an outstanding insight into a huge part of Japanese culture in an exciting, spectacular and enlightening way.

Source: The Royal Armouries
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