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Samurai armour in Tokugawa Japan
12th December - 7:30 pm - 9:00 pm

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Samurai armour in Tokugawa Japan: form and function for a time of peace

Speaker: Natasha Bennett – Curator of Oriental Collections, Royal Armouries

After centuries of tumultuous civil wars, the Tokugawa shogunate established dominion across Japan in the early 1600s. The new regime unified the country and entrenched rigidly controlled peace throughout the land for over 250 years. For members of the warrior class, the likelihood of becoming embroiled in warfare was dramatically diminished. Yet rather than dropping out of use, armour continued to be produced on an increasingly elaborate scale. Indeed, much of the Japanese armour now held in the Royal Armouries collection was manufactured during this time.

This talk considers why armour was still in demand in such a becalmed environment, and remained synonymous with the identity of the samurai.

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