Discover the arts of the Edo period (1600-1868) from porcelain to lacquer to painting.
‘The arts of both peace and war… should be pursued single-mindedly’
(Buke shohatto (Regulations for the military houses), 1615)
The Edo period (1600-1868) was a time of peace, but samurai continued to be trained in martial arts such as archery, falconry and swordsmanship. Although they had no opportunity to appear on the battlefield, warriors still needed swords and armour for ceremonial occasions and as symbols of personal status. They alone had the right to bear arms. They also had power of life and death over the farmers, artisans and merchants who made up the lower classes.
At the same time, samurai were expected to devote time to the ‘arts of peace’. These included the administration of their provinces, Confucian studies, and traditional arts such as the tea ceremony, Nō theatre, poetry, painting, and calligraphy.
Arts of war
Arts of peace
Objects may be temporarily removed from a gallery or have been replaced. Click into an individual object record to confirm whether or not an object is currently on display. Our object location data is usually updated on a weekly basis. Contact the Jameel Study Centre if you are planning to visit the museum to see a particular Eastern Art object.