History : Dec 2015-Jan 2016
XXXXXXXXXXXXX HONOR IN A WATERY GRAVE This 19th-century painting shows Tomomori, a leader of the Heike clan, tying himself to an anchor before jumping into the sea after defeat in the battle of Dan-no-ura. V&A MUSEUM IMAGES/ART ARCHIVE A WARRIOR’S PROTECTION A tsuba (below) was used to protect the warrior’s hand in combat. The central hole was for the katana, the long sword used by the samurai. BRITISH MUSEUM/SCALA, FLORENCE Japan’s samurai were an entire social class devoted to the art of war. When the two great samurai clans clashed in the 12th century, their ferocious power struggle spawned epic tales of courage and tragedy, driven by an uncompromising code of honor. In the samurai wars there could be no surrender.