This exhibition will explore the history, physical attributes, symbolism, aesthetic qualities and utility of the Japanese samurai sword from the vantage point of beauty and function. The scope of the exhibition will be expanded to include sword fittings, other weapons and suits of armor that further demonstrate the exacting importance placed on both beauty of form and practicality of performance and use. Through permanent collection objects and over 80 loans from private collections, visitors will be introduced to historical development, various schools and styles of swordsmiths, function and connoisseurship of the art of sword making and the related crafts and accessories that amplified the beauty of these objects whose ultimate purpose lay in warfare, injury, and death, but that also came to symbolize honor, courage, self-discipline, self-sacrifice and benevolence as hallmarks of a samurai.


Upcoming dates

Download schedule


  • Starting Friday, May 10th, 2019, repeats every day until Sunday, November 03, 2019 — all day



4000 N. Michigan Road
Indianapolis, IN 46208