What are the odds of this happening? I was working on my new exhibition project called LA SAMURAI, when I needed some additional information on Samurai armors. Turned out that they had already entered LA, over a dozen of them, waiting for me at the LACMA, where there was beautiful exhibition on Samurai armor.
I can’t put a number to this chance. But I was surprised I didn’t encounter Toshiro Mifune at the exhibition, the Japanese actor of many of Akira Kurosawa’s samurai movies. The way this was going, I expected him to turn up.
The exhibition is in one, bit room, kept in the deep, gory red of flowing blood. The first scene that came to my mind as I entered was a well fitting scene from Kurosawa’s RAN (War). A defeated samurai leans against the wall of his defeated castle, hold his chopped-off left arm in his right hand, staring into the empty. Japanese war culture has fascinated at all times, and above all the the era of one hundred years where there was constant fighting among many daimyos, who were ruling small chops of Japan and trying to increase their share by chopping off the some land off their neighbor’s land (and a few hundred arms, legs and heads in the process).
My own Samurai project is transferring the warring spirit into a present where fighting is our daily bread also, just not with sharp swords. The samurai has also deeply influenced the esthetics of the modern video game industry and our outlook on the warrior. The samurai is not a figure of the past. He’s all around us, roaming the city in a different armor, using different weapons, but still putting the same cruel zeal at work to win the fight.