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  • © Château des Ducs de Bretagne - Musée d'Histoire de Nantes

  • © Château des Ducs de Bretagne - Musée d'Histoire de Nantes

  • © Château des Ducs de Bretagne - Musée d'Histoire de Nantes

  • ©


An impressive collection of more than 400 objects from Japanese and French museum and private collections traces the ancient history of the samurai.

The Castle of the Dukes of brittany, the Osaka Castle Museum (Japan), the Guimet Museum of Asian Arts (Paris) and Callisto Exhibition Group (France) partenred to develop the Samurai exhibit, which demonstrates the importance of foreign cultural events in Nantes.

The Samurai has been a source of fascination for over 150 years, and is now firmly entrenched in the Western image of Japan. But who were they, really? What do we actually know about these warriors? When did they first appear in Japanese history? What role did they play in Japanese society? In Japan, from art to the business world, what role do these Medieval warriors still have, while their code and attitudes still pervade Western film and imagination?

Bringing together over 450 priceless objects, some of which will be on display for the first time, this exhibition goes beyond the simple historical presentation of a warrior class, and paints a broad portrait of Japan’s past and present.

The exhibit features armour, helmets, masks, kimonos, swords, bows and spears as well as precious everyday objects, religious sculptures, textiles, portraits of samurai, historical documents and more. In all, more than 400 objects will be exhibited in a 1000-m² space to illustrate the world of these bloodthirsty warriors, who followed the code of the samurai and preferred “voluntary death” to life in dishonour.

Commissariat général : Bertrand Guillet - Conservateur en chef du patrimoine, directeur du Château des ducs de Bretagne

Commissariat associé : Xavier Durand
Directeur scientifique : Pierre-François Souyri. Ancien directeur de la Maison franco japonaise de Tokyo, Pierre-François Souyri est actuellement professeur à l'Université de Genève où il enseigne l'histoire japonaise. Il a séjourné à de plusieurs reprises au Japon et est l'auteur notamment de Nouvelle Histoire du Japon, parue aux éditions Perrin en 2010.


Château des Ducs de Bretagne

4, place Marc Elder

44000 Nantes


  • du 28/06/2014 au 09/11/2014