Samurai life in the 1800s

Title: Samurai with Long Bow

Artist/Maker: Felice Beato (English, born Italy, 1832 – 1909)

Place: Japan (Place created)

Date: 1863

A samurai kneels on the ground, drawing a longbow (yumi). Arrows are visible over his shoulder, and a sword hangs at his waist.

 
 

Title: Samurai with Raised Sword

Artist/Maker: Felice Beato (English, born Italy, 1832 – 1909)

Place: Japan (Place created)

Date: 1863

The Bakumatsu period marked the end of the samurai military class. Following the restoration of imperial rule in 1868, domains governed by feudal lords and their samurai were replaced by modern prefectures administrated by governors. The traditional class system was abolished, including such rituals as sword carrying and styles such as the traditional topknot, a haircut featuring a partially shaved head with the remaining hair pulled into a small ponytail.

 
 

Title: Samurai in Armour

Artist/Maker: Kusakabe Kimbei (Japanese, 1841 – 1934, active 1880s – about 1912)

Culture: Japanese

Place: Japan, Asia (Place created)

Date: 1870s – 1890s

Three men in elaborate Samurai outfits, helmets, and armor. One man stands while holding a large bow and arrow, while the other two men sit, holding a sword and pole, respectively.

 
 

Title: Samurai with Jousting Pole

Artist/Maker: Felice Beato (English, born Italy, 1832 – 1909)

Place: Japan (Place created)

Date: 1863–1868

A samurai wearing full armor holds a pole or staff weapon. He has a sword strapped to his waist and wears a full face helmet (kabuto).

 
 

Title: Samurai Costume – Back view

Artist/Maker: Felice Beato (English, born Italy, 1832 – 1909)

Place: Japan (Place created)

Date: 1863–1868

A samurai facing away from the camera showing the back of his Tosei-gusoku armor. He wears a helmet (kabuto), and has a sword strapped to his waist.

 
 

Title: Samurai

Artist/Maker: Kusakabe Kimbei (Japanese, 1841 – 1934, active 1880s – about 1912)

Culture: Japanese

Place: Japan, Asia (Place created)

Date: 1870s – 1890s

A man in an elaborate robe and apron, holding two swords.

 
 

Title: Portrait of the Satsuma Clan Envoys

Artist/Maker: Felice Beato (English, born Italy, 1832 – 1909)

Place: Japan (Place created)

Date: November 1863

In late 1863 a delegation of four samurai from the Satsuma clan came to Yokohama to negotiate an indemnity with the British diplomats for the murder of an English merchant in September 1862, as well as to normalize relations between their clan and Britain. In this portrait, Beato captured the samurai’s mood of defiance and the tension of the time.
 
 

Title: Koboto Santaro

Artist/Maker: Felice Beato (English, born Italy, 1832 – 1909)

Place: Japan (Place created)

Date: negative 1863; print 1868

This image shows the traditional armored costume of the samurai, the soldier of noble class who served the powerful rulers of Japan.

Information and images taken from the site Paul Getty Museum

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