Yoko Woodson
Lords of the Samurai

Yoko Woodson

Yoko Woodson is curator of Lords of the Samurai at the Asian Art Museum and the Metropolitan Museum of Art. The exhibition had the highest number of opening weekend visitors since the museum opened in 1966. The Samurai are legendary holding a mysterious identity people have long been wanting to unravel. We get a strong sense of who the Samurai were in Lords of the Samurai, which illustrates the breadth of these warriors and presents what is widely unknown about them. For instance, they held high positions in Japanese society and it was very important for them to not just know about weaponry and fighting but also about poetry, philosophy, culture and love. One might wonder why Samurai are in an art museum but looking at their armor and the paintings depicting their lives, flags representing different clans and even paintings that Lords made, we see just how beautiful these objects are and how much craft and workmanship has gone into them.