Speaker Series: Musha Ningyō: Avatars of the Samurai Spirit

Sponsored by the National Endowment for the Humanities
Talk by Alan Scott Pate

Friday, April 26, 2024

Time: 1:00 pm

Cost: FREE (with paid museum admission)

(Tickets are available the day of the event on a first-come, first served basis. Limited seating available.)

Location: Morikami Theater

Japan is famous for the legacy of its samurai warriors, immortalized in art, film, and literature. In Japan, this particular world was also embodied in an extravagant doll culture, with elaborate forms created over the centuries commemorating historical warriors as well as the spirit of the samurai. Today, the annual celebration held on May 5th is known as “Children’s Day,” but, historically this day centered on the solemn rite of display dolls vested with the martial ethos of the samurai, evoked to protect the individual, home and country for the coming year. Come on a journey into the world of the samurai as expressed in ningyō (dolls) and meet the avatars of this singularly Japanese artistic and cultural expression.

Alan Scott Pate is considered the foremost authority of ningyo (Japanese dolls) outside of Japan. The author of numerous books, articles and videos on the subject, Alan has guest-curated exhibitions across the US and Japan, and is frequently called to speak to audiences around the globe on this significant, yet, under-explored aspect of Japanese art/historical culture. With a degree from Harvard University, Alan occupies an unusual space as dealer, museum curator, and academic. His engaging speaking style is as dynamic and entertaining as it is informative.


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