The Way of the Warrior

Perhaps it started decades ago with Toshiro Mifune and Seven Samurai, but who knows? Whatever the case, Americans have an ongoing love affair with samurai lore. It also could have something to do with our love of costumery and big swords, but samurai gear, though beautifully crafted in the Japanese aesthetic, was more than decorative in its day; it was designed to be both protective and cool-looking, not to mention frightfully intimidating.

Dr. Robert Pontsioen knows more about it than the average movie-going yokel, though, and he’ll bring his scholarly edge to the CU Museum of Natural History tonight for a lecture on Cultured Warriors: The Enduring Legacy of the Samurai in Japanese Society, delivered in conjunction with the debut of What in the World?: Samurai, a new display of Japanese swords and Samurai artifacts in the museum’s paleontology hall.

“More than just fearsome warriors, the Samurai took pride in their mastery of the arts and were as comfortable practicing the tea ceremony or composing poetry as they were fighting battles,” Pontsioen notes.

The free lecture begins at 6:30 p.m. at the museum, located on the University of Colorado campus in Boulder; get details at cumuseum.colorado.edu or call 303-492-6892.
Wed., Sept. 24, 6:30 p.m., 2014