Agency for Cultural Affairs, Goverment of Japan

Samurai & Ninja Culture
Travel

The motif of the works by the artist exhibiting at Chubu Centrair International Airport is the culture of the samurai and ninja, who had a strong presence in Chubu, the central region of Japan during the medieval and early modern periods. From the end of the 15th century to around the end of the 16th century, warriors (samurai) administered their various fiefdoms throughout Japan and battled each other for power.

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The motif of the works by the artist exhibiting at Chubu Centrair International Airport is the culture of the samurai and ninja, who had a strong presence in Chubu, the central region of Japan during the medieval and early modern periods. From the end of the 15th century to around the end of the 16th century, warriors (samurai) administered their various fiefdoms throughout Japan and battled each other for power.

Sekigahara Battlefield
Tokugawa Art Museum
Ninja show

If you are visiting the Chubu region, we recommend a visit to the Tokugawa Art Museum, which houses treasures passed down through the Owari-TOKUGAWA family, whose first head was Yoshinao, the ninth son of TOKUGAWA Ieyasu.

Located in the heart of Nagoya City, the museum’s collection numbers more than 10,000 treasures such as swords, armor, tea ceremony utensils, incense ceremony utensils, and more. The collection includes items inherited from TOKUGAWAIeyasu, nine National Treasures, 59 Important Cultural Properties, and 46 Important Art Objects. It is the largest ancestral collection from a samurai clan in Japan.

Among the items is the National Treasure “The Tale of Genji Illustrated Scrolls", a visual depiction of the classic Japanese literary work "The Tale of Genji," which was written about 1,000 years ago. The scroll is a great masterpiece that will forever feature in Japanese art history. It is thought to have been painted early in the 12th century. Visitors can also view other precious treasures that convey the art and culture of Japan, such as the National Treasure "The Hatsune (First Warbler) Trousseau", and Tokugawa clan wedding furniture, which represents the pinnacle of lacquerware in Japan.

Next among Chubu’s notable sights is the Battle of Sekigahara of 1600, which marks the dawn of Japan’s unification under TOKUGAWA Ieyasu. It is a legendary battle where more than 150,000 samurai from all over Japan gathered to fight in two separate armies, the Eastern and the Western. The Sekigahara Battlefield historical site is also located in the Chubu region.

The Sekigahara Memorial in Gifu Prefecture offers visitors hands-on experiences and is located right next to the Sekigahara Battlefield. Ground Vision is a huge floor screen that gives an aerial view of the Battle of Sekigahara as it unfolded, and the theater recreates in heart-pounding video the clash between the two armies. There is also an area where you can handle elaborate replicas of the weapons and you can experience an optical illusion that makes it look as though you have stepped onto the battlefield.
Then there are Chubu’s ninja, who were employed by these samurai for various tasks including spying. It is known that two major ninja clans, the Iga and the Koka, long had a presence in Mie Prefecture (next to Aichi Prefecture where Chubu International Airport is located), and in Shiga Prefecture (next to Mie Prefecture).
The Ninja Museum of Igaryu in Iga, Mie Prefecture, and the Koka Ninja Village in Koka, Shiga Prefecture, are both cultural institutions where visitors can get in touch with ninja culture, lifestyle and historical materials, as well as enjoy a full array of entertainments. Ninja demonstration shows are also held in Iga. Discover vestiges of the lives of the ninja in those times, such as ninja residences in which karakuri (trick mechanisms) were installed to protect themselves from attack, and the techniques and information that the ninja gathered by disguising themselves as ordinary people.

This article was written with the cooperation of:

Tokugawa Art Museum
Address:
1017 Tokugawacho, Higashi-ku, Nagoya, Aichi
Web:
https://www.tokugawa-art-museum.jp/
Sekigahara Battlefield
Address:
894-29 Sekigahara, Sekigahara-cho, Fuwa-gun, Gifu
Web:
https://www.sekigahara1600.com/
Sekigahara Memorial
Address:
894-55 Sekigahara, Sekigahara-cho, Fuwa-gun, Gifu
Web:
https://sekigahara.pref.gifu.lg.jp/
Ninja Museum of Igaryu
Address:
117 Ueno Marunouchi, Iga, Mie
Web:
https://www.iganinja.jp/
Koka Ninja Village
Address:
394 Kokacho Oki, Koka, Shiga
Web:
https://koka.ninpou.jp/
Iga Ueno Castle
Address:
106 Ueno Marunouchi, Iga, Mie
Web:
http://igaueno-castle.jp/
Samurai Residence - Akai Family Residence
Address:
2491-1 Ueno Shinobicho, Iga, Mie
Web:
https://www.city.iga.lg.jp/0000003149.html

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