PRESS RELEASE / ANNOUNCEMENTS Tuesday, October 13, 2015

Santa Ynez Valley Historical Museum Presents “The History & Mystique of the Samurai & His Sword” on 10/10/15

Santa Ynez Valley Historical Museum Presents
“The History & Mystique of the Samurai & His Sword” on Saturday, October 10, 2015
~Public invited to two expert talks and wine reception starting at 5:30 p.m.

Santa Ynez, Santa Barbara County, California—The public is invited to attend a special event entitled “The History & Mystique of the Samurai & His Sword” at the Santa Ynez Valley Historical Museum, presented in conjunction with the Museum’s current exhibit ““Samurai: The Warrior Horsemen of Japan” which runs through Sunday, November 1, 2015. The program begins at 5:30 p.m. with a one-hour presentation by Dr. Luke Roberts of the University of California-Santa Barbara entitled “Samurai Life During the Edo Period: Arms and Letters” Japan was governed by samurai who were hereditary warriors. Samurai were expected to cultivate “the dual way of letters and war.” Dr. Roberts will introduce the samurai of the Edo period with a particular emphasis on the military skills and cultural activities in their lives. Immediately following his talk will be a wine reception in the courtyard and opportunity to tour the exhibit.

At 7:00 p.m., “The Arms and Armor of Japan’s Supreme Warrior” will be presented by Michael Yamasaki and Darin Furukawa. Michael Yamasaki, founder of Japanese sword dealer and consultant to various productions including the hit show, Pawn Stars, along with Darin S. Furukawa, artist, educator, and samurai arts specialist, present an introductory lecture on the arms and armor of Japan’s warrior class. Learn how the iconic armor of the samurai functioned not only as protection, but as a reflection of the wearer’s personality and prestige. Michael will demonstrate the sharpest sword in the world – the katana samurai sword.

Tickets for “Evening with the Samurai” including reception are $10.00 for SYV Museum members and $15 for non-members. Purchase tickets online at or at the door. The Santa Ynez Valley Historical Museum is located on the corner of Sagunto and Faraday (3596 Sagunto Street). General Museum hours are Wednesday through Sunday, noon to 4:00 p.m. with admission of $5 for adults, free for ages 16 years and under. Private tours for groups up to eight people will be scheduled through the Museum office. For more information about the exhibit or to schedule a private tour with Steven Graves, owner of the Samurai armor collection, please call the Museum at (805) 688-7889.

SAMURAI BACKGROUND: The Samurai, members of a powerful military caste in feudal Japan, began as provincial warriors before rising to power in the 12th century with the beginning of the country’s first military dictatorship, known as the Shogunate. As servants of the daimyos, or great lords, the samurai backed up the authority of the shogun and gave him power over the mikado (emperor). The samurai would dominate Japanese government and society until the Meiji Restoration of 1868 led to the abolition of the feudal system. Despite being deprived of their traditional privileges, many of the samurai would enter politics, industry and the intellectual community in modern Japan. More importantly, the traditional samurai code of honor, discipline and morality known as bushido–or “the way of the warrior”–was revived and made the basic code of conduct for much of Japanese society.

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