Friday, June 23, marked the launch of Samurai: Armor from the Collection of Ann and Gabriel Barbier-Mueller. The exhibit showcases several samurai artifacts along with culturally relevant displays, including paintings, ceramics, and traditional samurai armor. The exhibited pieces span from the Edo period through nine different centuries.

This exhibition not only displays the collection but also highlights how samurai culture influences broader society. To this end, the High Museum has partnered with TrapSushi to host a Sushi Making Class.

“Black culture goes hand in hand with Asian culture, creating a synergistic relationship. The styles of food and music can be incorporated into each other, especially considering the enjoyment they bring,” said Jared Ross from TrapSushi to The Atlanta Voice. 

The entire collection represents the culmination of 40 years of acquisition by Gabriel Muller, who scoured the world in search of these artifacts.

“Most of the pieces were sourced from outside Japan. In 1868, as depicted in the movie ‘The Last Samurai,’ the Emperor abolished the samurai class. The Emperor prohibited the samurai from wearing their armor and carrying their swords, which had been a privilege,” Muller explained to The Atlanta Voice.

The exhibit also includes a series of works centered around the Black samurai, Yasuke, told through Brandon Sadler’s 1986 Ink and Watercolor series, The Story of Yasuke, which consists of six separate pieces.

“Every time we put the exhibition together, it’s a beautiful sight to see. I’ve been working with this collection for 15 years,” Jessica Beasley, curator for the exhibit told to The Atlanta Voice 

In addition to fine-art displays, the exhibit features films that showcase the history of the samurai. The High Museum is the first museum in the Southeastern United States to present Samurai: Armor from the Collection of Ann and Gabriel Barbier-Mueller, a collection that has been displayed worldwide.

The exhibit will be on display until September 17, 2023.