What a Samurai and a Stingray Have in Common

currently playing on my laptop: The Beach by The Neighbourhood

I’ve been indulging my not-so-inner history nerd of late. The Frist Center of Visual Arts here in Nashville currently houses a load of rad samurai stuff. Armor made of silk, paper, leather, and metals. Long bows and calligraphy cases. Elaborately painted scrolls.

And swords decorated in…stingray skin.

I’m not kidding. It’s true. I never knew they used stingray skin to decorate sword sheathes. It makes the sheath all sparkly! Very cool. Just thought I’d share that tidbit and some of the pics I took. Enjoy, fellow history nerds!

Here are some of the sparkly swords. 😉

And this is a gorgeous screen showing the Genpei War (1180-85). I’m thinking of using this naval battle in a future fantasy plot. During this period, the samurai’s main weapon wasn’t the sword, but the yumi, or long bow.


Here is a close up of part of a yumi. (Yes, I know my silly hands are in there. The lighting was rough, y’all.)


All sorts of insects cover this next sword. It was made of shell, bone, wood, steel, and probably more things I didn’t write down. There are moths, cicadas, grasshoppers, snakes, and snails in the mix. It was gorgeous! The one below it is another one decorated with that crazy stingray skin. 

And last, but certainly not least, is this lovely samurai armor. I hope you enjoyed the pics and have a great day! 🙂



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