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Title

Bushô

1988


Artist

Brian WILLIAMS

Peru, Japan

1950 -


About

The title of this print, 'Busho', means warlord, and the image of traditional armour and helmet evokes the samurai heroes of Japan's mediaeval past. Samurai legend and mythology are deeply ingrained in the national consciousness of Japan. The samurai have been romanticised and idealised, and their legendary acts of heroism are known to every schoolchild. Renowned for their bravery and stoicism, the samurai lived by a most exacting code of behaviour, known as 'Bushido' (the Way of the Warrior), in which the highest value was placed on loyalty to their lord. Those found guilty of disloyalty were expected to commit 'seppuku' or ritual suicide. The legends and ethos of the samurai live on in plays, television dramas and the films of Akira Kurosawa ('The Seven Samurai', 'Throne of Book', 'Kagemusha').

Williams was born in Lima, Peru, and now lives in Shiga Prefecture. For him 'bonsai' is a sort of ghost or echo from Japan's martial past - an image that is quaint and somewhat sinister at the same time. He believes a knowledge of a society's past is essential to the understanding of its present and future, and hence has depicted this image of a vague memory dimly gleaming in the half light of the past.

Jackie Menzies, Contemporary Japanese Prints: The Urban Bonsai, 1992, pg. 97.


Details


Alternative title

General


Place where the work was made

Japan


Date

1988


Media category

Print


Materials used

lithograph


Edition

2/2


Dimensions

49.0 x 44.0 cm image; 56.0 x 56.5 cm sheet


Signature & date

Signed and dated l.r., pencil "Brian Williams '88".


Credit

Gift of the artist 1993


Location

Not on display


Accession number

474.1993


Artist information

Brian WILLIAMS

Works in the collection

1


Place

Where the work was made
Japan

Shown in 2 exhibitions

Exhibition history


Referenced in 2 publications

Bibliography


AJIOKA Chiaki (Curator), Heroes and villains: from Japan's floating world, Sydney, May 2001, 7. cat.no. 1.52

Jackie Menzies, Contemporary Japanese Prints : The Urban Bonsai, Sydney, 1992, 97, 109 (colour illus.). cat. no. 69