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The Spirit of Budo: The History of Japan's Martial Arts

The Spirit of Budo: The History of Japan's Martial Arts

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  • Tue 2 Jul ’19, 9:00am – 4:30pm
  • Wed 3 Jul ’19, 9:00am – 4:30pm
  • Thu 4 Jul ’19, 9:00am – 4:30pm
  • Fri 5 Jul ’19, 9:00am – 4:30pm
  • Mon 8 Jul ’19, 9:00am – 4:30pm
  • Tue 9 Jul ’19, 9:00am – 4:30pm
  • Wed 10 Jul ’19, 9:00am – 4:30pm
  • Thu 11 Jul ’19, 9:00am – 4:30pm
  • Fri 12 Jul ’19, 9:00am – 4:30pm
  • Mon 15 Jul ’19, 9:00am – 4:30pm
  • Tue 16 Jul ’19, 9:00am – 4:30pm
  • Wed 17 Jul ’19, 9:00am – 4:30pm
  • Thu 18 Jul ’19, 9:00am – 4:30pm
  • Fri 19 Jul ’19, 9:00am – 4:30pm
  • Mon 22 Jul ’19, 9:00am – 4:30pm
  • Tue 23 Jul ’19, 9:00am – 4:30pm
  • Wed 24 Jul ’19, 9:00am – 4:30pm
  • Thu 25 Jul ’19, 9:00am – 4:30pm
  • Fri 26 Jul ’19, 9:00am – 4:30pm
  • View all sessions


Victoria University School of Architecture, 139 Vivian Street, Wellington


All Ages

Ticket Information:

  • Free Admission

The Embassy of Japan and Victoria University of Wellington, in cooperation with The Japan Foundation are very pleased to announce the Japan Foundation’s Travelling exhibition – “The Spirit of Budo: The History of Japan's Martial Arts”.

Entry is free, and open to all interested in the history of Japanese Martial Arts!

"The Spirit of Budō: The History of Japan's Martial Arts" was planned and produced against a background of strong overseas interest in Japan's martial-arts culture. In this exhibition, we seek the understanding of viewers about the brief history of Japanese martial arts—from battlefield combat technique (bujutsu) to popular sports or physical exercise tempering body and spirit (budō).

This exhibition consists of two parts: in the first part, reproductions/originals of historical weapons actually used such as bows and arrows, suits of armor, helmets, and so on are shown, and the development and changes of Japanese martial arts from 8th century to 19th century are explained. Many types of ancient armor and weapons have not survived to the present, or are too fragile for international transport. That is why we decided to include reproductions, which would give the appearance of suits of armor and helmets at the time of original production even more vividly.

The second part deals with the reorganization of bujutsu to budō in the 19th and 20th centuries, and how the spirit of martial arts is still inherent in the daily life of Japanese people today. Nine budō associations are also introduced and the clothes and implements such as bamboo swords, protectors, bows and arrows, and so on, which are used by players and students in the present day, are also to be seen.

We hope that through the exhibition the viewers will become aware of not only the history of Japanese martial arts, but also of people's aesthetic awareness and creativity, and Japan's social history and the Japanese way of thinking from a new angle.

Please refer to the Embassy of Japan’s website for more information about this once-in-a-lifetime exhibition:

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