Dressed to Kill

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A Kawari Kabuto (left) and a Momonari Kabuto (right), Edo period, C17. Auctioned at Sotheby's London, 11 May 2021.

Dressed to Kill

The Dandyism in Samurai Armour

Samurai armour is some of the most beautiful and evocative military equipment ever produced, but throughout the long peaceful isolation period (1639-1853) its actual fighting practicality became less important and its social symbolism and capacity for aesthetic expression more so. It is a popular misconception that Japan abandoned firearms and returned entirely to swords and more tradition forms of military engagement in the Edo period but the revivalist movement in Japanese armour of this time was less about preparation for actual violence than a crisis of masculinity, social class, and national identity. This talk will consider whether it can even be read as a form of dandyism, with possible parallels to Baudelaire’s Paris and a sign of ascendant modernity.

Dr Toby Slade is associate professor of fashion history and the Director of Higher Degrees by Research in the Faculty of Design, Architecture and Building at the University of Technology Sydney. Toby has returned to Australia after more than 16 years at the University of Tokyo in Japan. He is the author of two books: Japanese Fashion: A Cultural History (Berg, 2009), the first English-language book to explore the entire historical sweep of fashion and clothing in Japan and Introducing Japanese Popular Culture (Routledge, 2018), which looks at fashion as a central component of popular culture.

Where:  Online via Zoom

When:  Monday, 4th April  5:30 – 6:30 pm

Cost:  For individual lectures: Members $10; Non-members $15

How to Book:  Booking confirmation and payment in advance are essential. No refunds. Book via email to Chris Manning:  bookings@taasa.org.au

How to Pay
1.  By Direct Debit (“your name SLADE” as reference)
BSB: 012 003     Account Number: 2185 28414
Account Name:   The Asian Arts Society of Australia

2. By credit card on this website – see booking button on top right of this page



4 April, 2022
5:30 pm - 6:30 pm AEST
Event Category: