The Spirit of Budo: An Upcoming Exhibition on the History of Japanese Martial Arts

Well, as a former student of Japanese, who lived in Japan for a while, I am always excited when this kind of cultural exhibit comes up. It refreshes my memory – and I suppose I will be forever “hooked” on Japanese culture. So now, here is one to look out for, early in the New Year, at the Institute of Jamaica. Note that this includes activities for the young ones, too! Opening January 9. I’m looking forward to it!

The Institute of Jamaica

For the Encouragement of Literature, Science and Art.
10-16 East Street, Kingston, Jamaica, W.I. Telephone: (876) 922-0620-6. Fax: (876) 922-1147.
Email:  Website:



‘The Spirit of Budō: The History of Japanese Martial Arts’ Exhibition in Kingston

National Museum Jamaica (NMJ) presents an exhibition entitled The Spirit of Budō: The History of Japanese Martial Arts from January 9, 2017 to March 18, 2017 at the Institute of Jamaica, Water Lane Gallery.

The Spirit of Budō: The History of Japanese Martial Arts is an overseas travelling exhibition, which NMJ received from the Japan Foundation through the Embassy of Japan to Jamaica. It explores the rich history of Japanese martial arts through images, videos and historical artifacts. The exhibition was planned and produced against a background of the strong global interest in Japan’s martial arts culture.

“Budō is the Japanese word for ‘martial ways’, encompassing both their physical and spiritual dimensions,” said Dr. Jonathan Greenland, Director of National Museum Jamaica. “Budō serves as a path to self-perfection. This exciting exhibition will explore the history of Samurai culture in Japan and the development of Japanese martial arts. Jamaican audiences have long been interested in martial arts as well as Japanese culture in general; this exhibition is a great introduction.”

The exhibition will also explore the place of martial arts in modern, global culture and popular culture. It will feature some highly popular forms of martial arts, such as karate, kendo and judo as well as sumo wrestling.

Throughout the exhibition, visitors will explore the deeper significance of the various Japanese martial arts as a philosophy and art form, rather than as just a form of combat or sporting activity. The visitor will not only learn about the history of martial arts in Japan, but also about the aesthetic awareness, creativity, social history and ways of thinking of the Japanese people.

The exhibition features a hands-on dress-up corner, where children can try on Japanese clothing and armour, as well as a Japanese video game and manga graphic novel reading corner for children, featuring such popular mangas as Rurouni Kenshin, Dragon Ball, Naruto and Vagabond. There will also be a host of public programmes for visitors to see live demonstrations of Japanese martial arts.

The exhibition sponsors are the Tourism Enhancement Fund, The Japan Foundation, the Embassy of Japan to Jamaica, The Japan International Cooperation Agency and Marubeni.

National Museum Jamaica is a division of the Institute of Jamaica, an agency of the Ministry of Culture, Gender, Entertainment and Sport.

General Contact: Ms. Josette Ricketts-Blake, Public Relations Officer, Institute of Jamaica; E-mail:, Phone: 1.876.922.0620, Ext: 290.


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