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Second Look

Samurai weaponry at Currier Museum on Art

Red fantastic helmet with demonic shishi from the 1600s in the Currier show.

FORREST CAVALE

Red fantastic helmet with demonic shishi from the 1600s in the Currier show.

MANCHESTER, N.H. — Best known for its collection of over 12,000 American and European works, the Currier Museum of Art is showing an exhibit steeped in Eastern mystery. “Lethal Beauty: Samurai Weapons and Armor” takes a look behind the sword to see the art, culture, faith, and focus of the Samurai, a warrior class whose ancient code of conduct still guides contemporary Japanese culture and instructs modern martial arts. On display are some 60 works from the 13th to 20th centuries. The Samurai’s primary weapon, the mythic katana or long sword, was created by master craftsmen and said to embody the very soul of the warrior. Along with katana, the exhibition includes full suits of armor, helmets, face masks, daggers, rifles, and an imposing pair of six-panel painted screens depicting an epic battle, the famous “Tale of the Heike.”

The Currier is the only New England venue for this exhibition, which continues through May 5. Adults $10, seniors $9, students $8, under 18 free, plus $5 special exhibit charge. Closed Tuesday. 150 Ash St., 603-669-6144, www.currier.org

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