“Geisha/Samurai: Memories of Japan”, a cultural journey in the heart of Barcelona

Barcelona’s Palau Martorell has become a portal to 19th century Japan with its new exhibition, “Geisha/Samurai: Memories of Japan”. Through September 8, 2024, more than 200 objects from Japanese culture are on display, offering visitors a deep dive into one of the world’s richest and most enigmatic civilizations.

Nomo Eixample, Japanese gastronomy and cocktail bar now in the former Casa Dario

This exhibition, curated by Ferran López Alagarda, president of the Spanish Federation of Antique Dealers, promises to be an unforgettable experience for art and history lovers.

Geisha/Samurai: Memories of Japan: A Tour through Six Sections

The exhibition is organized into six distinct sections, each exploring different aspects of Japanese life and culture.

  1. Theater: This section highlights the art of ukiyo-e engraving, a woodcut technique in which multiple artists collaborated in its creation. These prints include a variety of subjects, from theatrical performances to landscapes, such as the iconic “Hokusai’s Wave”.
  2. Geisha: Here you will find kimonos, combs, fans, mirrors and wigs, providing a detailed insight into the world of the geisha, women trained in traditional Japanese arts who embody elegance and delicate beauty.
  3. Shunga: This section is dedicated to “spring images”, a euphemism for Japanese erotic art. Shunga were popular in the Edo period and are known for their explicit and stylized depiction of eroticism.
  4. Netsuke, Kakemono and Period Photographs: Netsuke, small ornaments used to secure objects on kimonos, along with kakemono (hanging scrolls) and period photographs, show the importance of detail and aesthetics in Japanese culture.
  5. Culture of War: This section presents the figure of the musha, the tribal warrior. Through armor and weapons, the discipline and sacrifice of Japanese warriors is highlighted.
  6. Samurai: The life of the samurai, the legendary warriors of Japan, is explored here, with a detailed display of their armor and the stories surrounding them.

From the Rising Sun to the Mediterranean: A Tour of the best Temples of Japanese Flavor in Barcelona

An immersion in Japanese history and traditions

The exhibition not only focuses on the objects, but also provides a historical and cultural context that helps visitors better understand life in Japan during the 19th century.

Noh Theater masks, samurai armor and geisha kimonos, among other objects, reveal the duality of Japanese culture: a combination of delicate beauty and rigorous discipline.

Experience Japan in Barcelona at Japan Weekend 2023

Practical information

The exhibition is open to the public daily from 10:00 am to 8:00 pm. Tickets are available at a price of 14 euros and can be purchased through the Palau Martorell website. This exhibition is not only an opportunity to enjoy art, but also to learn and appreciate the depth of Japanese culture.