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Samurai Rabbit! Japanese History Gets Interactive at Boston's MFA

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If your summer vacation takes you through Boston and you find that you can't decide which of the city's impressive cultural institutions to take the family to, the Museum of Fine Art has made the choice easier for you with Samurai. The exhibition, open through August 4th, marries Japanese history with pop culture to bring new life to the fabled warriors of feudal Japan. More than 140 objects, ranging from the 12th to the 19th centuries, are on display, including meticulously adorned lacquered helmets, weapons used for combat and ceremony and as a piece de resistance, two fully-armored horses carrying Samurai warriors, ready for battle.

If all that isn’t enough to get the kids excited, they’ll love the exhibition's 21st-century twist. In collaboration with comic book creator Stan Sakai and the videogame maker Happy Giant, one of the armors on display at the museum can be unlocked in the new videogame Usagi Yojimbo: Way of the Ronin, based on Mr. Sakai’s long-running comic series about a vagabond Samurai rabbit. The exclusive code to unlock the secret armor will only be available to visitors of the MFA; signs with passcodes are hidden throughout the exhibition, along with links to a free version of the game.

Sebastian Girner is a researcher at Travel + Leisure.

Photo by Brad Flowers, The Ann and Gabriel Barbier-Mueller Museum Dallas; Illustration courtesy of HappyGiant and Stan Sakai, Museum of Fine Arts Boston

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