About us

The Samurai Museum Berlin is the first museum in Europe dedicated exclusively to samurai culture and history. Located in Berlin's vibrant gallery district, it houses the largest collection of authentic samurai artefacts outside of Japan.

In the permanent exhibition, over a thousand objects, from suits of armour to woodblock prints, showcase the extraordinary artistry and wide range of styles of traditional Japanese craftsmanship. The Samurai Museum offers unique insights into the way of life, art, and traditions that shaped society in feudal Japan for more than a thousand years. In a multimedia journey, immersive interactive installations guide visitors through the keystones of samurai culture, from the gruesome code of the battlefield to the meticulously prescribed procedures of the tea ceremony.

Temporary exhibitions cross over to the present and explore the long-lasting influence of the samurai on contemporary culture, both in and outside Japan. The Samurai Museum Berlin is conceived as a space open to all, encouraging unexpected discoveries and cross-cultural encounters.

The Collection

Inspired by his passion for martial arts and Japanese culture, Peter Janssen acquired his first katana over thirty years ago and has been collecting samurai artefacts ever since. Today, his extensive collection comprises more than 4.000 objects. They date from the late Kofun to the early Meiji period (6th - 19th centuries) and offer a captivating insight into the evolution of Japanese culture and craftsmanship. The size and scope of the collection is unique. It includes not only weapons and armour, but also objects of samurai culture, such as textiles, paintings, woodblock prints, tea utensils and Buddhist sculptures. 

 

Highlights of the collection are an 18th-century palanquin, 17th-century armour of the Matsuidara clan and tea utensils from the period of Sen no Rikyū (1522–1591). 

 

In 2017 Peter Janssen opened the Samurai Art Museum in Villa Clay, with the desire to share his passion and fascination for these exceptional examples of traditional Japanese craftsmanship. Only a few years later, the continuous growth of the collection required a new location, which was found in Auguststraße in Berlin Mitte.  Peter Janssen envisioned the new museum as a journey of discovery. Therefore, he chose to employ the latest technological innovations in museal presentation and exhibit display in order to offer visitors an immersive experience into the world of samurai.  

Shop

Our museum shop showcases a wide variety of products inspired by the museum’s collection, as well as a curated selection of authentic Japanese articles. Exclusive collaborations and choice collector’s items will delight enthusiasts and laypersons alike.
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Research Centre

The Research Centre of the Samurai Museum Berlin, located in the former Samurai Art Museum in the Villa Clay, is dedicated to the study of samurai culture with a focus on the artefacts in the Peter Janssen Collection. 

 

It aims to expand the existing archive through comprehensive cataloguing and photographic documentation of the collection, as well as preserving its holdings through state-of-the-art conservation.

 

Research in the field is fostered by bringing together young academics and established scholars in collaboration with experts around the world.