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Vivian Wang

Shogun

Cast glass, Stoneware, Gemstones: Peridot, Garnet, Citrine, Iolite and crystal, 26"h x 12"w x 12"d, Item No. 18876,

Currently on exhibition "All Under Heaven: Wonders of the East, Original Antiquities from Asia" at the Museum of Natural Wonders in Cathedral City, CA through September 25th, 2022.

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SHOGUN portrays the famous military leader Tokugawa Ieyasu (1542 -  1616). While reading a Japanese history book, I came across an intriguing photo of an antique sculpture. The piece portrayed an old man with a white beard, wearing a dramatic black hat and pants with a large, checkered pattern in metallic silver. Unfortunately, there was no date or artist credit.

Though the sculpture in the photo was ancient, it had a decidedly modern feel. It was a statue of Tokugawa Ieyasu, a shogun from the 16th century. It inspired me to create a sculpture of Tokugawa as a young boy, dressed in court attire and exuding all the confidence of a soon-to-be powerful leader.

Tokugawa Ieyasu was born into the Matsudaira Clan in 1542. Though the son of the lord of the province of Mikawa, he was raised in the court of the neighboring Imagawa Clan where he was given the education of a nobleman. After his father’s death when he was 25 years old, Tokugawa defeated the army of the last of his rivals at the decisive battle of Sekigahara. In 1603, he took the title of shogun, or military governor, becoming the supreme leader.