A world-renowned Japanese collection including lacquer, samurai armour, articulated animals and ancient tomb figures.
Japanese Samurai

The Japanese Lacquer collection at Chiddingstone Castle is perhaps one of the finest in a private collection in Western Europe and is one of Denys Bower’s greatest achievements.

Denys grew up in a collector’s world and his father was a knowledgeable collector of ancient Chinese porcelain. It is therefore quite natural that his love of Asian art grew from there. Japanese art also provided a particularly rewarding field for collecting, as it was highly accessible during the beginning of the 20th Century.

As a result of Denys Bower’s lifelong interest in Japanese swords, Chiddingstone Castle has an exquisite collection, an important selection of which is on display. The collection demonstrates a wide variety of types of swords and sword fittings including highly decorative pieces from the Edo Period (1603-1868). There are also examples of sword fittings in the collection made specifically for the export market.

We are committed to providing access to its collections for students and researchers. For more information email curator@chiddingstonecastle.org.uk.