Arts of Fighting in Asia

Mythology, kung fu and samurai


From the battles between deities depicted in Hindu-Buddhist art to Japanese sword-fighting films and Chinese kung-fu movies, the martial arts of Asia have the power to enthrall. Their practice cannot be reduced to an expression of violence. Far from being simply a physical confrontation, they imply tremendous mental discipline.

Arts of Fighting in Asia considers these martial arts in their spiritual dimension, and from the point of view of a history interwoven with numerous legends and fictions. This catalogue surveys the political, cultural, and philosophical contexts within which the various styles evolved. Through a juxtaposition of films and works both ancient and contemporary, it sheds fresh light on this vast heritage that has entered popular culture all over the world.


272 pages
Dimensions : 18,5 × 26 cm
Co-published with the Réunion des musées nationaux – Grand Palais
39,90 €
English and french versions