In this lecture, Dr Doreen Mueller will explore how swords and guns were envisioned in the popular imagination in early modern Japan. While swords had encapsulated the honour codes and practices of the samurai for centuries, guns were only introduced to Japan in the sixteenth century, and their role in the construction of samurai masculinity and authority was more problematic. Guns exerted fascination because of their exotic origins and their association with gunpowder and the element of fire. Swords and guns were displayed as paraphernalia in samurai processions, and penetrated deep into the popular imagination through novels, plays and popular prints. This presentation will explore the rich popular visual culture that engendered the creative reimagining of swords and guns as tokens of samurai masculinity.