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EDITOR IN CHIEF- ABDULLAH BIN SALIM AL SHUEILI

Samurai artist dazzles Muscat audience

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Tetsuro Shimaguchi is a highly acclaimed ‘Samurai artist’ hailing from Japan. He is the founder of the Kamui Samurai performance team, which has been entertaining audiences around the world for over 25 years.


Tetsuro, also known as ‘Samurai Tetsuro’, has earned a reputation as a modern-day Samurai due to his unique blend of traditional Japanese martial arts and contemporary dance.


Tetsuro recently visited the Sultanate of Oman as part of the Muscat Nights, where he performed on stage for three nights at the Oman Automobile Association.


His performances were captivating, holding the audience spellbound.


Tetsuro’s visit provided not only entertainment but also an opportunity for cultural exchange between Japan and Oman.


As head of the samurai school ‘Kamui’, Tetsuro trains a new generation of youth from around the world in the ways of the sword, as well as the warrior’s mindset.


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In Oman, he mingled freely with the Omani and expatriate youth after his endearing performance.


Tetsuro is also an actor and a choreographer having participated in the sword fighting scene and training actors in Quentin Tarantino’s film ‘Kill Bill Vol 1’. He also established his original Samurai method ‘Kengido’ in 2012 and received the Consonance award in Florence, Italy in 2018.


As one who has been promoting ‘Samurai’ and Japanese culture and art to the world he was extremely happy to perform in the sultanate of Oman.


Says Tetsuro, “It was the first-time experience for me to have a performance in Oman, so I prepared a video with beautiful sights and history of Japan for the opening. In addition, I included the experience programme in our show for the cultural exchange.”


Though a short stay in Muscat, the Samurai could spend “wonderful days with the kind attention of the officials, and the beautiful city and its nature.”


The samurai warrior is one of the most iconic cultural symbols of Japan. The swordsmen are a class of noblemen devoted to serving regional lords as soldiers, diplomats, and guards which was amply demonstrated by Tetsuro in his performances.


He made performances with his original style instead of customisation. However, it was so pleasant for him when he felt there was something to convey without words thanks to an understanding audience.


Samurai Tetsuro started with the opening video which screened the sight in Japan, and the image of Tetsuro as a Samurai artist, and the image of his original Samurai method ‘Kengido’.


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Then came his solo performance with Tsugaru shamisen and later a realistic battle with another samurai, and finally a samurai experience with the audience. The last performance was themed on the samurai spirit which wrapped up the show.


He received rave reviews for this performance from the audience and it seemed the people were really happy to watch his performance regardless of age and gender.


They gave me a lot of pleasant comments, he said.


“It was really beautiful and powerful,” said a fan while some others felt like witnessing the real Samurai.


Samurai Tetsuro snapped pictures with a lot of people and felt respected and to his surprise, many talked to him in Japanese.


Tetsuro admits that with the development of high technology human beings have progressed in some ways but some of our abilities such as power of sympathy, motivation to live seems fading.


“I am proud of the Samurai method as the way you can learn to face others, respect each other and communicate while having fun and I am working with responsibility to the future generations.”


If offered a chance Tetsuro admits he is open to train Arabs in Samurai art. “Yes, of course. I would like to deepen my engagement with Arabian people. It makes me excited to imagine if an Arabian Samurai could be born,” he adds.


He plans to come back again with pleasure to Oman soon.


“It would be an honour for me if I could contribute to the friendship between Japan and Oman.”


Master Tetsuro says about Oman that he strongly felt they are really quiet, kind and full of love.


In addition, quite a few people speak Japanese. And he hopes that the cultural exchange between Japan and Oman could be increased and the opportunities Japanese people meet Oman people could be more.


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Tetsuro was born in Saitama prefecture, Japan, in 1970 and graduated from Nihon University College of Arts. After gaining several years of experience in theatre activities, such as kabuki, he established a samurai sword performance group, ‘Kengishu Kamui’, of which he has been serving as a leader.


Both Tetsuro and Yoshimi Uto are based in Tokyo and have the dojo (school) in Aizuwakamatsu (Fukushima prefecture), Florence in Italy, Tuhan in Czech Republic and London, UK.


He was appointed as a tourism ambassador for Aizuwakamatsu City and Fukushima Prefecture in 2019 and has been devotedly promoting ‘Samurai’ as Japanese culture and art to the world still now.


In the future, the Japanese Embassy in Muscat, along with Tetsuro, will strive to make a continuous effort for the cultural exchange between Japan and Oman.


In 2012, he established his original samurai dojo, “Kengido” and has been expanding it not just in Japan, but in other countries such as Italy, Poland, the US and the Republic of Lithuania.


This exemplifies his dedication to promoting Samurai culture both inside and outside of Japan.


In March 2022, he performed for NBA games during the LA Lakers vs Washington Wizards. Earlier in January 2023 he also performed in Riyadh and Jeddah.


Tetsuro operates dojo in multiple countries and oversees the largest samurai-centric cultural preservation campaign in the world. Omanis seemed to be excited about his performance.


He says it was so exciting to listen about the history and the culture of Oman. “This time it was a short stay, I would definitely like to come back to Oman and I really appreciate the kindness of people in Oman. See you again soon. Thank you from the bottom of my heart,” he says gleefully.


As he left Oman, Tetsuro fondly recalled his performance and expressed his eagerness to visit again for an extended stay. He brought back with him some Omani sweets as a souvenir, having enjoyed strolling along Love Street in Qurum and sipping coffee at a beachside café.


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