Recently my girlfriend Erika and I decided to act as samurai for a day at Haneda Airport. We came across a company called Samurai Film that allowed us to act in our own professionally-edited samurai short film. It was an awesome experience, and we reckon the company totally undervalues their services. However, before we talk about it, here’s a little knowledge for those who aren’t familiar with samurai.
Who were the samurai?
Samurai were basically the military nobility of Japan. They were notorious for being skillful warriors, honorable until death, and for living their lives according to “the way of warriors,” known in Japanese as Bushidō.
Samurai were also perceived to be highly cultured in one form or another, be it calligraphy, tea ceremony, poetry, music, or academics. However, in the late nineteenth century, they were stripped of their status across Japan in favor of a more western-style military structure, which is why the Samurai no longer exist in modern day Japan.
Fortunately, Japan remains proud of its samurai culture, so their heritage is well preserved. Samurai ideals have transcended Japanese history to the point where it still largely influences the thought processes of the modern Japanese man. It’s no wonder why admirable values such as respect, discipline, and honor are still more prevalent in Japan than any other country in the world. Samurai were an important part of Japan’s history, and you can still experience the Samurais’ story through museums, books, anime, castles, sports, and even role-playing opportunities—like our experience with Samurai Film.
About Samurai Film
Samurai Film lets you and your friends act in your own fighting film as Japanese warriors. The company provides basic plots, samurai clothing, and other props. After filming is finished, they edit the footage into a complete movie for you.
What’s amazing is that you get to customize the ending of the story, and you also get to work with professional stunt actors. The director, Kenji Sato, was a stunt actor in many Hollywood films such as The Wolverine, The Last Samurai, Resident Evil, etc. His experience in the industry made the filming process that much more authentic and fun.
Filming Options and Pricing
The company provides many different filming options, such as location, film length, etc. You can find their packages online, but I suggest contacting them directly since there are several hidden packages that are not listed on their website. If you go to their website here, you can see examples of fights in forests, etc. We found out after our filming that they even have a gunfight version.
However, as cool as a forest shooting may sound, it’s summer right now, and I’d rather look like a clean badass samurai than a sweaty slimeball. We decided to stick to the basics and choose to do it in the comfort of Haneda Airport. Pricing is subject to change based on the season, so it’s best to call in and ask in advanced. In our case, we paid 15,000 yen per person for 3 hours of filming.
If you are interested, you can even try walking into their shop without reservation. They have one at Haneda International Airport near the Edo Market Place. If you happen to be at Haneda International Airport with 2 hours to kill, why not take home a samurai film as a souvenir? They even have showers at the airport in case you end up sweaty.
The Finished Result
This is the final product of our samurai movie. It turned out way better than we expected. To be honest, during the filming process I just kept thinking how bad my acting was. However, after seeing the video I think we did quite well. Enjoy!
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