Author reveals the story of Japan’s first foreign-born samurai

LONDON — The epic tale of Japan’s first foreign-born samurai is soon to hit bookshelves, giving readers a comprehensive picture of a man who witnessed great moments of history but whose story has largely been overlooked in official accounts. He was an African bodyguard who came to Japan with the Jesuits in 1579 and later […]

Japanese ‘wine king’ exhibit lost in California wildfires

SANTA ROSA, Calif. — Gingerly stepping over melted bottles and charred debris that was once Paradise Ridge Winery’s tasting room and event hall, owners Sonia Byck-Barwick and her brother Rene Byck searched for a samurai sword in the rubble left after one of the worst wildfires in California’s history swept the area. For the last […]

Film documents the legendary Mifune, ‘The Last Samurai’

There are few actors more deserving of a feature-length documentary than Toshiro Mifune. Yet none existed until filmmaker Steven Okazaki directed “Mifune: The Last Samurai” (80 minutes), which hits Bay Area theaters Friday, Dec. 9. The Academy Award-winning director of documentaries on subjects ranging from the stories of victims of the atomic bombings of Hiroshima […]

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