Press and Kick-off Party For "Utsutsu"

Above, the poster for "Utsutsu." Click on the image to see it full-size.

by Armand Vaquer

Japanese swordplay is coming to Southern California and I attended the Utsutsu press and kick-off party this evening.

At the party, held at Royal T in Culver City, I met the cast and crew.

I received an invitation to attend the press and kick-off party from actress/model/Japanese language instructor Yuu Askakura. Regular readers know Yuu as the model for The Monster Movie Fan's Guide To Japan. She will be appearing in the play.

The play, to be held this month at the Barnsdall Gallery Theatre in Hollywood, is about a blind swordsman. The title of the play is Utsutsu (Genesis: Blind Swordsman) and it was written by Junko Honkawa and Masue Ogawa. The English translation is by John D. Swain. The production is produced and directed by Ryuji Yamakita.

It was an enjoyable evening and it included refreshments and a swordplay demonstration by some of the actors of the play.

Utsutsu, will be presented in an unusual way. It will be presented some nights in English, while on other nights it will be presented in Japanese. Most of the players, if not all, are Japanese nationals.

For more information on Utsutsu and to purchase tickets go to

Here are some photos of tonight's press and kick-off party:

Above, I was able to reunite with the lovely Yuu Asakura.

Above, producer and director Ryuji Yamakita and Yoshi Ando.

Above, here I am flanked by "Utsutsu" players Kyoko Okazaki (Otose) and Masamichi Kanobe.

Above, the party attendees gather for the swordplay demonstration.

Above and below, the swordplay demonstration.

Above, following the swordplay demonstration, the players graciously posed for photographs.

If you are in Hollywood, or plan to be in Hollywood from November 19 to 28, be sure to attend a performance of Utsutsu.


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