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[02/18/10 - 09:51 AM]
Samurai - Compelling Two-Hour History Special Premieres Tuesday, March 16
Mark Dacascos hosts the event, which revolves around revered Japanese hero Miyamoto Musashi.

[via press release from History]

Actor/martial arts champ Mark Dacascos takes a personal journey in search of the life and legacy of Japan's most celebrated and enigmatic warrior... SAMURAI

Compelling two-hour HISTORY� special premieres Tuesday, March 16 at 8pm EST

NEW YORK, February 2010 � More than 350 years after his death, Miyamoto Musashi is revered in Japan as a national hero. The ultimate warrior of the Samurai era, his innovative fighting style is still taught and used by martial artists today. Even modern businessmen � the "warriors" of the 21st century � model their cut-throat culture on his philosophies of strategic warfare. Yet by the end of his violent life of combat and killing, Musashi had become a celebrated artist, poet and philosopher. In SAMURAI, a new two-hour special on HISTORY, martial artist and actor Mark Dacascos journeys to Japan to walk in Musashi's footsteps to satisfy a lifelong fascination with this enigmatic icon of war and beauty. SAMURAI premieres Tuesday, March 16 at 8pm EST on HISTORY.

In his search for the samurai spirit, Mark � a martial arts champion who put his impressive fighting skills to use in the films Brotherhood of the Wolf and Crying Freeman and the 1990's TV version of The Crow � visited iconic Japanese landmarks associated with Musashi's legendary battles. He learned the secret ancient craft of forging a samurai sword, and rode in a simulated battle wearing genuine centuries-old samurai gear. Mark also met and trained with modern-day masters of the great warrior's renowned two-sword fighting style.

The journey also brought Mark to the place where Musashi spent his final, redemptive years of peaceful reflection as an artist and author. "Here was a man who wore death on his shoulder," he observed. "Yet this guy, who often would just hack bodies to pieces, winds up urging everyone to appreciate life."

Viewers may recognize Mark, who is part Japanese, as the Chairman of Iron Chef America or for his slick ballroom dance moves in the latest edition of Dancing With the Stars. The son of two martial arts teachers, he has been drawn to samurai culture since childhood. "They were always calm and relaxed right before they drew their swords and fought. When two Samurai faced each other, their composure, their focus, was part of their power. This, for me as a kid, was the essence of a true Samurai."

SAMURAI is written and directed for HISTORY by Andrew Piddington and produced by Diverse Bristol Ltd., a Zodiak Entertainment Company. Executive Producer is Rob MacIver. Executive Producers for HISTORY are David McKillop and Dirk Hoogstra.

HISTORY� and HISTORY HD� are the leading destinations for revealing, award-winning original non-fiction series and event-driven specials that connect history with viewers in an informative, immersive and entertaining manner across multiple platforms. Programming covers a diverse variety of historical genres ranging from military history to contemporary history, technology to natural history, as well as science, archaeology and pop culture. Among the network's program offerings are hit series such as Ax Men, Battle 360, How The Earth Was Made, Ice Road Truckers, Pawn Stars and The Universe, as well as acclaimed specials including 102 Minutes That Changed America, 1968 with Tom Brokaw, King, Life After People, Nostradamus: 2012, Star Wars: The Legacy Revealed and WWII in HD. HISTORY has earned four Peabody Awards, seven Primetime Emmy� Awards, 12 News & Documentary Emmy� Awards and received the prestigious Governor's Award from the Academy of Television Arts & Sciences for the network's Save Our History� campaign dedicated to historic preservation and history education. Take a Veteran to School Day is the network's latest initiative connecting America's schools and communities with veterans from all wars. The HISTORY web site, located at www.history.com, is the definitive historical online source that delivers entertaining and informative content featuring broadband video, interactive timelines, maps, games and more.





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