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...
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.
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