… Pop-Culture resource for the Malaysian Cosplay Community

VAX 2016 – Tetsuro Shimaguchi

Remember those of you who are tired of the average ACG event have asked for something else? Well VAX (Visual Arts Expo) is certainly something else!

They debut last year with such renowned folks like Studio Gainax founder Horiyuki Yamaga, Satelight Inc. Managing Director Shoji Kawamori aka the creator of Macross (and much of Transformers G1), singer Aimee Blackschleger etc. Oh you didn’t hear about this event? Ok, so I hope you all will make it this year? #VAX2016 takes place this weekend 3 – 5 June at 15th Flr, Kenanga Wholesale City Fashion Mall (same location as the Xpax Fantasy Fest).

So the story so far, VAX is known for having renowned guest, they allow us, the folks in Malaysia to reach out to their guest via portfolio reviews, they allow Malaysia companies to reach out to their overseas guest via B2B Friday and they allocate slots for PANELS aka Special Interest Panels (SIP) for us local folks to share our passion huhu! Very cool!

VAX has a new website: http://www.vax.asia 

So what I personally wanna shout out today is about Mr. Tetsuro Shimaguchi. In short he is the man who choreographed the Samurai sword fights from the Quentin Tarantino cult classic Kill Bill Vol. 1 & Vol. 2. Mr. Tarantino was so excited working with him that he just decided on whim to put in the movie too. 

So Mr. Tetsuro Shimaguchi is featured in Kill Bill Vol.1 as CRAZY 88#1 aka Miki, the first henchmen of O’ren Ishii (Lucy Liu). If you haven’t watched it, Miki#1 is the first to die in the fight at the House of Blue Leaves. But what most people won’t know is that he had to die early so he could continue choreographing the others through the epic fight scene! 

Just so not to be branded as partial, there were other sword specialist choreographers in the movie Kill Bill. Mr. Tarantino wanted a wide variety to styles in the movie. So Ms. Uma Thurman aka The Bride moves were choreographed & stylized Mr. Shimaguchi. For Lucy Liu’s character, Mr. Tarantino wanted a more chinese style of fighting in which he got another sword specialist from Hong Kong. 

A little love note from Lucy Liu

Tetsuro Shimaguchi was born in Saitama prefecture in Japan and graduated from Nihon University College of Arts. After a lot of experience in theater activities such as kabuki, he established “Kengishu Kamui” and heads up a team. In 1998, he formed a Samurai Sword Art group named KAMUI. Now with KAMUI, he combines his experiences in the theater to puts on performances mixed with beauty of form, acting and martial arts.

Tetsuro Shimaguchi created KENGIDO that means “The Way of Samurai” = swordplay combined with beauty of form. He has opened dojos to teach KENGIDO in Japan, America and Europe. This activity to introduce Japanese SAMURAI culture has been reported by mass media all over the world. 

I always felt ‘much of the Jedi was made from the Samurai’. And what was always in awe of the code, discipline, conduct… all that is Bushido. So though the Jedi & the force is an amalgamation of sci-fi, fantasy, George Lucas & Samurai it is so clear to me that the closest embodiment of the Jedi in reality are the samurai.

A Fan & Tetsuro at Comicpalooza perhaps all too prophetic?

So as one of the earliest supporters in the the founding of Fight Saber (fightsaber.com), which is the only Lucasfilm-recognized lightsaber performance organization, and authority on lightsaber combat in Southeast Asia, I am calling out to all those friends & fans of lightsaber combat, lightsaber choreography, fight coordinators…etc Come to Visual Arts Expo (VAX) 2016 to look for this man. Watch his performance, hear him speak… you will surely pick up something… beauty of form, acting, martial arts that will add to your skill set and better yet even enrich your soul… prosper your spirit!

Also, if you’re a geek like me – bring your Kill Bill DVD / Blu-Ray, Neca figure, black mask, bokken, samurai sword stand… etc for him to autograph too 🙂

Hope to see you all there at #VAX2016

#VAXisBack #KillBill #TetsuroShimaguchi #Kamui #Kengido #Crazy88 #QuentinTarantino #LucyLiu #UmaThurman #Fightsaber #FightsaberMY #FightsaberMYKK #FSMY #FSSG #Samurai

Photo credits to DIG Japan – Thanks Rachel! Loved your article! Check out her experience at KENGIDO Dojo in Japan!

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