An actor, sword fighter, fighting choreographer, emcee and director/producer of SSS from Nara, Japan. He moved to New York in 1990. After studying under the samurai master, Tahei Waki, Yoshi formed a unique performance group, Samurai Sword Soul (SSS) in 2003. He has been seeking for the spirit of samurai and ultimate sword fighting, and performing all over the world.
Following the group’s success, Yoshi obtained the title character for the TV series, Samurai Sportsman, on Outdoor Life Network. He was also invited as a guest of Late Night with Conan O’Brien on NBC. Theatre credits include the leading role of Rogue and co-choreographer in Deadly She-Wolf Assassin at Armageddon!, which was highly acclaimed by New York Times.
World Seido Karate 4th Degree Black Belt, NYC Kendo Club 1st Dan, Musojikiden Eishinryu Iai,
Koji Nishiyama was born and raised in Nagoya, Japan. After completing his civil engineering degree, he decided to pursue his long time passion – acting. He came to New Yorin in 2009 where he graduated from New York Film Academy acting program. He then joined Samurai Sword Soul theater company where he trained in sword fighting. He has been working and performing with them ever since. Koiji is not a stranger to dramatic, action and comedic roles. Theatre credits include She-Wolf, Assassin, The Wrestler, Red Bull and The Infinite Spirits. Film credits include Bounty Warz, Vampire Hunter, Afro Samurai, Chase and Wax Museum. Koji’s hunger for new knowledge and experiences encorages him to continuously advance in his acting career.
Sandy Chase went from studying mechanical engineering to touring the world as a professional modern dancer, performing with both MOMIX and Pilobolus. He helped start Sal Anthony’s Movement Salon in 1998, and was certified in Gyrotonic® and Gyrokinesis® by Juliu Horvath. Along the way, he studied Danzan Ryu Jujitsu, earning a second degree black belt, while cross training and competing in Judo. He began training and performing with Samurai Sword Soul in 2010. In his latest incarnation, Sandy is a cinematographer and media producer, working in TV and independent film. He has produced or collaborated with SSS on several exciting film projects. Check out the latest projects at FluidFilm.com
Saori Goda was born and raised in Osaka, Japan. In 2009, Saori moved to NY and brushed up on her acting skills at HB studio and Stella Adler. Her TV debut was as Janet Fujimoto on Travel Channel which led to a number of roles in the following years, including Love Your Selfie (NBC), Related Parts’ film A Man Full Of Days, Global Film Network Inc’s film Cocktail Party and Disney Vacation Club Video. Besides, Goda has been appearing on NHK’s North America Cable’s TV Japan Club, has hosted at Carnegie Hall, Cherry Blossom Festivals at BBG and in DC, and also has done voice works for Apple, NFL, Panasonic etc.
Driven by a deep interest in mixed martial arts, fantasy (especially Robert Jordan’s Wheel of Time series), sci-fi (Star Wars) and classical and medieval history Dom began training Waki Style Tate under the direction of Yoshi Amao in October 2012. He quickly immersed himself in Japanese swordsmanship and began studying Shinkendo (traditional Japanese swordsmanship) at Modern Samurai Dojo under the direction of Sensei Lou D’Agostino in June 2013.After nearly a year and a half of training Dom made his debut with Samurai Sword Soul in March 2014. Dom’s strong motivation and desire to learn continues to drive him in his study of stage and traditional Japanese swordsmanship.
Masaya Okubo started his acting career in 2006 in Tokyo. He began as an assistant/apprentice for the renowned Japanese actor, Masachika Ichimura. During his four year tenure, Masaya made numerous appearances in TV dramas with Mr. Ichimura, as well as in the Japanese language adaptation of the musical Sweeney Todd (2011 and 2013).
Masaya moved to the United States in 2015 and is now based in New York. He has continued his training at HB Studios studying the Uta Hagen Acting Technique, while also garnering regular appearances in TV, film and theater.
Masaya is currently a featured performer in Samurai performance group, Samurai Sword Soul, performing at the Brooklyn Sakura Matsuri as well as many other festivals and events all over the United States.
Online and print Japanese language media have dubbed him a "Chameleon Actor" because of his ability to completely inhabit the roles he plays.
He has also worked as a judge in international Japanese film festivals.
Kenny "Nomura" Fong
Kenny Fong was born in New Jersey. He studies Hung Ga Kung fu under his father, Sifu Bill Fong. He has deep interests in cooking, martial arts as well as acting. When he is not working, he cooks food or he trains his fighting technique. He currently attends the East Brunswick high school as a student. Kenny studies under Yoshi Amao with the Samurai Sword Soul sword fighting. He is motivated to learn more and immerse himself with the knowledge of acting and the arts of fighting.
George grew up in Rockland County, New York, and moved into the city after receiving his degree in fine arts. He first saw Samurai Sword Soul perform in 2012 Sakura Matsuri at the Brooklyn Botanical Gardens. Two years later, he began studying under Yoshi Amao. He made his stage debut in 2018, and looks forward to future performances. George also practices Shanxi Seven Star Praying Mantis under Master Longfei Yang, and has been studying the style since 2015. When he's not practicing martial arts, George teaches high school history and English, coaches debate, and works on writing and game design projects. He continues to commit himself to both teaching and learning.
Shamisen (Japanese three strings guitar) / Flute
Seiichiro has been a live musician for Samurai Sword Soul since launching the company in 2003. He plays Shamisen (Japanese traditional instrument), Japanese Flute, Hyoushigi (Japanese wooden clapper), and other sound effects. He also plays for some other performance groups and his own. Seiichiro also plays E.guitar and E.bass with: urban gourd psychedelic POP “Small Mountain Path“, hard core experimental heavy rock “YABUHEBI“, and support member of under ground ero-gro hard-core progressive rock. “GELATINE“.
Percussion / Drums
Born in KUMAMOTO, JAPAN is a percussionist and drummer.
He started playing the drums when he was 18 years old and has performed at several Japanese tours, appeared in some festivals.
- From 2006-2010 he performed as a drummer in the Fukuoka band called ALOHA(Japan).
- In 2014 he moved to New York.
Now he joined with Samurai Sword Soul at Sakura Matsuri. And he supports artists of various genres according to their style of music.
Atsunori Hayamizu aka Umihei
Umihei was born in Japan. He began his dance training the age of 19. He moved to New York City in 2005 and now is training at Peridance Center. His training includes Ballet, Jazz, Modern, Contemporary, Hip-Hop, House, Locking, Poping, Breking, Pilates, Yoga, and Samurai Sword. He is a free-style of overgrand. Umhei performs with various artists and also choreographs his own works. When he is not training at the studio, he is dancing on the streets of New York. He would like to say special thanks from the bottom of his heart to his family, teachers, friends, and all the people of his support. LOVE &PEAE. to contact Umihei:
Akira Ito was born in Kobe, Japan, and started acting as a member of The Second Theater Company in Osaka. He performed in many productions including Straw Band, Bond In The Twilight, Relaxing Room, Average Man, Where Justice Exists, Kuma-Chaka Pharmacy, and also in a mime performance, Fugue for X and Y. He came to New York in 2008 to study acting and dance. In New York, he has performed as a dancer in Hatch, Evolve Dance Festival, J-summit, Movement Research, as an actor in Samovar at the Bar, Wind-Up Bird Chronicle.
As Radio personality at WALLOP and Smile FM. Learned sword fight by Ei Kawakami.
He was inspired with New York City when he traveled United States by himself. In 2014 he moved to NY to find a New World. And then met Yoshi and joined SSS. He is performing Film, Theater, Voice over, etc...Now his challenge is going on...
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An Actor from Japan.
He's performed in the film industry in Japan since 2000. Starting on roles in Youth-H series Making of Love(2010), The sorrows of younger “Lotte”(2012), Hoshi’s long day(2013).
Kaoru Tani was born in Tokyo. She is a Dancer, Singer, Musical actress and Free style performer. She graduated Acting and Musical Theater major at KANTO International High School. She's been performing in New York since 2017.
In addition, she performed at APOLLO Theatre Amateur Night in 2019.
Tani joined Samura Swrod Soul in 2018 and debuted at the Branch Brook Park Sakura Matsuri (NJ) and the Brooklyn Sakura Matsuri (NY) as the heroin "Sakura".
Shunsaku Yanai is a NYC based actor, who was born in Osaka, Japan. After acting training in Tokyo, he decided to moved to NYC in early 2019 and joined Samurai Sword Soul. Shunsaku is also a proficient martial artist with a black belt in karate and stage combat experience. Recently, Shunsaku graduated from The Lee Strasberg Theatre & Film Institute® in NYC. Now, he works both in theatre and on-camera industry. Since he was trained in tap dance and musical theatre singing, Shunsaku also performs in musicals as well.
Shunsaku has worked on [STAGE] Samurai AI(2019), Samurai Combi(2019), A Christmas Carol(2019), Twilight: Los Angels 1992(2016), and [FILM] One(2019), If The Weather Was Different(2017) Disconnected(2016), [COMMERCIAL] Schick How To Shave(2019) etc.