Itsuo Okada - Japan's last samurai

Itsuo Okada, better known as "Joe Okada", is the only one samurai alive that's left of the era Showa (preceding the current era). Yes, the last samurai is not that gringo from the movie Tom Cruise. Now, joking aside, we all know that samurai in truth no longer exist for 150 years, since the Meiji Restoration. In fact, Okada only became a "samurai" after he started to practice the art of handling the sword katana.

That's because, unlike an authentic samurai, Okada was not born into a clan that made part of this caste. Itsuo Okada, 88, has been working as a tour guide for over 50 years in the province of Kyoto. He not only works as a tour guide, but also as an English interpreter and entertains tourists with his presentations made with his katana.

Discover the life story of this "last samurai":

Itsuo Okada - The Last Samurai of Japan

Okada's Youth and Early Career

As mentioned before, Okada did not come from a samurai clan, as he was born at a time when this caste was already extinct. He first worked at a fire station when he was 20 years old; however, he always wanted to become a tour guide. To become one, he would have to learn English. So, he went to the United States for 8 months. Not to study at a school, but to work as a driver and learn English in his daily life. It was there that he adopted the nickname. "Joe".

In 1962, with his English skills and touring knowledge, Joe passed a certification exam. So he became a licensed guide. He first worked with a travel agency, but ended up becoming self-employed in 1968 and it was at this time that "Okada Samurai" was born.

The Rise of a Samurai

Apparently, many of his clients thought that the samurai still existed and they really wanted to meet one of them. The samurai disappeared a long time ago, of course. But still, Joe wanted to give his guests at least a glimpse of the tradition. So he began to practice the art of katana and became the last samurai.

Since he became a “samurai”, he performs many sword tricks. Your show really entertains a lot of people. In addition, Joe Okada can teach skills of katana in about five hours, according to the rules of the Guinness.

Itsuo Okada - The Last Samurai of Japan

Another program he provides if you join his tour is the Kyoto walking tour for 5 hours. You will visit and explore some famous places in Kyoto. Places like the Kyoto Imperial Palace Forest, Buddhist temples, Shinto shrines and the garden Shuseuitei.

The last samurai, Okada, says he intends to continue as a guide until he is 90 years old. So don't miss the opportunity to meet him when visiting Japan. To end the article we will leave a video of Samurai Okada:

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