Smashing down walls for Asians in Hollywood, in Nikkei Asia

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Japanese actor Chikako Fukuyama’s long journey from Nagoya to Los Angeles, my latest story for Nikkei Asia this week.

“I was so happy when Michelle Yeoh won the Oscar (for her lead role in the 2022 hit ‘Everything Everywhere All at Once’),” says Japanese actor Chikako Fukuyama, 34.

That gives me hope,” says Fukuyama, who stars in the Netflix action movie “Blade of the 47 Ronin” (2022), an all-Asian sequel to “47 Ronin” (2013). “There are so many walls to punch through for Asian actors in the U.S. Women like Michelle and Lucy Liu (the Chinese American star of the 2000 comedy ‘Charlie’s Angels’) set the stage for us.”

Produced by Universal 1440 Entertainment and directed by Ron Yuan, “Blade of the 47 Ronin” is a blood-drenched B-movie shot in Budapest. Fukuyama plays Aya, an onna bugeisha (female warrior) who kicks and fights her way through a modern take on a Japanese tale involving a mission to find a mythical sword that holds great power.

In some ways, the well-worn plotline reads like a fantastical interpretation of Fukuyama’s real-life journey from Japan to her current home in Los Angeles.

Read the full story here.