In scenes from "Burai: Standing All Alone," a amurai portrayed by Masa Kanome fends off attackers (above) and a geisha performs (below).
In scenes from “Burai: Standing All Alone,” a amurai portrayed by Masa Kanome fends off attackers (above) and a geisha performs (below).

When the curtain rises on “Burai: Standing All Alone” at the Aratani Theatre on Aug. 28, 29, and 30, a live-action stage play will evoke the dramatic style and excitement of classic Japanese samurai films … in English.

For the first time in downtown Los Angeles, the remarkable production will bring powerful sword-fighting scenes staged by Keiya Tabuchi, one of Japan’s leading film and TV stunt choreographers, and a compelling story performed by a cast of 22 skilled actors.

Written and directed by Naoki Fujiyama, “Burai” is an original story set in 19th-century Japan when political power was becoming more centralized, and the samurai class was beginning to disappear.

Masa Kanome stars as Sadatora, an expert swordsman who is forced to become a henchman for the ruthless and ambitious Lord Shigemori. Under orders from Shigemori, Sadataro fights members of the Sugiyama clan one by one as he struggles to retain his inner spirit in this story of family honor, integrity, loyalty, and revenge.

Ultimately, each man finds himself alone and must choose his own destiny.

The play, which was previewed last year in a small West Los Angeles playhouse, has been remounted to open the production up to new audiences and take advantage of the Aratani’s state-of-the-art amenities.

burai2Little Tokyo Business Association (LTBA) presents “Burai” in collaboration with the Japanese American Cultural and Community Center (JACCC) and Burai Productions. Proceeds will benefit JACCC’s educational mission and LTBA’s program to keep Little Tokyo clean and safe.

The schedule for the limited engagement is as follows:

– Friday, Aug. 28, at 8 p.m.
– Saturday, Aug. 29, at 8 p.m.
– Sunday, Aug. 30, at 2 p.m.

Aratani Theatre is located at 244 S. San Pedro St. in Little Tokyo. Parking is available nearby at the Sho Tokyo Garage, 350 E. Second St. For the best seats, reserve early.

Tickets are $35 and $25. Discounts are available for groups of 10 or more and for JACCC members, Little Tokyo BID stakeholders and LTBA members. For reservations, visit or go to

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