Yamada: The Samurai of Ayothaya (2010)
Yamada: The Samurai of Ayothaya is a 2010 heartwarming Thai film about a Japanese samurai who is attacked by other traitorous samurais but is saved by Muay Thai warriors and nursed back to health in the province of Ayothaya.
The film is directed by Norpon Watin and stars a number of renowned Muay Thai fighters including Buakaw Por. Pramuk, Saenchai Sor. Kingstar, Yodsanklai Fairtex, and Anuwat Kaewsamrit with the main cast.
The main character is based on the real life exploits of Yamada Namagasa; a Japanese adventurer who rose to ranks of a governor in the Siamese province of Ayothaya, and stars Japanese actor Seigi Ozeki as Yamada.
Ozeki got Thai audience’s attention in his portrayal of a Japanese Imperial army solider falling in love with a Thai woman in World War II on the stage musical of Khu Kham.
Yamada: The Samurai of Ayothaya is also known as Way of the Samurai or Muay Thai Warrior commemorates the 124th anniversary of Japanese-Thailand relations and focuses on the exchange of ideas, culture and friendship.
While the main attraction is the martial arts, the film also introduces Yamada, and subsequently the audience, to Thai culture. In the film, our protagonist is nursed back to health with traditional medicine and becomes accustomed to the Thai way of life.
He also falls in love with the lead female and that relationship is expressed by Yamada swearing to protect the province with his life.
The fight scenes are brutal and bloody but represent the authentic brutality of Muay Thai’s history. Fortunately, we are also presented with the philosophy of the art with Sir Monk becoming our main teacher (including Yamada’s).