Japan’s Sengoku period was, in many ways, the archetypical era of the samurai. During its roughly 150 years, Japan’s most storied warriors clashed with one another in a dramatic struggle to unify the country.
But while the Sengoku period ended some four centuries ago, it was only last week that Tokyo saw the opening of Samurai, which bills itself as the “Sengoku photo studio.”
Upon arriving at Samurai, located in the Yoyogi neighborhood, customers shed their modern garb and change into suits of samurai armor. Since many Japanese history buffs have an individual warlord they feel a particular affinity for, the sets are modeled after the iconic battlefield outfits of warlords including Oda Nobunaga, Tokugawa Ieyasu, and Sanada Yukimura.
There’s also a selection of swords, since a proper samurai takes care of both the offensive and defensive aspects of battle.
Now, we realize there’s a chance that not all of our readers were instructed in the art of the sword from an early age. Never fear, because the photographers are prepared to help give you the body language of a samurai, thanks to a repertoire of poses created under the supervision of Tetsuro Shimaguchi, the fight scene choreographer for Quentin Tarantino’s Kill Bill.
An awesome pose, though, also needs an awesome setting. After taking your photos, Samurai’s staff can then insert your image into a variety of backdrops.
▼ This service is especially handy if your horse happens to be in the vet or captured by enemy forces on the day of your appointment.
In addition to the photo data and standard-sized prints, Samurai can also put the finished image on items including posters, T-shirts, and coffee mugs. Individual packages start at 12,800 yen (US$122), but coming in a group of three earns you a discount with a per-person rate of just 8,800 yen. Reservations can be made online here, with slots available between 10 a.m. and 6 p.m. any day of the week.
Photo studio information
Sengoku Photo Studio Samurai / 戦国フォトスタジオSAMURAI
Address: Tokyo-to, Shibuya-ku, Yoyogi 3-35-10, Yoyogi Ocean Building, 3rd floor