2004 TV interview

April 30th 2004, again 1st May
- RTL Klub, Fókusz -

A perfectly trained warrior, with the perfect weapon, without the fear of death. The only goal of the samurai is to serve his lord unconditionally. To fulfil this duty he would sacrifice everything and everybody.


The grandson of one of the last warrior samurai, Suzuki Kimiyoshi steps into his home gym. He brings his most precious treasure to show us, but it is only for the eyes. The short sword (wakizashi) was made in the 17th century and was not used in fights, but in ritual suicides called seppuku.

Suzuki Kimiyoshi: 'This sword is approximately 300 years old. My father used to collect these swords, he had many of them. But most of them had been stolen; only one remained.'

Although his pronunciation is not perfect, he spends his days in the close town of Pécs instead of the Land of the Rising Sun. He has been brought here by the blind fate, and held here by a Hungarian woman kept in secret even from us.

This picture was taken more than sixty years ago when Mr Suzuki was still living in the land of his ancients. At the age of six he began to learn the sword fencing style of which his grandfather was a master. When the Emperor wanted to eliminate the order of warriors his grandfather took sword and bow to face the machineguns.

Suzuki Kimiyoshi: 'When he was 19 they fought the soldiers of the Emperor. Nearly everyone died, but he managed to escape to Hokkaido.'

Mr Suzuki is well aware of his grandfather's adventurous life. He says the recent film, "The last samurai" gives a basically genuine insight from many aspects into the sad past. Years after the rebellion of the samurai had been repressed his grandfather opened a school where he taught traditional fencing. In his grandson's opinion, although the samurai no longer exist, the virtue of the samurai lives on in their descendants.

Suzuki Kimiyoshi: 'The thinking, the way of thinking of the samurai has remained [in the people]. This is very interesting.'

Suzuki Kimiyoshi used to be a photo artist. Nowadays he spends his pensioner days in the town of Pécs. He has fit up his life here to be able to remain faithful to the traditions. He keeps practising regularly. The once deadly techniques now serve to calm his soul. The moves of the samurai, like in this style are known only by a few, so Mr Suzuki received students. The first one wanted to learn language from him at the beginning. It was later on when the hidden knowledge of Mr Suzuki was revealed by chance for the Hungarian karate master.

Gyula Tonte: 'He is a very charismatic person. It is not visible on the surface how deep his knowledge is. It is very surprising that - which is a characteristic of the Japanese people - he did not advertise or propagate his knowledge at all. Instead it had to be, literally, pulled out of him and when he saw that we were interested in his knowledge, but only then, he began to open up.'

Since then six years have passed. The students have great respect for the seventy years old master and they listen to him in everything. Mr Suzuki is proud of them in turn and of the fact that by following the traditions of his family he has fulfilled his duty, just like his samurai ancestors.