BURBANK — Gerald Okamura Day will be celebrated on Saturday, Nov. 4, from 4 to 7 p.m at the Martial Arts Museum, 2319 W. Magnolia Blvd. in Burbank.
“At 4 p.m., we honor a true pioneer of the martial arts. A man who has changed the world, a museum Hall of Famer and an actor spanning over 40 years in the entertainment industry,” the museum said in a statement.
“At 5:30 pm, we will show a 40-minute screening of a wonderful biography film directed by William Chris Ford focusing on the life of Gerald Okamura. This is a rare treat.”
Born in Hilo, Hawaii in 1940, Okamura started martial arts with judo in 1953. He has practiced kendo, aikido and taekwondo, and is currently a fifth-degree black belt in kung fu san soo. He is a designer of various types of weaponry that have been featured in dozens of movies and publications across the world.
In his first TV role, he was cast as a Shaolin monk alongside David Carradine in the 1970s TV series “Kung Fu.” His first movie role was with James Caan, Bo Hopkins and Burt Young in “The Killer Elite” (1975). A veteran actor with a 40-year career in the entertainment industry, he has played an assortment of characters ranging from yakuza to vampires, to bad Elvis impersonators.
His TV credits include “Matt Houston,” “Falcon Crest,” “Mighty Morphin Power Rangers,” and “Kickin’ It.” His movie credits include “Charlie Chan and the Curse of the Dragon Queen,” “Sword of Heaven,” “Big Trouble in Little China,” “Ninja Academy,” “Showdown in Little Tokyo,” “Samurai Cop,” “American Streetfighter,” “Shadow of the Dragon,” “Hot Shots! Part Deux,” “Mortal Kombat,” “Day of the Warrior,” “Blade,” “G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra,” “Samurai Cop 2,” and “Dragon to Dragon” (currently filming).
The cost is $15. The first 40 to enter the museum will receive a free Okamura T-shirt.