For linking Japanese and Filipino cultures with their short visit to Manila last August 6, an intimate ceremony was held at the Fairmont, Makati to honor director Keishi Otomo and actors Takeru Sato (Himura Kenshin), Emi Takei (Kamiya Kaoru) and Munetaka Aoiki (Sagara Sanosuke) of the world-renowned Japanese film “Rurouni Kenshin.”
They were appointed “Cultural Friendship Ambassadors” to the Philippines by the Makati City Council on Thursday, August 7.
Takeru Sato, the actor who plays Kenshin Himura in the hit Japanese film gave a short speech expressing how truly happy and joyful he is that they were able to bring their movie to the Philippines saying: "I am lost for words with the warm and really passionate reception we received from the Filipino fans and community," expressing this in the most sincere gensture. "I am truly surprised that this is the first time that a Japanese movie has done this kind of event in the Philippines and I hope that we will be able to bring more and more Japanese movies to the Philippines which can be seen by many Filipinos," he added.
On the other hand, director Keishi Otomo caused the media to crack up by sharing “We were welcomed by everyone so warmly, with that we were able to celebrate with a little alcohol last night, I hope [our] friendship between the Philippines and Japan will continue. Please support and enjoy our movie.”
The 30-minute program included an exchange of gifts, as the cultural friendship ambassadors were presented with locally woven shawls given by the Warner Bros Philippines General Manager Francis Soliven.
In his usual charming manner, Takeru excitedly opened his present and tried on the shawl, even complemented the color and beauty of it. They in turn presented the officials with yukatas, an "outfit" worn by Japanese in the summer while Takei said she would open hers in her hotel room.
Following the program, the Japanese celebrities were shown a public utility vehicle themed with a Rurouni Kenshin.
To see more photos from the ceremony, click HERE