As fans of the “Karate Kid” series know, Daniel LaRusso (Ralph Macchio) has his fair share of adversaries. In “The Karate Kid Part II”, for example, the teenager finds an enemy named Chozen Toguchi (Yuji Okumoto) in Okinawa, Japan. Chozen has a problem with the New Jersey native after his uncle Sato (Danny Kamekona) had an argument with Daniel’s beloved mentor, Mr. Miyagi (Pat Morita). Throughout the film, Chozen seems to enjoy bullying the West Valley High School student and eventually challenges him to a fierce karate fight. However, Daniel proves that he has superior martial arts and wins the fight.
Chozen makes an appearance on “Cobra Kai”, season 3, episode 5. While meeting in Okinawa, Japan, Daniel meets his ex-girlfriend Kumiko (Tamlyn Tomita). After spending some time reconnecting, the former couple make their way to a bar. However, they are soon interrupted by Chozen, whom Kumiko secretly invites. the embarrassing scene can be viewed below:
Men no longer speak to each other for a long time. However, Daniel notices Kumiko’s expectant looks and asks if he is married and has children. Chozen briefly informs him that he is neither husband nor father. Daniel then tries to occupy him with a quote from “Seinfeld”, but Chozen is not receptive.
“More of a ‘friends’ type, I guess,” jokes Daniel.
Chozen then aggressively offers them to buy another round of drinks. While the martial artist is at the bar, Daniel asks why Chozen is hanging out with them. When Kumiko replies that she “called” him, the owner of the LaRusso Auto Group is frustrated.
“Did you forget when we fought to the death? This guy tried to kill you and me! ”Says Daniela.
Kumiko reminds him “that was a long time ago” and promises that “Chozen has changed”. After he pushes back, she claims that he and his former rival “have a lot to talk about” and apologizes.
In “Cobra Kai”, Chozen proved that he is no longer a threat, but a devoted karate teacher. During an interview in February 2021 on the podcast “Cobra Kai Companion”, Yuji Okumoto discussed how his character was presented in the spin-off series “Karate Kid”. The actor revealed that Chozen would originally be even less hostile on the show.
“When I got the first script, I had a certain input that I wanted to talk to the writers and makers about. At first I think it was written where it was written, where he was a little better in his life and a kinder guy, ”the actor explained. “But then it gave him no direction to go after. It would just have been very safe. So I still wanted the advantage that Chozen brought with him from “Karate Kid II”. I still needed that part of him because I think we are human, we evolve and grow, but at the same time I think that part of you is still there and I still wanted that feeling of danger with Chozen. I wanted this edge, so when it gets softer, it has this arch. “
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