Michael Matsuda has come home. He’s already moved in all his stuff — most of which has pointy edges and can hurt you if you even look at it wrong.
Touring his “house,” you see what fuels his passion for all things martial arts. And while the stars of the show at the new Martial Arts History Museum on Magnolia Boulevard are the weapons from around the world, Matsuda is here to tell a much bigger story.
When I visited the museum on a recent Saturday afternoon, I expected to find homages to Bruce Lee, the Kung Fu television series, and the many other Hollywood influences that helped bring the martial arts to the Western world. While there’s plenty of memorabilia to appease casual fans and movie buffs, I found an unexpected education in the evolution of Asian and South Pacific cultures.
The museum isn’t about fighting — it’s not even mostly about fighting. In the small converted office space that still smells of fresh paint, Matsuda is presenting a history lesson with the panache of an experienced marketer and the thoughtful care of a curator.