Teaching Students About Andrew Koji
Andrew Koji is a British actor and martial artist who has gained significant recognition for his role as Ah Sahm in the television series Warrior. This article will provide educators with the necessary resources and guidance to teach students about Koji’s life, career, and achievements while also engaging them in thought-provoking classroom discussions.
Early Life and Background
Begin by providing students with a brief overview of Koji’s early life and background. Born on November 19, 1987, in Epsom, England, Koji grew up in a mixed-race family with his English mother and Japanese father. Discuss with students the concept of cultural identity and how growing up in a mixed-race environment may have impacted Koji.
Growing up, Koji gravitated towards martial arts and theatre, eventually training in various disciplines such as karate, kung fu, wing chun, jiu-jitsu, and others. Encourage students to consider how Koji’s passion for martial arts may have influenced his career choices later in life.
Introduce students to Andrew Koji’s career progression from his early years doing theatre work and minor roles in television series, to his breakout role in Warrior. Provide examples of other media projects that he has been involved in. Some notable works include the television series Call the Midwife (2012-2014), The Innocents (2018), The Girl Before (2021), and most recently, Bullet Train (2022).
Have your students watch clips or episodes from some of these productions to assess Koji’s acting skills and versatility as an actor. Discuss with students the diversity of characters he has portrayed over the years.
Breaking Cultural Stereotypes
A central theme to discuss when teaching about Andrew Koji is how his work pushes against cultural and racial stereotypes often seen in Hollywood. Educators should present examples of the stereotypical Asian character and discuss with the students how Koji’s role in Warrior defies these expectations.
In Warrior, Koji was cast as Ah Sahm, an Asian American protagonist whose character goes beyond the traditional martial artist archetype. Encourage students to discuss how this portrayal contributes to positive representation for Asian actors in the industry.
Philanthropy and Activism
As a successful actor, Koji has used his platform to spark change and values the importance of humanitarian efforts. Engage students in discussions about Koji’s activism, such as raising awareness for anti-Asian racism and supporting charitable organizations like Samaritans Purse or The Salvation Army.