Mr. Miyagi’s house from the Karate Kid movie franchise was a beautiful, simple residence. The small house was laden with mats, screens, and other authentic Japanese decorations. The backyard featured a spectacular array of lush greenery, koi ponds, statues, and decking that made the yard look like it was a direct transplant from Japan.
Unfortunately, the original house that was used for the Karate Kid movies was torn down in the late 80’s and replaced with a normal home. Though the house is no longer in existence, many fans of the franchise have spent time tracking down the original location and figuring out the exact layout of Mr. Miyagi’s home.
Recently, with the revival of the franchise through Cobra Kai, there is need for Mr. Miyagi’s house for filming again. In an interview with Rolling Stone Ralph Macchio spoke about re-creating the house, and what it is like to be back on the set.
Ralph Macchio Says They Had to Disguise the New Set
In the interview Macchio talks about how the original house was torn down after the first Karate Kid movie. “The house they used in the original Karate Kid film was sold and torn down,” Macchio says. “Then they had to build it on the back lot of what was Columbia Pictures for parts two and three, and it changed a little bit.”
Not having the original house continued to be an issue into the Cobra Kai series. Macchio says that for Cobra Kai “We shoot exteriors in Los Angeles, but a lot of the stuff is shot in Atlanta, so we had to figure out how to pull that off,” he says. “I said, ‘OK, so how do we disguise it not being exactly the house, because it’s not.’ Hey, it’s 30 years. Anything could have happened to it!”
Macchio Says Being on Set Again Was Emotionally Overwhelming
For Macchio, getting back on the set was emotional because many of the original people from The Karate Kid were no longer there with him. “Pat Morita is no longer with us, nor is director John Avildsen and the producer Jerry Weintraub,” he says. “It was emotional because some of my friends that I made that movie with are no longer here. And also, from the get-go when they pitched this idea, I needed to have those moments, the legacy of what Miyagi brought to Danny LaRusso’s life.”
It further evoked emotion because of the role Daniel plays in Cobra Kai, taking on the job of the teacher. He said that he had to come to the realization that life is much different now that over 30 years have gone by. Adopting the role made him realize that “It’s me as someone who is not 18 anymore, or 16 anymore, or 25 or 35 or 45 anymore, saying, “Wow.” It was just a realization of how much time has gone by.”
Where Was the Original House?
The investigation found that the backyard of Mr. Miyagi’s house was actually the front yard of the property, and the crew had set it up strategically for shooting. Apparently “In real life, Mr. Miyagi’s property stretched from Gault to Vose Street. This portion of the house faced Vose Street. Knowing what I now know, I believe it was actually the rear of the residence, although it was made to look like the front in The Karate Kid.”