European buyers have snapped up Japanese samurai action feature Azumi.

Buyers include CTV in France, Optimum Releasing in the UK, Manga Films in Spain, Lusomundo in Portugal, A Films in Benelux, Laser Paradise in Germany and Smile/Noble Entertainment in Scandinavia. The film has also been popular among Asian buyers and has sold to Intercontinental in HK and Mongkol Cinema in Thailand.

Azumi is is the story of female warrior Azumi who fights with a Shogun for the right to rule in 17th-century Japan. Starring Japan's hottest actress, Aya Ueto, it features scenes of her battling 200 swordsmen.

Distributed by Toho, the film was released in Japan in May 2003 and generated $7.6m (Y800m) at the local box office.

Directed by Ryuhei Kitamura, who made his breakthrough in 2000 with martial arts fantasy Versus, the $5.7m Azumi was financed by a consortium of backers including Toho, Nippon Herald, Tokyo Broadcasting, Amuse Pictures, Dentsu, Shogakukan, Sedic International and Pony Canyon.

The film's sequel, Azumi Revolution (Volume II) started shooting in Japan last week. Ryuhei Kitamura and Aya Ueto are both on board the sequel.

Toronto based Bogeydom Licensing is handling world sales.