Nakano-san tries on his new birthday present at the Grissom Gang's movie theater in Kawasaki, Kanagawa.
The event began with a series of trailers, including the coming attractions for Godzilla 1985 (yes, the American version), Godzilla '98 (no "GINO" references, please), and Godzilla 2000 (the American version again). Following that, Ghidrah the Three-Headed Monster played to an appreciative audience.
My friend Yasushi gets an autograph from Nakano-san.
After the interview wrapped, it was off to a nearby sauna, which has become a tradition for Nakano-san's birthday events at the Grissom Gang. There each attendee gets to wash the back of Mr. Nakano before he enters the water. To say the least, it was an interesting experience! I've been to more than one onsen in Japan, so I'm familiar with the routine, and the initial "shock" has all but worn off.
At the time, I asked Mr. Nakano if he had ever had his back washed by a foreigner, which he hadn't. During dinner, he revealed that he actually felt quite honored that I, a foreigner from a different culture, would show him such respect. He said it would be a memory he'd take with him to heaven. I didn't know what to say. I was speechless.
Meeting Jim Ballard and J.R. Lipartito of Gaijin Channel.
Teruyoshi Nakano recounts one of many stories during dinner.
This was only the beginning of an eventful weekend, but it was a tremendous kickoff. My sincerest thanks to Teruyoshi Nakano and the Grissom Gang for their generosity and hospitality!
Yours truly and Nakano-san at Shimo-Kitazawa Station.