Yours truly meets (and hugs!) the legendary composer Riichiro Manabe before Akira Ifukube's 99th birthday concert in Tokyo.
At a Grissom Gang dinner, my friend Yasushi and I met several Toho alumni, including veteran kaiju suit builder Keizo Murase.
Also on hand was Toho Studios set photographer Takashi Nakao, whose tokusatsu career at Toho dates back to King Kong vs. Godzilla (1962) and runs through GMK (2001)!
The gregarious suit builder Fuyuki Shinada ate with us fans, too, and he had many cool stories to tell.
Through my friend Aizu Shingo, I was able to meet former child star Yoshinobu Kaneko. Kaneko-san was the boy in King Kong vs. Godzilla who wanted to see Godzilla (and was quickly shut down by his mother). He is much better known for his roles in Watari the Ninja Boy (1966) and Red Shadow (1967).
Tokyo Tower -- nuf sed! All in all, it was a great time, made better by all the friends I saw. Many thanks to everyone who helped make it one for the history books!