The restauarant Asian Taipei, located in Chofu, Tokyo, hosted an impressive Godzilla vs. Gigan (1972) reunion that attracted several notable tokusatsu figures as attendees. The guests at the reunion were Yuriko Hishimi (who plays the karate-kicking Tomoko Tomoe), Hiroshi Ishikawa (who stars as cartoonist Gengo Kotaka), legendary suit actor Haruo Nakajima (who plays Godzilla), and SFX director Teruyoshi Nakano.
The event brought a few notable names who would otherwise be featured guests at such a signing, but they simply came as fans themselves. Millennium series director Masaaki Tezuka (Godzilla vs. Megaguirus, Godzilla against Mechagodzilla, and Godzilla: Tokyo S.O.S.) was among the attendees.
Also on hand were expert model maker Hiroshi Sagae (the Heisei Gamera series) and former child actor Sojiro Uchino (Ultra Q, Ultraman, Kaiju Booska, and Gamera vs. Viras).
Haruo Nakajima was revered by the audience and spoke about his many kaiju memories. Speaking of Nakajima-san, many prizes were given away to attendees. The last such prize was a signed paperback copy of Nakajima-san's autobiography. As it turned out, I was the lucky winner! Interestingly, I had held off on buying a copy of Nakajima-san's book, feeling I'd eventually be able to get a signed copy in such a situation. Luckily, my waiting paid off in the end.
It was quite a treat to see actors Hishimi-san and Ishikawa-san reunited and interacting with each other. They seemed to get along very well, and I have to wonder if this pairing will be featured at future events in Tokyo. I guess we'll have to wait and see.
Teruyoshi Nakano lent his SFX expertise to the proceedings, and he discussed the more technical side of the film. He and Nakajima-san had great chemistry together and spoke about the old days very fondly.
I just had to get a photo of this: Gengo helping Godzilla speak to the crowd!
As you can see, it was a night of fun and friends. Not only did I leave with a signed copy of Nakajima-san's autobiography, but I also got a Blu-ray of Godzilla vs. Gigan signed by all four guests, as well as a shikishi board signed by all four. Not a bad haul!
On to the next events!