Sunday, October 5, 2014

IN CELEBRATION OF AKIRA TAKARADA! Kaiju Legends Come Out to Honor THE Legend!

When worlds collide! Godzilla star Akira Takarada and Heisei Godzilla suit actor Ken Satsuma meet for the first time! Photo by Brett Homenick.

Sunday, October 5, saw a celebration of Godzilla, Akira Takarada, Akira Ifukube, and just about everything else in the genre take place at Cue Studio in Ueno, Tokyo. Akira Takarada was the guest of honor, but also in attendance were Godzilla suit actor Kenpachiro Satsuma, director and creature creator Tomo Haraguchi, Kyoko Ifukube (Maestro Ifukube's daughter), and artist Yuji Kaida.

Everyone in attendance (including the other special guests!) each got a chance to speak with Takarada-san on the microphone. It was quite a sight to see Godzilla (and Hedorah and Gigan!) speak with Takarada-san!

Tomo Haraguchi also offered his praise for Takarada-san. I was pleased to see two giants of the Heisei kaiju universe pay tribute to one of the greatest figures from the Showa era.

The obligatory buddy shot! After getting some things signed, it was picture time! I should mention that when it was my turn to speak, I presented Takarada-san with a poster for Salaryman Chushingura (1960), in which he was one of the stars. He was delighted to receive it!

While it was my first time to meet Haraguchi-san, I've briefly met Satsuma-san at Super Festival. I got to communicate with Satsuma-san a bit more through our mutual friend Tsuyuki. Satsuma-san was his usual gregarious self!

Even Kyoko Ifukube wanted an autograph from Takarada-san! The great composer's daughter was very excited to get this lovely shikishi board signed by the Godzilla series' biggest star.

And that's a wrap! What a great event! I was taken by surprise by all the additional guests. Truth be known, I thought Takarada-san would be the only guest, so the addition of so many bonus guests was the icing on the cake!

The highlights for me were catching up with Takarada-san and getting to know Satsuma-san much better. This event far exceeded my expectations, and I had a wonderful time. I eagerly await the next one!

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