Toho actor Hiroshi Koizumi, signing autographs at a Grissom Gang event, in June 2012. Photo by Brett Homenick.
I sat next to Koizumi-san during the screening, and when it was finished, our group went to dinner. Suffice it to say, it was a memorable evening.
The following time was in September 2013 at Super Festival. Koizumi-san and Akira Kubo were guests at the event, and after their interview session was completed, I approached the guests in the autograph line and (thanks to my friend Yasushi) was able to have a conversation with both gentlemen.
While I interviewed Koizumi-san by correspondence in 2009, it was a brief interview, and I felt strongly that his entire film career (and not just the usual monster films) should be documented in English. Koizumi-san agreed to the interview, but I'll always regret never getting the opportunity to conduct it.
Speaking of the interview, it was done for G-FAN, a copy of the magazine was mailed to Koizumi-san's office so that he could be photographed holding it to illustrate the article. The picture was taken by Koizumi-san's agent and sent to us. What truly surprised me, however, was several years later seeing a very similar photo being used on the agency's Web site! To put it mildly, I was honored. A screen cap of the site is below.
Koizumi-san was a warm and friendly gentleman, as many Japanese actors from the old school are. Whenever I saw him interacting with his fans, he was always welcoming. I'll remember him that way.
Thank you for the memories, Koizumi-san, on and off the screen. Please rest in peace.