Tuesday, July 21, 2015


Ultraman Ace actor Mitsuhiro Sano poses with his famous co-star at his bar in Shinjuku. Photo by Brett Homenick. 

Tonight I paid a visit to a bar in Shinjuku's Kabukicho district called Poppo. What makes this particular bar stand out from the countless others in the area is that it is owned and operated by Mitsuhiro Sano, who played Terrible Monster Attacking Crew (TAC) member Kozo Yoshimura on Tsuburaya Productions' Ultraman Ace (1972-73). Sano-san also appeared in Tsuburaya's TV series Star Wolf (1978), as well as Toei's Kamen Rider Ryuki (2002-03) and Kamen Rider Decade (2009).

Yours truly with Sano-san, enjoying a great evening in his bar.

At first, Sano-san had no idea that I was an Ultraman fan and that I might have known who he was. Suffice it to say, he was quite surprised when he found out I wasn't just some random customer! I told him that I saw him at Bin Furuya's recent birthday celebration, which is the first inkling I had that Sano-san might be accessible to Ultra-fans. After receiving a helpful tip from a friend, I was able to locate his bar in Kabukicho.

Some Ultra-related toys on display in the bar. Photo by Brett Homenick.

Aside from some casual conversations wth Sano-san (with an assist from a helpful bar patron), I sang karaoke as Sano-san played bongo drums in accompaniment. So, the next time you watch Ultraman Ace, remember that TAC member Kozo Yoshimura has heard me sing "Uptown Girl" by Billy Joel and "Karma Chameleon" by Culture Club!

Thank you again very much for the great evening, Sano-san! See you again soon!

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