Sunday, September 13, 2015


Koji Moritsugu and Hiroko Sakurai talk to the audience about the Ultra-memories. Photo by Brett Homenick.

On Saturday, September 12, I traveled to Fujisawa in Kanagawa Prefecture to attend a talk show event hosted at Joli Chapeau. Actor Koji Moritsugu (Ultra Seven's Dan Moroboshi) and actress Hiroko Sakurai (Ultra Q's Yuriko Edogawa and Ultraman's Akiko Fuji) were scheduled to sign autographs and meet their fans at a special event with limited attendance.

Koji Moritsugu remains one of the most popular alumni from the entire Ultra-series. Photo by Brett Homenick.

Actors from Ultraman (1966-67) and Ultra Seven (1967-68) tend to be the most popular from the decades-long series among Japanese fans, and it is always a treat when actors from the two shows share the stage. It also means it's usually difficult to see, as tickets for such events sell out extremely quickly.

Actress Hiroko Sakurai was in great spirits, often laughing with Moritsugu-san. Photo by Brett Homenick.

The event started with autograph signings, and it's always interesting to see the memorabilia that Japanese fans bring to get signed. I brought in my trusty The Genesis of Ultraman 1966-1980 book for both guests to sign. Moritsugu-san signed another page of the book (he signed it elsewhere last month), and Sakurai-san added her signature to it.

Coming to the rescue! Photo by Brett Homenick.

I also asked Sakurai-san to sign my DVD sleeve of the Toho comedy Aloha 3 Gents (1963), directed by Shue Matsubayashi. Along with Machiko Naka (Godzilla's Revenge), Sakurai-san plays one of Hisaya Morishige's daughters. Sakurai-san was quite surprised to see the DVD sleeve and commented on how nostalgic it made her feel.

After that, the guests sat down and had a free-flowing conversation. They compared it to manzai, a two-person form of Japanese comedy, and after seeing it, that's not a bad description at all! Sakurai-san could not keep a straight face, as she was laughing most of the time. Moritsugu-san is quite a jokester, and he kept Sakurai-san in stitches.

Once the two guests had finished their interview, it was time for pictures to be taken. If you thought I was kidding about Moritsugu-san's comedic antics, well, just look at the photo below. I think a picture really is worth a thousand words!

Overall, I had a fantastic time. Moritsugu-san is always a blast to hang out with, and Sakurai-san is always a joy to see. As usual, more cool things are in the works, so keep it here for all the inside info!

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