Saturday, October 10, 2015

AND THEY SAY HE'S FROM BOURBON STREET! Ultraman Suit Actor Bin Furuya Throws a Tokyo Bourbon Party!

Ultraman suit actor Bin Furuya addresses the gathered audience at the Brown Horse in Harajuku. Photo by Brett Homenick.

On Saturday, October 10, Ultraman suit actor Bin Furuya hosted a bourbon party at the Brown Horse in Harajuku, Tokyo, with an after party held at a Japanese restaurant in Naka-Meguro. Given that I usually work on Saturdays, I had to miss the first couple of hours of the shindig, and by the time I arrived, attendees were starting to make arrangements to attend the after party. Despite that, I enjoyed the evening immensely.

Astro Boy voice actress Mari Shimizu (left) poses with Barom-1 star Hiroyuki Takano (right). Photo by Brett Homenick.

In attendance were two celebrity guests: Mari Shimizu, the original voice actress who played the titular character in Astro Boy (1963-66), and Hiroyuki Takano, a former child actor who starred in the Toei tokusatsu series Barom-1 (1972) and guest-starred in episode 45 of Ultra Seven (1967-68), among other movie and TV roles.

I've met Shmizu-san several times at events over the years, and it's always great to catch up with her. She's still as energetic and lively as ever, and even when events were winding down late at night, she showed absolutely no signs of slowing down. When I get to be her age, I hope I have half her energy!

I had only met Takano-san once before, but he remembered me, and he tried out his English with me. (It's better than my Japanese, that's for sure!) Even though Takano-san is not so well known in the West, his career as a grownup and child actor touches many of the TV series that American tokusatsu fans are interested in, such as Ultraman Tiga (1996-97), Return of Ultraman (1971-72), Spectreman (1971-72) -- the list goes on!

Aside from the guests, I was saw many familiar faces who usually attend these events, and I even met new friends. Many interesting discussions were held, primarily about future events.

As always, Furuya-san was a total gentleman. I look forward to meeting him every chance I get. He went out of his way to make sure I had what I needed last night, and for that I am extremely grateful.

For a teetotaler like me, a bourbon party would be about the last place you'd find me. But if Bin Furuya is there, then there's no question that I'll show up, too. He's the real deal. In fact, he's Ultraman!

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