Sunday, June 26, 2016

SHOWA HERO EVENT REUNITES TV STARS! The Action Was Fierce in Nakano!

Actors Tatsuya Nanjo, Emi Hayakawa, and Makoto Shimotsuka pose for pictures. Photo by Brett Homenick.

Today I attended an event at the Nakano Sun Plaza that saw three heroes from Japanese TV under the same roof. The three stars were Tatsuya Nanjo, Emi Hayakawa, and Makoto Shimotsuka.

Emi Hayakawa played Bellestar in the Toei series The Kagestar (1976). She also made appearances in Kamen Rider (1971-73), Kamen Rider V3 (1973-74), Ultraman Leo (1974-75), Fight! Dragon (1974), among many others. She is also notable for her role in the Toei actioner Sister Street Fighter (1974). Hayakawa-san is the wife of tokusatsu star Naoya Makoto (Fireman, Himitsu Sentai Goranger).

Makoto Shimotsuka has appeared in numerous films, among them are Toho's Zero Pilot (1976), Human Revolution II (1976), and Toei's The Terrifying Revelations of Nostradamus (a.k.a. Nostradamus, 1994). However, his biggest credit for tokusatsu fans is Super Robot Mach Baron (1974-75), in which he played Yo Arashida, the pilot of the titular robot.

Tatsuya Nanjo acted in many Toei films during the 1970s, including Sister Street Fighter, but the reason he was being feted at this event was because of his starring roles as Hayate in Henshin Ninja Arashi (1972-73) and Go Takigawa in Tetsujin Tiger Seven (1973-74).

Sharing a smile with Makoto Shimotsuka.

The guests began by hosting a joint Q&A about their careers. Many funny anecdotes were told that had the audience rolling. After the interview session was completed, attendees could get autographs signed and take pictures with the guests.

Meeting Emi Hayakawa. 

Surprisingly, when I met Nanjo-san, he spoke English quite well. He asked me where I was from, and when I said California, he talked about sightseeing in the Mountain West. While he's never been to California, he's visited several neighboring states. I enjoyed my interactions with all three guests, but being able to speak directly and in detail with Nanjo-san was certainly the highlight for me.

Posing with Tatsuya Nanjo.

Many thanks once again go out to Ms. Kojima for hosting the event. Everyone who attended was more than satisfied. The fan gathering also gave me the opportunity to catch up with several of my friends who also attended. All of us enjoyed our time and eagerly look forward to the next event.

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