Bin Furuya strikes his traditional Specium Ray pose at the Ultra One-Man Show. Photo by Brett Homenick.
On Saturday, November 26, I attended the third (and reportedly final) Ultra One-Man Show in Tokyo. Hosted by Ultraman suit actor Bin Furuya, the event is essentially a live variety show that mixes Q&A interviews with musical numbers, video montages, and dramatic readings.
Actor Sandayu Dokumamushi recounts his Ultra-experiences. Photo by Brett Homenick.
The main attraction for the event was the appearance of Ultraman (1966-67) and Ultra Seven (1967-68) cast member Sandayu Dokumamushi, who has made few personal appearances at such events in recent years. As expected, Dokumamushi-san was warmly greeted by the audience, and his jokes often brought down the house.
Ultra-alums Sandayu Dokumamushi (left) and Hiroko Sakurai (right) share a laugh during the event. Photo by Brett Homenick.
Joining Furuya-san and Dokumamushi-san onstage were actress Hiroko Sakurai and Ultra-series director Toshihiro Iijima. The four recalled their memories of working on the original Ultraman, which was most certainly a great way to celebrate the 50th anniversary.
Sandayu Dokumamushi, Hiroko Sakurai, and Toshihiro Iijima at the Ultra One-Man Show. Photo by Brett Homenick.
During the course of the event, Furuya-san made several wardrobe changes. So if you're looking through the photos and are wondering why Furuya is wearing different shirts and jackets, now you know why!
Bin Furuya and Sandayu Dokumamushi celebrate 50 years of Ultraman. Photo by Brett Homenick.
Many other familiar faces were also in attendance. Eiichi Kikuchi, the Ultraman Jack suit actor from Return of Ultraman (1971-72) joined Furuya-san onstage several times. They even staged a mock battle in period clothes, which left the crowd cheering. It's always cool to see these two Ultraman suit actors performing together.
Ultraman Jack suit actor Eiichi Kikuchi. Photo by Brett Homenick.
Of course, what really brings out the cameras are when the two strike the Specium Ray pose. In fact, I think I took a picture of that myself!
Bin Furuya and Eiichi Kikuchi are Ultramen! Photo by Brett Homenick,
I mentioned that the show featured dancing, and that was no exaggeration. Furuya-san joined forces with singer Grace Mika to do a tap dance that was just as good as any old-time Hollywood star could do.
Grace Mika and Bin Furuya cut a rug at the Ultra One-Man Show. Photo by Brett Homenick.
The Ultra One-Man Show had just about everything. There truly was something for everyone. From what I understand, Bin Furuya plans this to be the last one, given that three is a lucky number in Japan. Still, while the Ultra One-Man Show may not return, Bin Furuya most certainly will, and I can't wait to see what his next event will be.
But wait -- there's more! That's right, so much happened at the Ultra One-Man Show that I couldn't possibly fit it all into one blog post. Stay tuned for more details!