Actress Minako Katsuki. Photo by Brett Homenick.
Tonight, I enjoyed an evening with former Nikkatsu actress Minako Kazuki (a.k.a. Minako Katsuki), who's best known for her roles in the crime actioners Youth of the Beast (1963) and Cruel Gun Story (1964). However, her career at Nikkatsu dates back to the mid-1950s with films like Shohei Imamura's Stolen Desire (1958), co-starring the great Shinichi Yanagisawa.
It was quite enjoyable to speak with her, even though (as usual in these situations) the conversation was limited. She was extremely friendly and seemed intrigued that an American was interested in her career. I had her sign my Criterion DVD of Cruel Gun Story. (She was a bit surprised that it had an official U.S. release.)
On the way home, I happened to board the same train car as Kazuki-san and her entourage (even though they had a big head start on me!). We were able to continue the conversation on the train, and she even taught me a little Japanese! Who says it's never fun to learn? Kazuki-san hasn't seen Shin Godzilla, and she'd never heard of her studio's most famous alumnus around the world (namely Gappa). Suffice it to say, it was a lot of fun to spend so much time in her company.