Sunday, July 30, 2017

ULTRA-HEROES, UNITE! A Great Gathering of Tsuburaya Veterans!

 Director Kazuho Mitsuta (left) and actor Bin Furuya (right). Photo by Brett Homenick.

Following the Masaru Sato concert, I switched gears and joined an event with more of a focus on Tsuburaya Productions. Although there was certainly a Toho connection, this event was, well, Ultra-good! 

Actor Yasuhiko Saijo gives a thumbs-up! Photo by Brett Homenick.

One of the guests on hand was Yasuhiko Saijo, whose best-known role was that of Ippei Togawa on Ultra Q (1966). However, Saijo-san can also be seen in such Toho genre classics as Secret of the Telegian (1960), Gorath (1962), Frankenstein Conquers the World (1965), War of the Gargantuas (1966), Son of Godzilla (1967), and Destroy All Monsters (1968). 

Director Kazuho Mitsuta. Photo by Brett Homenick.

It was my first time to meet veteran Tsuburaya Productions director and producer Kazuho Mitsuta. Mitsuta-san has directed episodes of Ultra Q, Ultraman (1966-67), Ultra Seven (1967-68), Kaiju Booska (1966-67), Mighty Jack (1968), Fight! Mighty Jack (1968), Operation: Mystery! (1968-69), Mirrorman (1971-72), Ultraman Ace (1972-73), Horror Theater Unbalance (1973), Dinosaur War Izenborg (1977-78), and Ultraman 80 (1980-81), among many other credits. 

As you can imagine, it was fun just to hang out...

... until we saw a monster!

Seriously, it was a great time. I enjoyed catching up with Saijo-san. (It had been too long!) Even though Mitsuta-san turns 80 this August, he certainly seemed in great shape to me. In fact, he attended Bin Furuya's birthday celebration in Okinawa, so that ought to tell you something!

To top everything off, Bin Furuya (Ultraman himself) made a surprise visit. It's always a joy to hang out with Furuya-san, so his appearance elevated the proceedings to the next level. Many thanks to everyone for the great evening!

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