Masako Izumi. Photo by Brett Homenick.
Tonight, I had a very pleasant evening in the company of former Nikkatsu actress Masako Izumi. It seems to be a yearly shindig that a lot of fellow fans also look forward to.
Izumi-san (born in 1947) began her acting career in 1958 and quickly became a star when she signed with Nikkatsu Studios in the early 1960s. At Nikkatsu, she starred in such films as Toshio Masuda's tragic World War II drama Monument to the Girls' Corps (1968) and Seijun Suzuki's Tattooed Life (1965).
A very interesting story that Izumi-san shared is that she was offered a part in the movie Sanjuro (1962) personally by Akira Kurosawa. However, she had just signed with Nikkatsu Studios at the time, so she couldn't join Kurosawa's production. The part she was offered ended up going to Toho actress Reiko Dan.
Another fun story is that Izumi-san watched some of the monster scenes in Gappa the Triphibian Monster (1967) being filmed at Nikkatsu. It was her first time to see the production side of tokusatsu in person, so it left quite an impression on her.
She's also a big fan of Peter, Paul and Mary, but hey, who isn't?
Suffice it to say, it was great to see Izumi-san again after another year. I hope to see her again before next February!