Monday, October 21, 2019

Ghostbusters in the Park!

Ghostbusters in the Park. Photo by Brett Homenick.

Here's something I discovered quite by accident. Ginza Sony Park is hosting a special exhibition related to the Ghostbusters franchise that runs until December 8. The most interesting display was that of a few screen-used props from the 2016 Ghostbusters reboot (the photos of which are below). The power of Patty compels you to look at them.




Dude, it's Holtzmann's glasses! Photo by Brett Homenick. 





Watch Out for Godzilla at Wako!


As part of the King of the Monsters' 65th anniversary (as well as the 20th anniversary of the creation of its Spring Drive technology), Grand Seiko has recently announced its Godzilla 65th anniversary limited-edition watch. It's certainly a nice-looking watch, but at a reported 1.3 million yen, I'll have to take a pass. The watch is set for release on November 9 in Japan.

What's really cool, however, is this promotional Godzilla head in the storefront of Wako. Best of all, it's totally free to see. Take a look.





Lupin III's Crime Against Godzilla!

Uh-oh! Lupin III is up to his old tricks again! Photo by Brett Homenick.

While in Hibiya last night, I spotted an amusing promotional tie-in for the upcoming Lupin III: The First movie (co-directed by Takashi Yamazaki) that will hit theaters in Japan on December 6. It seems no one is safe from the master thief -- not even Godzilla!



Out and About in Hibiya and Ginza


Last night, I was out and about in Hibiya and Ginza, and while I was there, I took some shots of sights that ought to be familiar to readers of this blog. It's all pretty self-explanatory by this point, so I'll let the photos do the talking. Enjoy!













Wednesday, October 16, 2019

Meeting a Legendary Japanese Cut-Up!

 Noriro Niiyama. Photo by Brett Homenick.

On October 15, I was able to meet comedian Noriro Niiyama. Niiyama-san (real name: Norio Watanabe) was born on January 1, 1936, and formed a manzai comedy team with his partner Toriro Niiyama (real name: Eiji Yokozawa) in 1958. The act eventually broke up in 1985. 


Noriro Niiyama appeared in several films along the way, particularly Nikkatsu comedies in the late 1960s. These include The Invincible One (1967), starring Akira Kobayashi and co-written by Fumio Ishimori, as well as The Wedding Salesman (1968). It was certainly a joy to meet Niiyama-san, and I hope to get a chance to do so again in the future.

Another Jazzy Night with Yanagisawa-san!

Shinichi Yanagisawa. Photo by Brett Homenick.

Last night, October 15, I went to Asakusa to see Yanagisawa-san perform live jazz. This time marked five straight years of attending the performances, never having missed one of them.


It was an enjoyable show, as usual, and I got to speak with a couple of familiar faces who usually attend the show, too.

Happy Birthday, Teruyoshi Nakano!

Teruyoshi Nakano blows out the candles on his birthday cake. Photo by Brett Homenick.

On Sunday night, October 13, I attended a special birthday celebration of legendary Toho SFX director Teruyoshi Nakano, who turned 84 on October 9. 

Teruyoshi Nakano wearing a familiar-looking hat. Photo by Brett Homenick.

One party-goer brought a replica hat of the type that Nakano-san used to wear on the sets of his SFX films. I learned that he wore the hat during dangerous shots as a kind of protection against whatever might come falling his way.

Nakano-san with Takashi Naganuma. Photo by Brett Homenick.

Toho SFX staff member Takashi Naganuma was also on hand for the festivities. It was quite enjoyable chatting with both gentlemen.


And that's about it. It was a cool evening with a giant of the Godzilla series. I look forward to many more such birthday celebrations!

Monday, October 7, 2019

TV Asahi in Roppongi!


While out and about in Roppongi on Sunday, I made a visit to the TV Asahi building there. Here's a sample of what I saw. Enjoy!




SHOWA HEROES ASSEMBLE! Kikaider and Moonlight Mask Join Forces in Tokyo!

Daisuke Ban (left) poses with fellow TV hero Koichi Ose. Photo by Brett Homenick.

On Sunday morning, October 6, I headed to Nakano, Tokyo, for a special event headlined by two of television's greatest heroes: Daisuke Ban and Koichi Ose. 

Koichi Ose. Photo by Brett Homenick. 

Ose-san starred in Moonlight Mask (1958-59) as the titular hero. He later starred in another Senkosha-produced series called The Samurai (1962-65) as the heroic Shintaro Akikusa, the samurai of the program's title

Daisuke Ban. Photo by Brett Homenick.

Ban-san starred in Kikaider (1972-73) and Inazuman (1974) and went on to play Battle Cossack in Battle Fever J (1979-80).


It's also worth noting that both heroes have strong international followings. Kikaider was a big hit in Hawaii and still has a sizable fandom to this day. In Australia, The Samurai is still remembered well by many fans. In recent years, both Ban-san and Ose-san have made trips there to meet their respective fan bases.


I was especially pleased that Ose-san remembered me, as I'd met him two times before. All I know is, when I get to be his age, I hope I look half as good as he does.