Sunday, December 1, 2019

Celebrating the End of the Year, the Toho Way!

Teruyoshi Nakano (left) and Takashi Naganuma. Photo by Brett Homenick.

Tonight, I was pivileged to attend an end-of-the-year party with three great Toho alums: Teruyoshi Nakano, Sadao Iizuka, and Takashi Naganuma. The year certainly zipped by in a flash, but at least its end could be celebrated in style.

 Sadao Iizuka blows out the candles on his birthday cake. Photo by Brett Homenick.

The festivities also served as an early birthday party Sadao Iizuka, who celebrates his birthday later this month. Iizuka-san turn will turn a spry 85 years old.

Teruyoshi Nakano. Photo by Brett Homenick.

As always, it was a blast hanging out with Nakano-san and Naganuma-san. The banter was mostly light-hearted and full of humor.

Iizuka-san brought a Message from Space scrapbook with him (after leaving Toho, he worked on many Toei projects), and I saw many behind-the-scenes shots of the film I'd never seen before. After browsing the photos, I asked Iizuka-san what Vic Morrow (the American star of Message from Space) was like.

Sadao Iizuka. Photo by Brett Homenick.

He replied that Morrow was a very kind person. Every day, he would tell all the crew members, "See you tomorrow!" Iizuka-san got the impression that American actors were thoughtful with movie crews (whereas some Japanese actors are not).

Iizuka-san had no idea who Vic Morrow was at the time. Naturally, Morrow spoke no Japanese, and all communication was done through translators.

And that's a wrap! The year isn't quite over yet, but this certainly helped get all of us in a celebratory mood. Happy New Year!

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