With Anna Nakagawa, immediately after our interview for G-FAN magazine in February 2012.
Like all other Godzilla fans, I was shocked to learn of the recent passing of actress Anna Nakagawa at the age of 49. Cancer has taken her life, but her spirit will live on in her movies and TV dramas. The daughter of director Harunosuke Nakagawa (who helmed several episodes of Ultra Q), Nakagawa-san would make her own mark in the tokusatsu world by starring in Godzilla vs. King Ghidorah (1991) as Emmy, the good-hearted Futurian who ends up piloting Mecha-King Ghidorah.
I was privileged to interview Nakagawa-san in February 2012. Nakagawa-san spoke at length about her memories of the film, which were quite fascinating. The interview was eventually published in G-FAN magazine. Before the interview, Nakagawa-san gave me a Cast Co. bromide card set of King Ghidorah, one of which she signed for me. Suffice it to say, I'll treasure her signature.
A chance encounter on the Odakyu Line in March 2013 proved to be my last time meeting Nakagawa-san. Photo by Brett Homenick.
At the end of March last year, I was heading to Shinjuku on the Odakyu Line when a familiar-looking passenger stepped onto the train. It was none other than Anna Nakagawa! She was just as surprised as I was! Even though her English was as minimal as my Japanese, we were able to have a pleasant conversation. I snapped a few photos, and Nakagawa-san went on her way. Sadly, I'd never have a chance to see her again.
Nakagawa-san and I were connected on Facebook, and occasionally we'd exchange messages and like each other's photos. I always hoped for another opportunity to see her, but given her busy schedule, it was never to be. I'll always remember the time we did get to spend together and the generosity she showed me.
Rest in peace, Nakagawa-san.