Sunday, January 25, 2015

FRIENDLY FACES IN JAPAN'S CAPITAL! A Recap of My Reunion with Old Friends!

With my old friend Ulf Otsuki at an Indian restaurant in Tokyo. It was great to see Ulf again after having missed him for a long time.

Today (January 25) I had the distinct privilege to pay a visit to my old friend Ulf Otsuki (Godzilla vs. Megalon). It's been a long time since I'd last seen him, so I was eager to catch up with him. Thankfully, it was just like old times!

Ulf was in great spirits, and he recently filmed a guest spot on Kamen Rider Drive that will air on February 8! For those of you in Japan, be sure to tune in!

Ulf was being interviewed by a writer for a Japanese magazine, and (naturally) Ulf's career in SFX movies and TV shows was the main focus. While the interview was going on, I snapped many photos of Ulf as he was deep in thought. I'm very pleased with the way they came out.

All in all, it was a very pleasant day, and I hope to see Ulf again before too long.

On January 22, I met director Yoshimitsu Banno for dinner at a Japanese restaurant. It had also been a while since our last meeting, which was understandable, given that 2014 was a big year for Banno-san. To be honest, the Godzilla talk was kept to a minimum, as we conversed about other subjects, such as Banno-san's upcoming projects as well as Toho in the 1960s.

It was another wonderful evening, and I was able to assist Bannos-san on certain projects he is working on. I always enjoy visiting Banno-san, and it is truly rewarding to be able to offer him help on his projects.

DINING IN TOKYO, KUROSAWA-STYLE! The Great Japanese Filmmaker Brings You Great Japanese Food!

The exterior of the restaurant Kurosawa in Nagatacho, Tokyo. Yes, Kurosawa is an official restaurant for the Japanese auteur. Photo by Brett Homenick.

On Saturday, January 24, I paid a visit to the restaurant Kurosawa in Nagatacho, Tokyo. According to the restaurant's publicity material, there are four restaurants in the Tokyo area, and each of them offers its patrons something different.

 I chose the Nagatcho location due to its close proximity to my job, and also because it's famous for its shabu-shabu. Just as the publicity material states, the restaurant's look and feel is straight out of the Edo Period, and I'm sure Kurosawa would have been happy to use the restaurants in one of his films.

Bear in mind that while there is Kurosawa memorabilia inside the restaurant, this isn't a theme restaurant like those in the West. It's more about recreating an accurate old-style ambiance than in promoting the career of the famed director.


I'd highly recommend Kurosawa to any fan of Japanese movies or anyone who is interested in Japanese culture or food. While the food can be a little expensive, you are not likely to find a more authentic traditional Japanese restaurant. After all, it's Kurosawa!

Thursday, January 15, 2015

LUNCH WITH A MOVIE STAR! Ehara-san Pays Another Visit to Tokyo!

Former Toho actor Tatsuyoshi Ehara signs some Young Guy DVD sleeves. Photo by Brett Homenick.

On Monday, January 12, I had the distinct privilege of meeting Tatsuyoshi Ehara again in Tokyo. While Ehara-san makes his residence in Nagano Prefecture, he travels to Tokyo every once in a while, and during his last trip I was able to visit him and enjoy lunch with him.

Ehara-san would be best known in the West for his appearances in Akira Kurosawa's Sanjuro (1962) and Red Beard (1965), but his acting career goes back to the 1940s as a child star for Shochiku Studios.

Our interview from last June approaches completion, so watch this space for any further developments.

Saturday, January 3, 2015

HAPPY NEW YEAR! 2015 Kicks Off in a Big Way!

Visiting Godzilla series composer Riichiro Manabe in Kanagawa Prefecture.

January has finally arrived, and with it has come a new year. Things have already gotten busy. On January 2, I went to Kanagawa to see composer Riichiro Manabe and give him my holiday greetings personally. I brought him two boxes of manju, which he always enjoys. It's always a treat to see Manabe-san.

On the way back, I snapped a few photos of Odawara Castle from Odawara Station. With the birds flying nearby and sunset taking place, I thought the photos turned out rather well.

On January 3, my friend Yasushi and I paid a visit to Ultraman Ace actress Keiko Nishi at her cafe. Yasushi and I spent an enjoyable morning chatting with her and catching up on several topics. It was wonderful to she how well she was doing at the start of the new year.

We finished the morning taking some obligatory photos at the Godzilla statue at Hibiya Chanter Square. See how I dressed up for the occasion?

January is already off to a great start. Other events are in the works, so stay tuned!