Sunday, January 31, 2016

NIKKATSU IN YOKOHAMA! Masako Izumi and Fumio Ishimori Talk Film Over Dinner!

Nikkastu Studios star Masako Izumi chats with fans over dinner in Yokohama. Photo by Brett Homenick.

Last night, I was privileged to attend a special dinner event with two Nikkatsu Studios alumni. The headliner of the event was Masako Izumi, who was a young star at Nikkatsu during the 1960s. I met her last year at a similar event and was pleasantly surprised to find that she recognized me.

Screenwriter Fumio Ishimori has written numerous scenarios for many of Japan's biggest studios. Photo by Brett Homenick.

The other special guest in attendance was screenwriter Fumio Ishimori (sometimes credited as Shiro Ishimori in the West). Ishimori-san penned several films for Nikkatsu during the 1960s before eventually leaving for Shochiku Studios. In the 1970s, Ishimori-san wrote the horror opus Crest of the Wolf (1973) for Toho Studios.

Masako Izumi listens to a question while sitting under a poster for her film Thanks for the Tears (1965), a youth actioner from Nikkastu Studios. Photo by Brett Homenick.

While there was a film screening prior to the dinner event, I missed it. (I have to work, you know.) But I was able to enjoy sitting with Izumi-san and Ishimori-san, who were quite gregarious and eager to mingle with their fans.

Yours truly poses for a photo with Masako Izumi in Yokohama.

It was intriguing to see how the attendees acted around Izumi-san. For this event, the folks in attendance were all new to me. I made some new friends and enjoyed chatting with them. But they were all in awe of Izumi-san. Her name is hardly known to Americans, but fans in Japan are well aware of who she is. After becoming familiar with her credits, it would be hard not to become impressed!

Posing for a photo with Fumio Ishimori, a man of many screenplays!

The event was a lot of fun and a big success. Masako Izumi was full of boundless energy, and despite her previous success as a Nikkatsu star, she was a approachable as anyone else I've seen. Ishimori-san was a very friendly chap whom I hope to see again soon. Congratulations to everyone involved!

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