Viewing Kamakura Seaside Park Yuigahama Area, from which Shin Godzilla emerges in Godzilla Resurgence. Photo by Brett Homenick.
As I do every so often, I paid a visit to former Toho actor Shigeo Kato. Kato-san has appeared in numerous kaiju films, running the gamut from the original Godzilla (1954) through Godzilla vs. Megaguirus (2000). Along the way, he appeared in several films by directors Akira Kurosawa, Kihachi Okamoto, and many others.
Kato-san is based in Kamakura, Kanagawa, and it is one of the most scenic areas in all of Kanto. It is also a filming location for the upcoming Godzilla Resurgence (a.k.a. Shin Godzilla), so I pitched him the idea of visiting Kamakura Seaside Park Yuigahama Area (what a mouthful!), and he readily agreed.
Shigeo Kato was menaced by Godzilla in 1954, and he is ready to meet the King of the Monsters once again! Photo by Brett Homenick.
Kato-san and I took the bus and then walked to the area on the beach where the King of the Monsters makes his first appearance in Godzilla Resurgence. It was especially cool to see the place with an actor who fled from Godzilla way back in 1954.
Kato-san pointed out to me that the large King Kong statue that used to exist in Kamakura during the 1930s (posted about elsewhere on this blog) was situated very close to this area. So, in a coincidence of monstrous proportions), this particular space in Japan has special history with both King Kong and Godzilla, separated by more than 80 years!
Before we visited the beach, Kato-san and I shared coffee and cake at a cafe he frequents. We talked about various locations he visited as an actor and some of the directors he worked with.
Thanks again, Kato-san, for an incredible afternoon!