Sunday, May 12, 2019

A Very Daiei Evening!

Shin Minatsu. Photo by Brett Homenick.

On Friday, May 10, I attended a play in which two former Daiei actors appeared. They are both veterans of the Gamera series, and given how few opportunities there are to meet Showa Gamera alumni, I jumped at the chance.

The first actor I met was Shin Minatsu, who appears in Gammera the Invincible (1965), Gamera vs. Barugon (1966), and Gamera vs. Gyoas (1967) in small roles. In Gyoas, he plays the reporter who gets eaten by the titular creature toward the beginning of the film. He went on to appear in Gamera vs. Zigra (1971) as Mr. Yamada, the mustached dolphin trainer at Kamogawa Sea World.

Junichiro Yamashita. Photo by Brett Homenick. 

After I met Minatsu-san, I was also privileged to meet Junichiro Yamashita. Yamashita-san stars in Gammera the Invincible as  Aoyagi and Daimajin Strikes Again (1966) as Shohachi. He also appears in Zatoichi's Cane Sword (1967).

The meetings were pretty brief, as the actors had many other attendees with whom to mingle. But as someone who's enjoyed the Showa Gamera series almost as long as the Godzilla series, it was wonderful to meet two Daiei stars who were always quite recognizable to me.

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