No time to write a complete report. But yesterday I met all three men who played Godzilla! I have photos to prove it. But I forgot to bring the cable that sucks the pictures from the camera onto the computer. So you’ll just have to wait to see them.
Some friends of mine are over here in Tokyo making a documentary about the world of Japanese special effects — not just Godzilla, but Gamera, Dai Majin, Ultraman, Gappa and all the rest. I was invited by Shinichi Wakasa, the guy who made the monster costumes for Godzilla: Final Wars, to hang out while they interviewed him. When I got there I was pretty surprised and impressed to see Haruo Nakajima who played Godzilla from the first movie until 1972’s Godzilla vs. Gigan, Kenpachiro Satsuma, who played Godzilla in most of the movies in the 90’s, and Tsutomu Kitagawa who played Godzilla from the turn of the century until the supposedly final Godzilla movie two years ago. This was the first time anybody had ever gotten all three Godzillas together in one spot, so it was a pretty historic event. They had them all do their individual Godzilla walks together down a quiet residential street. I missed that. But I heard it caused some commotion!
I had met Nakajima before and was pretty impressed that he remembered me after all the other drooling gaijin fanboys he’s had to deal with. I did translations once for Kitagawa at an appearance he did in San Francisco when the translator they’d originally hired vanished at the last minute. I hadn’t met Satsuma before. But he’s probably the most famous of the three, having made a career out of going on TV as the guy who played Godzilla.
This was very cool because I thought I was just going to go hang out with Wakasa-san who’s been a friend of mine for a few years and here I get to be part of history in the making.
Anyway, everybody reading this within 100 miles of Los Angeles is hereby ordered to attend the book signing at the BODHI TREE BOOKSTORE in West Hollywood on Thursday May 17th at 7:30 PM. I’m rushing back to LA from all this kaiju excitement just to be there. So don’t disappoint me or there will be punishment!
The rest of you, check the post below this one for lots of other live appearances.