THE ROAD TO M78! Bin Furuya on His Early Toho and Suit-Acting Roles!

Bin Furuya achieved stardom as Ultraman's first suit actor in the groundbreaking series Ultraman (1966-67) from Tsuburaya Productions. However, years before finding success on television, Mr. Furuya got his acting start working as an extra in movies at Toho Studios. Born on July 5, 1943, in Tokyo, Mr. Furuya was a member of Toho's 15th … Continue reading THE ROAD TO M78! Bin Furuya on His Early Toho and Suit-Acting Roles!

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GODZILLA’S LEADING MAN OF THE 1970S! Katsuhiko Sasaki Discusses His Life and Career in Film!

Katsuhiko Sasaki is a third-generation movie actor whose credits in the Godzilla series are among the most popular. Born on December 24, 1944, in Tokyo, Mr. Sasaki’s father (Minoru Chiaki) and grandfather (Takamaru Sasaki) were not only actors themselves, but also appeared in Godzilla movies (Godzilla Raids Again and Monster Zero, respectively). Mr. Sasaki joined Toho … Continue reading GODZILLA’S LEADING MAN OF THE 1970S! Katsuhiko Sasaki Discusses His Life and Career in Film!

REFLECTIONS IN A GLOWING EYE! Tomoko Ai on Her Breakout Role as Katsura Mafune!

Tomoko Ai never dreamed of becoming an actress, but once she became one, she achieved international attention with her starring role as Katsura Mafune in Terror of Mechagodzilla (1975). Prior to her casting in the final Godzilla movie in the Showa series, she portrayed Monster Attacking Crew (MAC) member Haruko Matsuki in Ultraman Leo (1974-75). In July … Continue reading REFLECTIONS IN A GLOWING EYE! Tomoko Ai on Her Breakout Role as Katsura Mafune!

REIMAGINING GODZILLA FOR THE HEISEI ERA! Kazuki Omori on Updating Godzilla for a New Generation!

As a writer-director, no one shaped the Heisei Godzilla series more than Kazuki Omori. Mr. Omori wrote and directed Godzilla vs. Biollante (1989) and Godzilla vs. King Ghidorah (1991), and wrote the screenplays for Godzilla vs. Mothra (1992) and Godzilla vs. Destoroyah (1995). In May 2019, Mr. Omori spoke to Brett Homenick about his work … Continue reading REIMAGINING GODZILLA FOR THE HEISEI ERA! Kazuki Omori on Updating Godzilla for a New Generation!

A LOOK BACK ON THE GODZILLA SERIES! Toho SFX Director Teruyoshi Nakano Reflects on His Godzilla Film Work!

Teruyoshi Nakano is one of Japan’s masters of special effects. Born in what is now Dandong, China, on October 9, 1935, Mr. Nakano joined Toho in 1959 and quickly moved up the ranks in special effects, becoming chief assistant director under Eiji Tsuburaya by 1963. In 1969, Mr. Nakano would serve as special effects director … Continue reading A LOOK BACK ON THE GODZILLA SERIES! Toho SFX Director Teruyoshi Nakano Reflects on His Godzilla Film Work!

A MODEL LIFE! Susan Dumas on Her Memories of 1960s Japan!

Susan Dumas enjoyed the unique experience of living in Japan during both the mid-1950s and early 1960s, something of a rarity for an American gaijin. As a young adult, Ms. Dumas dabbled in the entertainment industry in Japan, appearing mostly on television and in print as a model. She even briefly lent her voice to the … Continue reading A MODEL LIFE! Susan Dumas on Her Memories of 1960s Japan!

INSIDE THE ULTRA-SERIES! Scriptwriter Shigemitsu Taguchi on Writing for Tsuburaya Productions!

Shigemitsu Taguchi is a television scriptwriter who shaped much of Tsuburaya Productions’ output during the 1970s. Born on February 4, 1944, Mr. Taguchi joined Tsuburaya Productions in the late 1960s, but officially began his career as a scriptwriter with the series Return of Ultraman (1971-72), which led to a successful career in tokusatsu. Mr. Taguchi wrote … Continue reading INSIDE THE ULTRA-SERIES! Scriptwriter Shigemitsu Taguchi on Writing for Tsuburaya Productions!

AN EXPLOSIVE CAREER! Toho SFX Director Teruyoshi Nakano Reflects on Some of His Non-Godzilla Films!

Teruyoshi Nakano is one of Japan’s masters of special effects. Born in what is now Dandong, China, on October 9, 1935, Mr. Nakano joined Toho in 1959 and quickly moved up the ranks in special effects, becoming chief assistant director under Eiji Tsuburaya by 1963. In 1969, Mr. Nakano would serve as special effects director … Continue reading AN EXPLOSIVE CAREER! Toho SFX Director Teruyoshi Nakano Reflects on Some of His Non-Godzilla Films!

A VETERAN OF GODZILLA’S FINAL WAR! Yoshikazu Ishii Goes Behind the Scenes at Toho!

Yoshikazu Ishii grew up a kaiju fan in Japan and eventually got to live the dream of working on Godzilla films and directing special effects on a variety of tokusatsu projects. But how did the dream become reality? In July 2005, Brett Homenick and J. D. Lees interviewed Mr. Ishii about his fascinating journey. Translation … Continue reading A VETERAN OF GODZILLA’S FINAL WAR! Yoshikazu Ishii Goes Behind the Scenes at Toho!

MONDO ISLAND MEMOIRS! Actor Rhodes Reason on His Starring Role in King Kong Escapes!

American actor Rhodes Reason (1930-2014) made his mark in the world of Japanese monster movies when he starred as Commander Carl Nelson in King Kong Escapes (1967), a lavish Toho production that still entertains audiences to this day. Mr. Reason had a wonderful sense of humor about his monster movie legacy, which is on full display … Continue reading MONDO ISLAND MEMOIRS! Actor Rhodes Reason on His Starring Role in King Kong Escapes!