Sadao Iizuka in January 2021. Photo © Brett Homenick. Born on December 26, 1934, Sadao Iizuka joined Toho Studios in 1954 during the production of the original Godzilla, working as an assistant in the tokusatsu art department. Mr. Iizuka stayed at Toho for many years thereafter, eventually pioneering Toho’s trademark optical effects that would become … Continue reading THE GODFATHER OF GODZILLA’S ATOMIC RAY! Sadao Iizuka on His Optical Effects Work at Toho!
Kathy Horan's first Miss Airlifter photo, appearing in Pacific Stars and Stripes in 1967. Photo © Pacific Stars and Stripes. Kathy Horan was born in Roswell, New Mexico, on March 5, 1948, and came to Japan in the 1960s as a military brat during her sophomore year of high school. She subsequently appeared in a … Continue reading REFLECTIONS OF MISS AIRLIFTER! Kathy Horan Remembers Her Acting and Modeling Career in Japan!
Fumio Ishimori in November 2020. Photo © Brett Homenick. Born on July 31, 1931, screenwriter Fumio Ishimori's work has touched just about every facet of Japanese entertainment. Hailing from from Haboro, Hokkaido, he joined Nikkatsu as a screenwriter in 1963 and later signed with Shochiku in 1969. In total, Mr. Ishimori has written more than … Continue reading MEMOIRS OF AN ICONOCLASTIC SCREENWRITER! Fumio Ishimori on His Scriptwriting Career in Japanese Film and Television!
Photo © Sanki Worldwide Co., Ltd. Born on February 19, 1946, actor Hiroshi Fujioka made his film debut at Shochiku in 1965, after which he appeared in a small role in the international cult classic The X from Outer Space (1967). Shortly thereafter, Mr. Fujioka rose to fame with the popular TV superhero series Kamen … Continue reading THE LAST SAMURAI: Hiroshi Fujioka Recalls His Career in Japanese Science Fiction!
Jack Morris circa 1970. Photo © Jack Morris. John Robert Morris was born on April 29, 1940, in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada. Mr. Morris moved to Japan in 1967, eventually returning to Canada in 1972. In 1968, he appeared as Lt. Morris in the cult classic The Green Slime, alongside Hollywood stars Robert Horton and Richard … Continue reading BATTLE BEYOND THE STARS! Actor Jack Morris on Filming ‘The Green Slime’ in Japan!
Photo © Catherine Byers. Prior to her career as a successful Broadway actress, Catherine Byers worked as a voice actress who performed several starring roles in Japanese television programs at the Miami-based Copri Films International during the 1960s. Under the name Bobbie Byers, she played Prince Planet in the popular anime series Prince Planet (1965-66), Bonnie … Continue reading THE WOMAN BEHIND PRINCE PLANET AND JOHNNY SOKKO! Actress Catherine Byers Recalls Her Early Dubbing Career!
Damon Foster poses with the remnants of Ryosaku Takayama's original Ragon mask used in the TV series Ultraman in 1985. Photo © Damon Foster. Damon Foster, the outspoken editor of Oriental Cinema magazine, has never been at a loss for words, and this Q&A with tokusatsu fandom's resident independent-filmmaking iconoclast is certainly no exception. In … Continue reading AGE OF DAMON! ‘Oriental Cinema’ Editor Damon Foster on His Fascinating Journey from Film Critic to Filmmaker!
Yoshinobu Kaneko in May 2013. Photo © Brett Homenick. Former child actor Yoshinobu Kaneko is best known to Western monster movie fans as the young boy in King Kong vs. Godzilla (1962) who begs his mother to go see Godzilla, only to be told that they're not going to the zoo. In Japan, however, Mr. … Continue reading GOING TO SEE GODZILLA! Yoshinobu Kaneko Recounts His Experiences as a Young Actor in the Showa Era!
Keizo Murase (with King Ghidorah) in April 2019. Photo © Brett Homenick. Born on October 5, 1935, in Ikeda, Tokachi, Hokkaido (where his family home still is), Keizo Murase is a veteran kaiju suitmaker who began his career at Toho in 1958, leaving an indelible mark on the genre with his work on Varan the … Continue reading REVISITING JAPAN’S MASTER MONSTER MAKER! Keizo Murase Answers More Questions About Creating Kaiju!
Yosuke Nakano (whose professional name is Yo★Nakano) is a veteran of Japanese special effects who has worked on various SFX franchises for a variety of studios. Born on August 8, 1971, Mr. Nakano graduated from high school in Fukuoka in 1989 and enrolled at the special effects department of Tokyo Eizo Geijutsu Gakuin (Tokyo Institute of … Continue reading GODZILLA AND MOTHRA IN THE ’90S! Assistant SFX Director Yosuke Nakano Reminisces About Heisei-Era Kaiju!