SciFi JAPAN TV #03: The Man Who Became Godzilla 第3話「ゴジラになった男」
A SCIFI JAPAN EXCLUSIVE
About The Episode
Author: Jim M. Ballard
We don’t leave Tokyo very often. Love it or hate it, this city is the heart of Japan’s filmmaking industry. But last month JR and I took a trip up north to the small city of Sakata in Yamagata Prefecture. We made this rare journey for a special reason: to cover a unique photo exhibition being held in honor of Haruo Nakajima, the original Godzilla suit actor. What’s more, we’d been offered a chance to sit down and shoot a one-on-one interview with Godzilla himself!
Passing up on the convenience of the Shinkansen “bullet train” for the more economic night bus certainly made the journey to Sakata much more tiresome, but fortunately our enthusiasm and excitement for the job awaiting us was more than enough to keep us going! We both powered through the first day on free bicycles loaned to us from the hotel, checking out all of the coolest local hotspots.
The main event was to be held the following day, when a replica of the 1964 Mosugoji suit would be brought in to the event space, and Mr. Nakajima would give a free one-hour talk show to his fans in the small town where he grew up. Following this, we were to shoot our one-on-one interview for SFJtv.
I’ve met plenty of actors and filmmakers, and while I love their work and hold them all in high regard, I’ve never really felt starstruck by anyone. It’s just not a concept I’ve ever really understood. Until this day, when Mr. Nakajima walked into the room as I was casually setting up camera equipment. For a few seconds I’m quite sure I forgot both Japanese and English.
It’s GODZILLA! Here! In the room! And I’m standing here with a lens blower and no words.
I must admit our interview was rather an ordeal for me in the best, most exciting kind of way. Thankfully there were no cameras pointed in my direction, because I’m certain for the entire duration of our interview I was just grinning madly. But I know Mr. Nakajima knew exactly what I was feeling, and I know he didn’t mind either. He’s seen that childish grin a thousand times before because it’s not just me. He’s been a hero to children all over the world for generations, and will continue to be so for many more generations to come. The suit is just a shell; the man inside is Godzilla. He’s the one who brought the monster to life, and he is the real King of the Monsters.
We all owe a deep debt of gratitude to Mr. Nobuyuki Kato, for not only organizing the entire event but for accommodating SciFi JAPAN TV and helping make this a truly special episode for fans all over the world to enjoy. Everyone in Sakata’s Haruo Nakajima Fan Club were some of the kindest and most welcoming people I’ve had the pleasure to meet during my time in Japan, and I look forward to meeting them all again someday soon.
I really hope you enjoy the episode, and don’t forget to come back on September 28th for SFJtv Episode 4: ULTRAMAN SAGA FX DIRECTOR — our interview with the great Toshio Miike!
About SCIFI JAPAN TV
A regular video program focusing exclusively on Japanese scifi and monsters is something we’ve always wanted to see, but nothing like it has ever been available, neither in Japan nor overseas. So we decided to make it ourselves!
SciFi JAPAN TV is shot on location in Japan exclusively for SciFi Japan by the Gaijin Channel production team. The show will delve into the world of Japanese monsters and scifi, featuring the latest and hottest tokusatsu events in Japan, as well as simple yet in-depth discussions with the people who bring all of our favorite films and shows to life!
The show’s future relies on its popularity, so if you enjoyed it and would like to see more, we do urge you to like, comment, subscribe and share this video with all your friends! We’re eager to hear your comments and suggestions: please send the production team your comments via YouTube, Facebook, Twitter or Google+, or send us an email to firstname.lastname@example.org!
About Gaijin Channel
Filmmaker JR Lipartito and SciFi Japan writer Jim M. Ballard make up creative duo behind Gajin Channel. Both have worked on television and corporate/client works but found that to be quite uninspiring nor even much challenge. So they left that world and joined a young multimedia company called ACTV, with high hopes of making a living doing nothing but creating cool web videos and mobile apps!