The Ultraman JET Takes Flight From Okinawa
A SCIFI JAPAN EXCLUSIVE
Tsuburaya Productions has provided SciFi Japan with information and photos of their new Ultraman JET (ウルトラマンJET).
As a promotional tie-in with Japan Transocean Air (JTA), a commercial airline based in the city of Naha, Okinawa Prefecture, the 165 seat Boeing airliner is emblazoned with the images of the original Ultraman and the heroes from the most recent Ultraman series, ULTRAMAN GEED (ウルトラマンジード, Urutoraman Jiido, 2017) and ULTRAMAN R/B (RUEBE) [ウルトラマンＲ／Ｂ(ルーブ), Urutoraman R/B (Ruubu), 2018]. The Ultraman-themed aircraft will fly between Okinawa, the surrounding islands and the Japanese mainland though April 2019.
The JTA Ultraman flights were arranged in partnership with the General Incorporated Foundation, Okinawa Convention & Visitors Bureau (OCVB) and the Minamihabara-machi Tourism Association to promote tourism to the region. Okinawa is the birthplace of the late Tetsuo Kinjo, the screenwriter who was instrumental in the creation of the Ultraman Series (see below for more information).
An announcement ceremony for the Ultraman JET was held at the JTA Maintenance Center on Monday, October 29, with flights beginning at 7:15am the next day.
■ Flight Duration
Tuesday, October 30, 2018 – Tuesday, April 30, 2019 (6 Months)
■ Operating Equipment
Boeing 737-800 Aircraft (Model Abbreviation 73H、Aircraft Number JA09RK)
■ Flight Route
● JTA’s 737-800 Aircraft Flight Route
■ Tetsuo Kinjo Profile
Tetsuo Kinjo (July 5, 1938 – February 26, 1976) was a screenwriter from Minamihabara-machi, Okinawa.
In 1963, while studying Literature at Tamagawa University in Tokyo, Kinjo met with the “God of Special Effects” Eiji Tsuburaya and was hired by Tsuburaya Special Effects Productions (now Tsuburaya Productions) as a writer. As a youth in his twenties, he played key roles in the development and production of the television series ULTRA Q (ウルトラQ, Urutora Kyuu, 1966), ULTRAMAN (ウルトラマン 空想特撮シリーズ, Urutoraman: Kuso Tokusatsu Shirizu, 1966-67) and ULTRA SEVEN (ウルトラセブン, Urutora Sebun, 1967-68) — the foundations of the long-running Ultraman Series. Kinjo was not only one of the main writers, but also worked on set and as a coordinator with television stations that were broadcasting the shows.
After working on non-Ultraman series such as MIGHTY JACK マイティジャック, Maiti Jakku, 1968) and OPERATION: MYSTERY (怪奇大作戦, Kaiki Daisakusen, 1968-69), Kinjo left Tsuburaya Productions and returned to Okinawa in the wake of the United States ending their occupation of the island. He continued to work on screenplays, directed stage plays, and also appeared on radio and television programs. He was responsible for the design and direction of the opening ceremony for the Expo ’75 World Fair held on Okinawa, and was active as a bridge between Okinawa and Japan.
At the age of 37, Tetsuo Kinjo tragically fell to his death while doing repairs to the roof of his home. In 2013, his former writing study in his hometown of Haebaru was transformed into the “Kinjo Tetsuo Museum”, with displays of Kinjo’s original scripts, photos from the production of the early Ultraman Series, and more.
About Tsuburaya Productions
Tsuburaya Productions Co., Ltd. has created dozens of heroes and other characters, including Ultraman, who have been loved from generation to generation. The base for the company was Tsuburaya Visual Effects Research, which was launched by the Japanese “Father of Special Effects” Eiji Tsuburaya. After showing his skill and making a name for himself working on many monster movies and special effects laden fantasy science films, in 1963 Tsuburaya incorporated Tsuburaya Visual Effects Research and established Tsuburaya Productions Co., Ltd. in order to advance further research and development of special effects technologies and release visual works that could be enjoyed by a wider audience. The company has continued to maintain Eiji Tsuburaya’s policies even after his death.
2013 marked the 50th anniversary of the company’s founding, and it continues its work to this day. Currently, the company carries out activities including production of works for television, original video works, and films for theatrical release; licensing of owned characters’ content; development of various products; event planning and live staged events that bring out the maximum appeal of its owned characters, and development of facilities that handle related items.