RIP Haruo Nakajima (1929-2017)

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RIP Haruo Nakajima (1929-2017)

Postby Gwangi » Mon Aug 07, 2017 10:26 am

I don't know what words to say. If anything, my eyes are all watery at this moment. :cry:

It is with overwhelming sadness we report that Haruo Nakajima has passed away on August 7, 2017 at the age of 88. More than anything else, he loved to meet and spend time with his fans, and we are very fortunate to have so many wonderful memories of those times when he visited with all of us. Our deepest condolences to his dear daughter, Sonoe Nakajima.


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Re: RIP Haruo Nakajima (1929-2017)

Postby O.Supreme » Mon Aug 07, 2017 10:41 am

Wow...Just...My deepest condolences to all. It's amazing the physical stamina he had to do what he did, and the injuries he suffered, and risks he was asked to take for the sake of entertainment, his will to live as long as he did is impressive beyond words.
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Re: RIP Haruo Nakajima (1929-2017)

Postby lhb412 » Mon Aug 07, 2017 11:08 am

Nakajima is Godzilla as far as I'm concerned. He played the character at both extremes during his tenure and knocked it out of the park at either end of the spectrum, defining the way the character has been done since. That'd be enough to cement his legacy, but then add to that he was Gaira, Rodan, King Kong, Mothra - even contributing to the early episodes of Ultraman in order to teach monster wrestling to the performers! He was the greatest, and he live a full life. Fortunately, he was one of those people who got to see in his later years just how much of an impact he made on people's lives. In photos of him surrounded by fans at conventions he always looks so happy.

The one bummer I'll always have is that I never got off my butt to see him as he became a fixture of conventions here in the US in the last decade. It would have been terrific to shake his hand and by all accounts he was a wonderful guy.
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Re: RIP Haruo Nakajima (1929-2017)

Postby Mac » Mon Aug 07, 2017 12:23 pm

RIP
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Re: RIP Haruo Nakajima (1929-2017)

Postby Gwangi » Mon Aug 07, 2017 1:54 pm

In getting my thoughts better prepared, I had the pleasure of meeting him twice, once at G-Fest LA in 2000 (during the convention breaks, it was neat seeing him sitting next to and talking with Gamera director Noriaki Yuasa in the hotel lobby) and again in 2014 at Monsterpalooza in Burbank. One could not have met a more friendly, fun-loving individual. He did indeed very much appreciated all of love the fans showered on him. As a kid, Gaira scared the hell out of me. Years latter, I ended up taking my picture right next to him! And of course, him also being in several Kurosawa films, I could also brag to others that I've actually met someone from "Seven Samurai"!

Like Adam West, this loss is extraordinarily hard. :cry:
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Re: RIP Haruo Nakajima (1929-2017)

Postby Geno » Mon Aug 07, 2017 2:20 pm

Horrible news. I love his work in the 60's films, and I will always appreciate what he went through during the filming of all of his works. RIP
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Re: RIP Haruo Nakajima (1929-2017)

Postby canofhumdingers » Mon Aug 07, 2017 3:02 pm

Man. Too soon!

I feel very lucky to have met him twice. Once at G-fest in Chicago (2008 or 2009? Sometime near there.) and again at Monsterpalooza (2010 or 2011?) in L.A.

He was the master of his craft and, more importantly, seemed like a really nice guy who genuinely appreciated his fans and was more than happy to engage them.

That personalized autograph I have just became even more treasured and priceless!

Sayonara Nakajima-San! You were truly "huge in Japan"!

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Re: RIP Haruo Nakajima (1929-2017)

Postby Shokara » Mon Aug 07, 2017 4:43 pm

I am beside myself. I was fortunate enough to have the chance to meet him twice, both times at the Chiller Theatre convention in NJ. First was back in spring of 1999 which was my first outing at that con. I had him autograph my "Godzilla First" film book, a collection of promotional and production photos from both the 1954 original and Godzilla Raids Again. I still have that film book which is now also autographed by Akira Takarada and Hiroshi Koizumi. The second time was only a few years ago when Godzilla (2014) had just come out. Both he, Ken Satsuma, and Tsutomu Kitagawa attended, and this time I had him autograph my Criterion Collection Blu-ray of the original movie. Even though the franchise will continue to live on (heck, it's lived on long after the man retired in 1972), it feels like such a blow knowing the original Godzilla himself is gone. Not only was he such a huge fixture in a huge portion of the series but he was also one of the few surviving key players behind the original movie, pretty much leaving only Akira Takarada now. As said earlier here, thankfully the man got to be recognized for all the work he did and made himself very accessible to the fan base that appreciated his work. Over the past two decades, bit by bit we've seen important and beloved people in our beloved series of movies pass away. And while Akira Ifukube's passing a decade ago was especially painful for us, I think this one hurts even more, for me at least. R.I.P., Mr. Nakajima. We love you, and we'll miss you. :cry:
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Re: RIP Haruo Nakajima (1929-2017)

Postby Benjamin Haines » Mon Aug 07, 2017 7:03 pm

This is heartbreaking. Haruo Nakajima was the real deal, dedicated and passionate about everything that he did. He put his heart into every role, whether he was showing his face onscreen or wearing a monster suit. He really defined Godzilla as a character with his thoughtful, spirited performances and he was as essential to the series history as Tomoyuki Tanaka, Ishiro Honda, Eiji Tsuburaya, and Akira Ifukube. Now the last of Godzilla's creators has left us. I'm glad he was able to live a long, happy, and accomplished life of 88 years.

I had the privilege of meeting Nakajima in March 2013 at the Mad Monster Party convention in Charlotte, NC. His Q&A panel was a fountain of insight and afterward he signed autographs and took photos with fans who were lined up out the door and into the hallway to meet him. I'll never forget that experience.

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R.I.P. Haruo Nakajima
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Re: RIP Haruo Nakajima (1929-2017)

Postby dagarah » Mon Aug 07, 2017 7:08 pm

I am absolutely gutted to hear of Nakajima-san's passing;another major figure from Toho's golden age of kaiju film making now lost to us. Rest In Peace, Sir, & thank you for all the years of fond, fun memories.
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Haruo Nakajima Passes Away at 88

Postby LoneWolfandCub » Mon Aug 07, 2017 7:48 pm

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Re: RIP Haruo Nakajima (1929-2017)

Postby lhb412 » Mon Aug 07, 2017 8:17 pm

Popping in War of the Gargantuan right now, since it was his favorite performance. Man, his body language as Gaira is just crazy. So sinister!
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Re: RIP Haruo Nakajima (1929-2017)

Postby Rody » Mon Aug 07, 2017 9:29 pm

I saw the news this morning, and for a moment I felt almost like I couldn't breathe.
I didn't know who Nakajima was as a kid, but for all the work he did as Godzilla during the franchise's golden age, he was absolutely one of my childhood heroes. How I wish I had managed to meet him; the world just doesn't feel the same now.
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Re: RIP Haruo Nakajima (1929-2017)

Postby canofhumdingers » Tue Aug 08, 2017 1:55 am

I know I already posted, but I just feel like I need to post this too.

Farewell Haruo. Sayonara Gojira.

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Re: Haruo Nakajima Passes Away at 88

Postby william newell » Tue Aug 08, 2017 2:31 am

:cry: :cry: :cry:
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Re: RIP Haruo Nakajima (1929-2017)

Postby GFan » Tue Aug 08, 2017 9:51 am

R.I.P. :cry:

I regret not getting to meet Mr. Nakajima at the last few convention appearances he made near me in MA/NJ, I always thought it was SO great he did convention appearances and meet and greets all over with American fans! He seemed like such a genuine guy.

Needless to say he WAS Godzilla and his portrayal was the foundation of our beloved genre. 1954-1972 was an impressively long time to wear those suits. I am glad he lived long enough to see how many fans all over appreciated his hard work!
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Re: RIP Haruo Nakajima (1929-2017)

Postby Kailem » Tue Aug 08, 2017 11:05 am

Oh man, I just woke up and saw the news. :cry: Godzilla was such a big part of my childhood, specifically the Showa era, as I'm sure was the case for everyone here. You often see people talk about the "Four Fathers" who made Godzilla what he is, but let's face it, it was five. Haruo Nakajima was Godzilla's soul. He took what could have easily been a very basic "just walk around and knock things over" job and turned it into a true performance. He gave Godzilla life and character, and all under incredibly difficult conditions, and set the standard for all those who were to follow.

I never got to meet him myself, never having been to any Godzilla conventions personally (I'm not sure if he ever made any appearances in the UK but in a way I almost don't want to now out of regret that I didn't go when the opportunity was there), but from everything I've seen and heard he seemed like a great and very happy guy who always had time for the fans. I'm glad he got to see how much they appreciated his performance over the years and what he meant to people like us who grew up with his films and his Godzilla. The original and best. Thank you for all the wonderful memories.

Rest in Peace, Haruo Nakajima - King of the Monsters.
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Re: RIP Haruo Nakajima (1929-2017)

Postby Dr Kain » Tue Aug 08, 2017 1:17 pm

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Re: RIP Haruo Nakajima (1929-2017)

Postby jellydonut25 » Tue Aug 08, 2017 2:23 pm

Oof. I know a lot of people my age (early 30s) who say Satsuma is their Godzilla...but Nakajima was my Godzilla.To me, he IS Godzilla, and I personally don't think anyone has ever played him with the amount of personality Nakajima did.

Never got to meet him and thank him for his work.

RIP.
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Re: RIP Haruo Nakajima (1929-2017)

Postby Mexigojira » Tue Aug 08, 2017 3:35 pm

This is inded sad news. May his soul rest in peace.

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Re: RIP Haruo Nakajima (1929-2017)

Postby Joseph Goodman » Tue Aug 08, 2017 5:03 pm

What's left to be said that hasn't already been? Although I never was able to, it's wonderful that so many fans were able to meet him, and that he was able to see how appreciated his hard work was by people across the globe. Who could ask for anything more out of life?
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Re: RIP Haruo Nakajima (1929-2017)

Postby Rodanex » Sat Aug 12, 2017 11:11 pm

One thing I love about Nakajima is that he was always proud of his work. He was never embarassed of being the man in a rubber dinosaur suit, he took genuine pride in being the man behind one of the most iconic movie monsters, even late in life. I'm glad he was able to see how much joy he brought people.

RIP, Haruo Nakajima. Thanks for all the great movies.
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Re: RIP Haruo Nakajima (1929-2017)

Postby Moonlight SY-3 » Sun Aug 13, 2017 3:45 am

Very sad news, indeed. At 88 years of age, we had to know it was coming soon, but he seemed so genki even very recently...

The man helped to create a global icon, and as has been posted here already, it's a great thing that not only was he fully aware of the love fandom had for him, he readily embraced it, right to the end. To have the greatness of your achievements appreciated in your own lifetime is an incredible thing. My own selfish regret is that I never had the privilege of meeting him and telling him "thanks" myself.
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