SciFi Japan

    Haruo Nakajima Attends Publishing Party for Autobiography Kaiju Jinsei

    Godzilla Suit Actor Celebrates Launch of New Book Author: Daisuke Ishizuka Source: Yosensha Co., Ltd.


    Today a publishing party was held for the autobiography Kaiju Jinsei (Kaiju Life) by Mr. Haruo Nakajima. Mr. Haruo Nakajima is a pioneer of monster suit acting who is well known as the suit actor who played Godzilla and various Toho monsters. He has often been invited to conventions in America; Los Angeles, New York, Chicago, etc. and he is familiar with Tokusatsu fans in the U.S. I attended the G-Fest convention in Hollywood in 2000 and it was my first time to see him. I had chance to hear about his career at that time. In 2010, we now have a chance to know about him more deeply because his autobiography was published in July by Yosensha Co., Ltd. In Kaiju Jinsei, Mr. Nakajima details his life, from his youth to the present day. Needles to say, he focuses on his career as suit actor. In addition, he talks about Mr. Eiji Tsuburaya as well as the filmmakers and his friend and co-workers at Toho. The book is valuable resource for Tokusatsu fans. Mr. Haruo Nakajima was born in 1929 in Yamagata prefecture. In 1949, he joined an acting school and his first job as an actor was Akira Kurosawa’s STRAY DOG (Nora Inu). His role in this movie was a detective, however, his scene was not used in the film. In 1950, he was employed by Toho and began appearing in various supporting and stunt roles in their movies. He played a bit role Kurosawa`s acclaimed SEVEN SAMURAI (Shichinin no Samurai) in 1954. He had a much larger part in another famous Japanese movie that was theatrically released on November 3rd of that same year... GODZILLA (Gojira). November 3rd is Culture Day in Japan, but the date is more familiar for Tokusatsu fans as Godzilla`s birthday than as a national holiday. Mr. Nakajima played Godzilla from 1954 to 1972 when he retired following GODZILLA VS GIGAN (Chikyuu Kogeki Meirei Gojira tai Gaigan). During his career he played various monsters in Toho Tokusatsu movies; Rodan, Varan, King Kong, Matango, Baragon, Gaira, Gezora and others. He also portrayed monsters in TV series that were produced by Tsuburaya Production such Gomess, Pagos, Mongler in ULTRA Q (Urutota Kyuu, 1966), and Neronga and Jirass in ULTRAMAN (Urutoraman, 1966). He often played Ultra Monsters built from existing Toho suits; both Gomess and Jirass were remodelings of Godzilla suits while Pagos and Neronga were created from the Baragon suit made for FRANKENSTEIN CONQUERS THE WORLD (Furankenshutain tai Chite Kaiju Baragon, 1965).

    Viewers can often see Mr. Haruo Nakajima acting outside the monster suits in the live action parts of Toho`s Tokusatsu movies. Director Mr. Ishiro Honda often gave him small roles, and Mr. Nakajima talks about them in Kaiju Jinsei. The book may be the first time that he has talked in detail about popular Toho actors such as Mr. Toshiro Mifune, Mr. Hideyo Amamoto and others. Fans can learn about Mr. Haruo Nakajima (and his experiences with Mr. Eiji Tsuburaya) from reading his insider view of Toho Tokusatsu. The book also contains over 250 photos and very useful information such as a Toho suit actors directory and a list of his works. This is very valuable resource for fans of these films. Contents of Kaiju Jinsei Chapter 1: Seeing Mr. Eiji Tsuburaya and GODZILLA (1954)- He discusses his unprecedented work as a suit actor. Chapter 2: His youth, the War and joining Toho Co.- Mr. Nakajima talks about joining Navy, works at the Occupation forces and joining Toho as an actor. Chapter 3: Godzilla series- GODZILLA RAIDS AGAIN (Gojira no Gyakushu) to GODZILLA VS GIGAN. Chapter 4: Toho Monsters- He talks about Rodan, Varan, Matanngo, Baragon, Gaira and other monsters that he played in Toho Tokusatsu movies. Chapter 5: Monsters in TV series- His work as Gomess, etc. in ULTRA Q, Neronga, etc. ULTRAMAN and U-Tom in ULTRA SEVEN (Urutora Sebun, 1967). Capter 6: As an actor- He talks about memories of Ishiro Honda, Akira Kurosawa, Toshiro Mifune and other film creators. Chapter 7: Death of Mr. Eiji Tsuburaya and Retirement- His memories of the death of Mr. Eiji Tsuburaya, his retirement from Toho, and his life up to the present. Size: A5 Pages: 368 Price: ¥ 2,900 (approximately $34.25 US) plus 5% tax Release Date: 7/17/2010 ISBN: 9784862485892 Publisher: Yosensha Co., Ltd.

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