Monday, January 27, 2014

Meet the Kamen Riders

You never know who you're going to run into in Tokyo. Today, after hanging out at my favorite Koenji izakaya (kind of like a bar/restaurant) with good kimchi, edamame, and 190 yen draft beer (oh, yeah, you read that right), I wandered over to Godzilla-ya, one of my favorite toy shops.

And who did I happen to run into but two famous tokusatsu actors: Mr. Sasaki Takeshi (above photo - on the left) who played Kamen Rider 2 in the original 1971-73 series and Mr. Takasugi Shunsuke (on the right) who starred as Kamen Rider Super-1, the franchise's seventh series which ran from 1980-81. They were hanging out, chatting, and checking out the shop.
Sasaki-san was flipping through some old Kamen Rider trading cards and commenting on how expensive the Kamen Rider 1 cards were - hah hah, good times!

Takasugi-san and I got to chatting, and I asked if he had a lot of Kamen Rider toys. Turns out he has a lot of Super-1 figures, since he gets them when they come out. Must be pretty cool to have a bunch of figures of yourself!
I got a Super-1 record in the shop and Takasugi-san kindly signed it for me - yay!

Oh, and I found out Sasaki-san owns a bar called バッタ もん (Bata Mon). "Bata" means "locust." As I learned today, whereas in the West, the locust carries a widely negative connotation (plague of locusts and all that), the insect isn't viewed so negatively in Japan. Did not know that.

Anyway, moral of the story - you never know who you'll meet, so carry a smile - and a camera - and a pen is good too (though I used the shop's ;-).

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