In May 1972, The staff of Kamen Rider got shocked. Hiroshi Fujioka ran away from filming of Kamen Rider. Through the media even kids who were fan of Kamen Rider got to know this incident.
According to the media, Fujioka had auditioned a drama titled “Akahige” which was supposed to be aired on October 6 1972. Fujioka had successfully got a role of Noboru Yasumoto, an important character in the drama. The appearance on this drama would be sure to make Fujioka popular much more as an actor. Fujioka had been all excited that he would be a TV star known to all over the country. Unfortunately, however, Toei hadn’t been informed of Fujioka’s getting role and had already decided to continue filming Kamen Rider after October. Appearing on both Kamen Rider and Akahige was impossible due to the filming schedule. Consequently Fujioka had had to give up the appearance on “Akahige” by contract. Fujioka was so depressed that he secluded himself.
All of staff were soon convened and discussed what to do. The producers agreed that they were going to make an episode where Takeshi Hongo didn’t show up. Then Masaru Igami wrote up a script for episode #66 “Shocker Hakaba Yomigaeru Kaijin-tachi (Shocker Graveyard, Revived Monsters)”. At this point there occured another problem. The producers’ discussion took too much time to design and make a costume of a new monster. They had no choice but used a costume of “カミキリキッド(Kamikirikid)” which was supposed to make its brilliant debut on the second movie of Kamen Rider titled “Kamen Rider vs Jigoku Taishi”.
Fujioka was still missing. The staff had to make another episode which didn’t require the presence of Takeshi Hongo. They made a decision to use a costume of ‘Girizamesu’, a monster which was supposed to be the true identity of Shinigami Hakase(Dr.Death God). Then episode #67 “Shocker Shuryou Shutsugen Rider Ayaushi (The Shocker Leader Appears! Riders in Danger)” was filmed.
Meanwhile Fujioka was wandering around Izu, Shizuoka prefecture. One news reporter found him, and Fujioka told him everything in his mind. His story became an article and the fans felt sympathy for him. ‘Mainichi Housou’, a TV station broadcasting Kamen Rider, had been bombarded with inquiries from his fan, asking if there’s better solutions. Even other TV stations made an offer a role for a newly starting drama to Fujioka. As a result Fujioka got much attention. Consequently Fujioka apologized to Toei and Mainichi Housou, and this incident came to a settlement at last. Mainichi Housou said “We want Mr.Fujioka to keep on acting Takeshi Hongo to meet the expectations of kids. Of course we are going to arrange the filming schedule of Rider taking Fujioka’s schedule into consider as much as possible so that he can appear on other programs.” In reply to this comment, Fujioka declared “I’m going to do my best and going to set up a fan club for fans who are supporting me.”
As his announcement, ‘Hongo Takeshi no Kai (Takeshi Hongo Fan Club)’ was organized on June. The member could get a budge, an ID card and a newsletter published every two months. At its peak 60,000 kids joined this fan club. In addition a telephone information service where you could hear a message from Hiroshi Fujioka started. Believe it or not soon after the beginning of this service, a flood of telephone calls from kids caused a telephone company to go out of service.