Harmony among the talented through unusual treatments

In 1948 Akira Ifukube, a well-known composer for Godzilla’s sound tracks stayed in Kyoto on business. He was eating out at a restaurant near a studio with his close friend Ryunosuke Tsukigata, a famous movie actor when one friend of Tsukigata joined them all of sudden. He tried to eat and drink at Ifukube’s expense.

(This kind of effrontery is called “Takari-zake” in old Japanese. “Takari” means “bumming”, “zake” means “sake” or “alcohol drink”. In the good-old days, it’s not considered to be so much immoral for the poor to bum the rich acquaintances especially in a banquet).

After getting stunned a while, Ifukube commented wryly “well…well.. Takari-zake..huh?”
But just after exchanging words with the stranger Ifukube got completely enthralled by the man’s reviews on movie stuff. Ifukube found this unknown guy very interesting as well as probably a virtuoso movie folk. Since then Ifukube was willing to treat the stranger to a drink very often.

Actually the man’s deep knowledge on various topics and incisive critique made Ifukube believe Mr.Unknown must be somebody in Japanese movie industry without any doubt, but strangely enough he never showed himself anywhere in studios.

In 1954 Ifukube was offered unusual job. Ishiro Honda, a movie director asked him to compose music for a certain film which had been rumored to be an unprecedented one featuring a gigantic monster. People around him advised him not to associate with such an “eccentric” stuff. Some even made irresponsible remarks insisting that composing music for “monster” could tarnish his reputation. Over everyone’s strong protests Ifukube accepted the offer and went to the first meeting of this movie.

At the meeting place Ifukube finally saw the man in a studio.The man introduced as an SFX director was none other than Eiji Tsuburaya. He had been expelled from Toho production by GHQ due to his wartime association with war propaganda films. That’s the reason why Ifukube couldn’t see Tsuburaya anywhere in studios. Believe it or not, Ifukube and Tsuburaya got to know each others’ names for the first time then. Tsuburaya never showed his films to anybody until he finished editing, but he let only Ifukube see his films in the process of editing as a token of his appreciation for Ifukube’s treatments. Thanks to this repayment Ifukube could compose a lot of masterpieces.

Nobody can doubt those two genius played a great role of having the gigantic monster, named “Godzilla” come into existence vividly.


Posted in Tokusatsu Trivia

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