Happy New Year! あけめておめでとうございます! Last year we mourned the loss of Godzilla Suit Actor Haruo Nakajima-san, “Mr. Godzilla.” Several days ago, I received in the mail words of gratitude from Sonoe Nakajima-san, the daughter of the late Haruo Nakajima, along with a beautiful photo of her and her father. It was a unexpected surprise that brought a smile along with tears.

Haruo Nakajima group photo
Tsutomu Kitagawa, the Millennium Godzilla suit actor, Mr. Godzilla Haruo Nakajima, Sonoe Nakajima-san, Heisei Godzilla suit actor Satsuma Kenpachiro, and Kaiju designer and illustrator Shinji Nishikawa.

Dear Sonoe-san,

Thank you for your sacrifice and devotion, especially during those times when you saw your father working and “felt sad for him… after witnessing him so busy that he was still wearing the Godzilla suit despite being on break and without even time to speak to his family.” And as you said, we will “now and then, visualize the valiant figure of Godzilla moving across the screen, along with [your] father’s uncovered face, when [we] hear the theme song play.”

Thank you with my deepest gratitude for sharing your father with us and for the words of gratitude you shared with us.

Above: Sonoe-san assists her father, Haruo Nakajima, in autographing my figure and book at Monster Mania Con in Cherry Hill, NJ (August 1, 2015).

Many thanks to Jim Cirronella of Celebrity ICONS for making it possible for me and other Godzilla fans to express our gratitude to Haruo and Sonoe Nakajima during the time of his passing. Thank you for connecting us with our heroes. Nakajima-san was born today on January 1 in 1929. We continue to remember his family and loved ones in our thoughts and prayers. With every step Godzilla takes we will remember him.

Blog feature image photography by David Eric Dopko