Akira Takarada, the Japanese actor who appeared in the classic 1954 Godzilla movie and numerous subsequent Godzilla pictures, has passed away in Tokyo at the ripe age of 87. Japanese press reported on Friday that Takarada, who was featured at the opening of his newest film early last month, had died in the ICU from pneumonia.
“We were shocked and grieved to learn about Akira Takarada’s death. Godzilla fans, may his memories live on in the hearts and minds of many “says a tweet from the authorized Godzilla Twitter account.
Yoko Higuchi said: “The love this man felt for Godzilla was immense and I felt it every time he talked about the series. He loved Godzilla. Godzilla misses him.”
He is one of the most stylish and attractive performers in Japanese film.” It didn’t matter if he was romantic, gruff, or stoic; he did it all with flair. The Godzilla franchise began with his appearance in 1954, making him one of the most recognizable characters. “He will be much missed.”
As a living, radiation-breathing analog for nuclear calamity, Takarada swiftly gained fame after portraying the heroic ship’s skipper in the original Godzilla. A mere nine years before this, Japan had been subjected to the very first nuclear bomb assaults on its cities Hiroshima and Nagasaki by the United States during some last days of World War II.
Also, in 1961, Takarada appeared in a brief part in Yasujiro Ozu’s movie The End of Summer, which depicts the life of a Kyoto sake-brewing household.
We are saddened to hear of the passing of Akira Takarada.
May his memory continue to inspire the lives of many Godzilla fans. pic.twitter.com/wzBxq8Usi1
— GODZILLA.OFFICIAL (@Godzilla_Toho) March 17, 2022
Aside from his roles in several Japanese tv shows and movies that were produced in tandem with Hong Kong starlet Lucilla Yu Ming, the performer became known throughout Asia at about the same period. A native of the Korean mainland, Takarada was raised in the Chinese region of Manchuria, which was then under Japanese rule. He was noted for being able to speak a little Chinese.
The Soviet trooper who shot him in the abdomen sometime after Japan’s capitulation in 1945 left him in a critical condition. In an interview with a Japanese associated press, he said, “I vividly hear the sound of (a physician) hacking my body when I was half-fainting” to extract the shell without anaesthesia.
He eventually turned anti-war and stated that “the greatest evil done by man is war.” He then became an anti-war campaigner. In the name of war, we must no longer be killing people.” In battle, there is no logic or rationale. He told Jiji, “We’re creating a world of madness.”
“When we witness the truth of a peace-loving nation (Ukraine) being invaded, I believe we need to develop movies that are a bit more culturally aware,” he told journalists regarding Russia’s ongoing assault of Ukraine.