@@  Me and Toho Studios (No.2) Messages
Whenever I entered the studio from the front gate, I would feel my posture straightening for some reason.

To the left of the entrance was a row of staff rooms. Amongst them was a door plate which read gHonda gumi (Team Honda)h (kind of like those you see above the elementary classroom doors in Japan) and a poster. The room was made of wood, the size of a large elementary school classroom, and inside was a long table. On the wall was a long, scroll-like schedule sheet with red, yellow, and green writing and underlines, colorful like a picture scroll. There also were story boards posted up, and the assistant director Mr. Kajita would be meeting with the staff from each production section.

Wherever I went, I remember smelling cigarette smoke. The staff who went in and out of these rooms had scripts stuffed in their back pockets, folded into two, pencils on the ear, carpenterfs belts around the waist, and most of their script books were torn and ripped, dirtied with finger marks.

So why did my Father decide to colorfully decorate the cover of his own script books?  This remains a mystery.

One step out into the center plaza is a large fountain, and there would be heavy people traffic just like the intersections in Ginza.  They would often have still photography shoots for PR:  calendars, film promotion, to introduce the newbie actors, headshots, etc.

And a delicious aroma would enter my nose, stirring up my hunger. gHey junior!  Youfre visiting? Wanna grab a bite?h  With a loud voice, the person who usually invites me to lunch is an actor who frequently appeared in Honda films, Akira Takarada.

Tohofs cafeteria and café were always filled with many familiar faces. With actors in period piece costumes, futuristic attire or typical downtown youth fashion, it was an atmosphere that transcended time.

For me, this was a world of fantasy, a world of dreams. There was a comfortable yet almost frozen air about the place. It was also a place that was very sensitive to sound. As soon as someone called out gTake your places!h, everyone instantaneously went into silent mode. For those who worked at the film studio everyday, this was an everyday normal thing and they felt nothing about it. But for a nuisance intruder like myself, my memories were of a fresh and nerve racking experiences.
July 23, 2007
Ryuji Honda