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Fuminori Ohashi (大橋 史典 Ōhashi Fuminori), born Yukitoshi Ohashi (大橋 幸利 Ōhashi Yukitoshi) and known by the stage names Ryunosuke Kabayama (樺山 龍之介 Kabayama Ryūnosuke) and Sanshiro Sagara (相良 三四郎, was a Sagara Sanshiro)Japanese actor, suit actor, sculptor, modelmaker, and director. He is perhaps best recognized for his portayal of the Snowman in the 1955 film Half Human.[note 1]
Ohashi began his career in 1935, working as an assistant director and cameraman for the now-defunct film company Shochiku Kamata. He soon transitioned to acting and became inspired by the 1933 King Kong film and its Japanese counterpart, modeling and portraying an anthropoid for the 1938 production The King Kong that Appeared in Edo. He joined Toho as an assistant director sometime later, but continued to act under his pseudonym Sanshiro Sagara. He again worked as a modeler in 1948 for the Takara Productions film, Ninjutsu Jiraiya, pioneering the use of compound latex for monster suits in the process. In 1951, he established the Ohashi Crafts Company and traveled to the United States to join the art staff of Disneyland in Los Angeles, California, where he worked for two years. In 1954, Ohashi acted as a consultant for the production of the monster suit for Ishiro Honda's Godzilla, after a failed first attempt by Teizo Toshimitsu and his associates.[note 2] The following year, he helped to model the suit of the Snowman for Half Human, this time also portraying the character under his Sagara alias. From the late 1950s through the 1960s, Ohashi continued to alternate between acting and modeling work, appearing in a handful of Akira Kurosawa's films and creating various suits for Daiei, Toei, P-Productions, and more. Notably, he was responsible for the monster Agon from the 1963-produced miniseries, Agon: Atomic Dragon, for which he also served as director. He traveled again to America to create masks for Planet of the Apes, and in 1977 worked on his final film, Legend of Dinosaurs and Monster Birds. Ohashi passed away on September 20, 1989, at the age of 74.
Selected filmography[edit | edit source]
Modeler[edit | edit source]
- The King Kong that Appeared in Edo (1938)
- Godzilla (1954) - Modeling consultant [disputed]
- Half Human (1955)
- The Mysterians (1957)
- Suzunosuke Akado: Defeat the Demon-Faced Gang (1957)
- Suzunosuke Akado: The Birdman with Three Eyes (1958)
- Suzunosuke Akado: The Thunder Man of Kurokumo Valley (1958)
- The Demon of Mount Oe (1960)
- Buddha (1961)
- Killer Whale (1962)
- Agon: Atomic Dragon (TV 1968)
- Jungle Prince (TV 1970)
- Legend of Dinosaurs and Monster Birds (1977)
Actor[edit | edit source]
- The King Kong that Appeared in Edo (1938) as ape [as Ryunosuke Kabayama]
- Half Human (1955) as the Snowman [as Sanshiro Sagara][note 1]
Miscellaneous[edit | edit source]
- Agon: Atomic Dragon (1968) - Director / director of special effects
- Legend of Dinosaurs and Monster Birds (1977) - Wire operator
Monsters modeled[edit | edit source]
- Anthropoid (The King Kong that Appeared in Edo)
- Godzilla (Godzilla; consultant, disputed)
- Snowman (Half Human; head, used only in publicity stills)
- Moguera (The Mysterians)
- Killer Whale (Killer Whale)
- Agon (Agon: Atomic Dragon)
- Plesiosaurus, Rhamphorhynchus (Legend of Dinosaurs and Monster Birds)
Gallery[edit | edit source]
Fuminori Ohashi modeling the Plesiosaurus and Rhamphorhynchus for Legend of Dinosaurs and Monster Birds
Notes[edit | edit source]
- Officially, the Snowman was portrayed by an actor named Sanshiro Sagara, a known pseudonym of Ohashi. However, there are conflicting reports as to whether this Sagara was a different person entirely, as Toho claimed that Sagara was chosen from a nationwide contest to portray the creature.
- In spite of claims of Ohashi having aided in the process, modeler Eizo Kaimai and art staff member Shinji Hiruma have both denied his involvement, claiming that he was still pursuing acting during this time.
References[edit | edit source]
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Bibliography[edit | edit source]
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