Kenpachiro Satsuma

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Kenpachiro Satsuma
Kenpachiro Satsuma
Born May 27, 1947[1]
Izumi, Kagoshima, Japan
Died December 16, 2023 (aged 76)[2]
Occupation Suit actor
Notable role(s) Hedorah, Gigan, Godzilla, Pulgasari, Yamata no Orochi
First work Godzilla vs. Hedorah (1971)
Notable work The Return of Godzilla (1984)
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I can hardly call it acting, but I talk big about it now!

— Kenpachiro Satsuma on his role as Hedorah[3]

Kenpachiro Satsuma (薩摩 剣八郎,   Satsuma Kenpachirō), formerly known by the stage names Kengo Nakayama (中山 剣吾,   Nakayama Kengo) and Ryuma Kusaka (久坂 龍馬,   Kusaka Ryūma), was a Japanese actor. Satsuma worked as a suit actor in the Godzilla films of the 1970s, starring as the villainous monsters Hedorah and Gigan, opposite his friend and mentor Haruo Nakajima as Godzilla. Satsuma returned to play Godzilla himself in the 1984 film The Return of Godzilla, and would reprise the role through the rest of the Heisei series, with his final portrayal of the character coming in 1995's Godzilla vs. Destoroyah. Satsuma passed away on December 16, 2023, due to complications from interstitial pneumonia.[2] He was 76.

Selected filmography





2018 G-Fest panel


  • Satsuma suffered acute appendicitis while promoting Godzilla vs. Hedorah, which required surgery.[4] During the procedure, he discovered that he was unaffected by painkillers, forcing the doctor to knock him out with chloroform. Satsuma wore part of the Hedorah costume for an interview just before his diagnosis, giving rise to an urban legend that the surgery had taken place with him still inside the suit.
  • Satsuma reported that while playing Godzilla in Godzilla vs. Destoroyah, the smoke given off by the suit was concentrated carbon monoxide. This would lead to him passing out multiple times during production.[5]

External links


  1. Satsuma is often erroneously credited as having played Megalon.


This is a list of references for Kenpachiro Satsuma. These citations are used to identify the reliable sources on which this article is based. These references appear inside articles in the form of superscript numbers, which look like this: [1]

  1. Heisei Godzilla Chronicle (2nd ed.). Kinema Junpo. 14 July 2014. pp. 254–255. ISBN 978-4-87376-319-4.
  2. 2.0 2.1 "Godzilla actor Kenhachiro Satsuma dies, 76 years old; Godzilla's second suit actor also appeared in the North Korean movie "Pulgasari"". Yahoo! Japan. 16 December 2023.
  3. Guy Mariner Tucker (1996). Age of the Gods: A History of the Japanese Fantasy Film. Daikaiju Publishing. p. 212.
  4. Godziszewski, Ed, and Michiko Imamura. "Inside Godzilla: An Interview with Kenpachiro Satsuma." G-Fan, September/October 1995, pg. 25.
  5. "『ゴジラVSデストロイア』トークイベント、"ゴジラの死"やスーツ撮影秘話明かす".


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