About Koji Uenishi


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Koji Uenishi, actor for Ultra Seven

Other than the previous post, “Ultra Seven Pictorial” has articles saying Koji Uenishi is good in playing Japanese drums and was dreaming of becoming a baseball player or pilot in his childhood.

It is said Mr. Uenishi, born in Nagasaki Prefecture, was a sword fight arranger and actor belonging to Mifune Production founded by Toshiro Mifune, actor who is well known by Akira Kurosawa’s movies.

According to Wikipedia, it was revealed in 2014 that Mr. Uenishi had already passed away.

 

According to it, when requested to appear in “Ultra Seven” as suit actor, he was unwilling as he would have to act disguised without his face exposed. (Satoshi Furuya, who played Ultraman, says the same thing. )

But Mr. Uenishi accepted the request with the intention of studying.

He worked on preparation for the role positively, for example, establishing his own style of Ultra Seven unlike Ultraman after he studied Ultraman’s fighting style.

 

Wikipedia also says, when he visited a facility for disabled children to entertain them as Ultra Seven one day, a boy who had been unable to walk let alone stand up, run up to him.

That made Mr. Uenishi fully aware of how influential a hero could be, and he dropped his prejudice against suit acting since then.

It is really a shame to have learnt Mr. Uenishi is gone.

Playing the role of Ultra Seven. Mr. Koji Uenishi


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Koji Uenishi on the right hand side

I found an article intended for children of the time in “Ultra Seven Pictorial” as above.

Let me translate it as below:

 

So popular! Playing the role of Ultra Seven. Questions to Mr. Koji Uenishi.

The secret of the star appearing in “Ultra Seven” !

 

Q.1: Your real name?

Koji Uenishi. Just the same as my stage name.

Q.2: What is your height and weight?

172 cm in height; 68 kg in weight.

[…]

Q.5: Can you tell us about any memories of childhood?

Let me see…

I dived in the ocean and speared fishes.

I crafted the spear myself…

It was great fun.

Q.6: What is your favorite sport? 

Ski, baseball, equestrian art…

I do any sport.

Q.7: What is your favorite food?

I’m very much fond of  meat.

But I eat anything.

I have no dislikes for food.

Oh, no. Really.

Q.8: What is difficult in playing Ultra Seven? How do you build your physical strength?

It is most difficult in playing how to wear expressions.

To build strength, I try to get a lot of nutrition and to do exercises such as baseball and bodybuilding as much as possible.

[…]

Q.10:  Who do you respect?

Toshiro Mifune.

I think he’s a respectable person both as a human and as an actor.

I want to become such a person as Mr. Mifune.”

Tohl Narita’s concept arts for “Ultra Seven”


According to Tohl Narita, he was informed in advance of modifying a used car available in the market place for Pointer.

Pointer has no final design on paper (like Ultraman) because the design depended on which car should be modified.

So, after the car was decided, he created Pointer by going to an auto garage and  giving them instructions for modification on site,

It is as expected from a sculptor, I think.

 

Looks like he was thinking of giving Pointer blue lines first in accordance with Ultra Hawk 1.

But he gave it black lines finally instead as he thought blue lines would make it look vulgar.

It is likely he took pains over how to make a used car look cool enough.

I think the black lines make it look more stylish to be sure.

In my impression, Pointer looks cool markedly among the defense team cars through all the Ultra or Ultraman Series.

 

Tohl Narita played an important role as what is now called concept artist for the whole product of “Ultra Seven.”

So he designed from the equipment such as Ultra Hawk to the costume for UG.

He worked on the marks of TDF and UG as well.

As to the design of Hawk 1, he diverted the design for  “Aerial Battleship,” which was an unproduced Toho movie, to Hawk 1.

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Image of Pointer by Tohl Narita

“Pointer” looks cool!


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Among the TDF and UG equipment, I love Pointer most.

The design shows no signs of age (to me), and It still looks so cool even now!

There are fans who are so charmed with Pointer that they get their own by modifying their cars.

The design work was done by Tohl Narita in line with the other equipment such as Ultra Hawk 1-3.

It is said Pointer is based on Chrysler Imperial 1957 model.

 

Though it is set as an amphibious and ultra-fast speed supercar, it is likely it often stalled out during a take as it’s based on an almost discarded car.

But it was also used for transportation of cast members by detaching the rear wings on both sides.

And that made them embarrassed every time stopping at a red light because it got a lot of attention from people around.

 

While Pointer 1 (PO-1) regularly appears in the drama, you can see PO-II in Episode 4 and the MP version for use of the common TDF members in Episode 5.

As you may have noticed, the producers have only one Pointer for shooting.

So letters were just added to make it look like another Pointer.

In Episode 4, you can see plural Pointer lined in the parking area of the TDF base which were increased in number by compositing though it’s inconspicuous.

Ultra Hawk 2, 3 and the others


Ultra Hawk 2 is a space rocket used as a shuttle making a round trip between the underground base and Space Stations.

Also it is in use for battles in the space along with Ultra Hawk 1.

It can fly in the atmosphere as well.

The docking of Hawk 2 and Space Station was supposed to be depicted.

But It was not realized.

 

Ultra Hawk 3 flies exclusively in the atmosphere and is in use for patrolling or transporting the underground tank Magmariser.

It also fights with Hawk 1.

Hawk 3 appears from the launching pad behind a water fall.

The likeness of a secret base shown in such a way satisfied us at the time.

 

The underground tank Magmariser played an outstanding role, for example, in saving Seven’s life in Episode 40.

Or the unmanned Magmariser on auto pilot loaded with explosives rushed into the aliens’ underground base to destroy it in Episode 49 (the last episode).

The tank has a major presence with frequent appearances.

 

Hydrangers are submarines which also appeared a number of times in the drama and showed their impressive activities.

In the later Ultra or Ultraman Series, such underground tanks and submarines don’t appear as much as in “Seven.”

Each of the Space Station V1-V3  has Station Hawk 1 and 2 operative.

Great lineup, isn’t it?