JapanMania – Sugoi!
Dedication to a dear friend, wonderful man and true 'Hero'
June 10th, 2010

It's with a very heavy heart that I post this... and extremely relevant to the JapanMania subject, as many of us (30's plus) saw him in his tokusatsu (special effects), super hero hay day, Shunsuke Ikeda, better known as Kikaida-01, passed away today in Japan, at 3pm.


Pictured here with Sachi and I at the Ogo's Kanikapila Party in Tokyo...

My failed '01' experience...
Growing up in the 70's and anxiously anticipating all the awesome anime and superhero shows of KIKU back in the day, Kikaida-01 was one of my favorites.  I even had a plastic trumpet, as to mimic 'Ichiro' (01's alter ego) as he played a few notes before leaping about a canyon's worth distance to pummel the bad guys below.  I figured it would be a good idea to do the same, from on top my parent's couch.  Well, as a toddler, you don't pay attention to details like... "Kikaida-01, upon jumping off the canyon's cliff, would never jump with the trumpet still in his mouth.."  details, bah.  So, I took my 4 ft or so jump from off of my parents' couch, only to land face first with trumpet in mouth resulting in a broken plastic mouth piece lodged in my throat.  Awesome.  After a quick 911-hospital visit, 'lickins' after my dad figured out I'd live (that's irony.. once your parents figure out you're still ok after such a stupid stunt, you get beaten for educational purposes).. I was home again.  Of course I had to try the stunt again later, when no one was home.. and I NAILED it.  Ha!  Ichiro would've been proud :)

Not only was he a 'Kikaida' ..but Ikeda-san was also in another very famous tokusatsu series, 'Return of Ultraman' as Science Officer Takeshi Minami.  A martial artist (black belt in Judo and Karate), son of well known chanbara (sword fighting) instructor Tatsuo Ouchi, Ikeda-san continued modeling and appearing in various TV series and movies.

Ikeda with Ultraman

Ikeda with Ultraman

Over the years, Sachi and I had the opportunity to meet him and we, including his incredible wife and daughter, became good friends.  We'd interviewed him for Doko Ga TV as well, and I'd learned quite a bit about him during our shoot. Since that time, he and his family would come to some of my live gigs and concerts when possible.  Ikeda-san LOVED coming to Hawaii, and was so thankful to the fans for coming out every year to the Generation Kikaida 'Kikaida Brothers' day/celebrations at Shirokiya etc.  Ikeda-san loved seeing the children of Hawaii and was thankful for the opportunity to have made that kind of bond and friendship with people here in the islands. In the last year or so, he couldn't travel much as his health was slowly failing.  We'd see him less and less often but he wanted to become healthy enough and genki again to travel to Hawaii again.

Ikeda `Ohana at our Yokohama Gig

Ikeda `Ohana at our Yokohama Gig

I will always remember his words of encouragement to me-his true love for all things Hawai`i, and he'll forever be a true Hero, father, friend and honorary kamaʻāina. You will be truly missed...


Ban Daisuke, Joanne Ninomiya & Ikeda-san

Ban Daisuke, Joanne Ninomiya & Ikeda-san

14 Responses to “Dedication to a dear friend, wonderful man and true 'Hero'”

  1. Scott S.:

    I have many fond memories of Mr. Ikeda and his gracious spirit to all of us Kikaida fans. Thank you Mr. Ikeda. My thoughts are with his wife and daughter.

  2. キカイダー01、池田俊介さん・・Mahalo nui!! | Pali:

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  4. M:

    My condolences to the Ikeda family and friends.

  5. "Odie Modie":

    When hearing upon Shunsuke "Ichiro" Ikeda's passing, I suddenly felt empty, and alittle less safer. For this is the character, along with brother "Jiro", "Kikaida" as the Japanese "Dynamic Duo", that protected us from the evil villains/the bad guys who were bent on conquering the world. His character's sureness, power, strength, and flashing that cocky, yet reassuring smile kept us feeling we are well protected. Any baddie that opposed him, was quickly dispatched with a powerful "01 cut", followed by the "01 Driver", then ending with a final blow-ending, "Blasto Endo".

    Thank you, Shunsuke-san, my humble regards to our family, and for you protecting us all these years from the dark forces, and helping us believe, that there is a hero in all of us. You will be painfully missed.

  6. Craig:

    Goodnight, Sweet Prince

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  8. Guyferd:

    What a sad news. I could not watch him in the shows, but liking tokusatsu as i like, i´m sad to know that he passed away :(

  9. Sam Campos:


    thank you for writing this. I'm sure he knew how important he was to us. It was an honor to know him and to be able to call him friend. He was and still is an inspiration to me.

    Mahalo Ikeda-San. You are dearly missed.

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  11. webmasterd:

    Oh! This is sad news! I grew up watching all those superhero shows. I'm glad that I did get a chance to meet my idol before his passing. He will definitely be remembered. My thoughts and prayers to the family.

    Also, thank you Pali. I enjoy reading your blogs! I was hoping someone would do a blog on everything Japan. Love Doko Ga TV too! Keep up the good work! Ganbatte!

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