Ishida Nobuyuki was born in Akita Prefecture on August 30, 1950. Originally, Ishida trained as a martial artist, and became involved with acting when a colleague arranged him an audition at Toei Studios in 1970. This was a especially hard year for Ishida, as his mother had taken ill, which weighed heavily upon him and his older sister. When he heard she was hospitalized, Ishida dropped everything and took the night train to see her. He still has a dislike for night trains because of the memory of this experience.
Ishida-san made his debut in the Toei teleseries STRAIGHT PATH OF JUDO (_¹ê¼ü Judo Ittyokusen), an action series based on the popular manga of the same name. He remembers that the audition was done at the Tokyo Toei Studios in Oizumi, Nerima Ward. The producer in charge and the supervisors of TBS and Toei were in the judges' seats. Although he managed to conceal his tension, his heart was beating rapidly, and he was so nervous that he wasn't sure whether he had delivered his lines properly or not. The program director of TBS then said "Ishida, you're coming from Judo competitions. Will you show us some moves?" and Ishida complied. "Good", said the judges, "Next!"...Ishida left the audition believing that he had performed poorly and was out in the cold. However, when he returned to his apartment in Higashi-Jujo, there was a telephone call from Toei. He was in. Soon he received the script, and because he wanted to know what the shooting schedule was, he was told to come to Toei in person. Unfortunately he was simply told to show up for work everyday and they would use him when they needed him. He felt this was unusual, and perhaps somewhat unprofessional (and maybe breaking some labour laws somewhere), but a job is a job, so he made himself present and available every day for a month.
Finally, his big day arrived. On his first day of shooting, he met the hero, Ichijou Naoya on location in Arakawa. Ishida was very nervous once again due to this being his very first experience, and meeting Ichijou-san didn't make things easier. They filmed the entire day, until it was time for a fight scene. This was a scene with Osawa Kenji (Ishida's role) being thrown by Ichijou Naoya, making one summersault in midair, and landing on the rail of a bridge, and then running straight to the center of the bridge along the rail! Unfortunately it had rained the day before, and the whole riverbank and bridge were a muddy mess. He was afraid he'd fall in and crack his skull open. Luckily, the shoot finished safely, and his baptism of fire was over.
The filming for MIRRORMAN began in the summer of 1971. It is said that the casting director for MIRRORMAN saw some misplaced footage of Ishida Nobuyuki by accident, and said "Let's go with this kid as our new leading man!". The first episode, "Mirrorman is Born", saw the light of television screens at 7:00 PM on Sunday, December 6, 1971. This first episode reached a staggering 36% audience share!
The very first scene to be shot was on the set of Kagami Kyoutaro's room. As these scenes were completed, Ishida began to feel more and more comfortable. As the week progressed, he was finally given a rather emotional scene to do.
Mitarai: "You are not a mere human being. You are Mirrorman, born of a
father from the 2nd Dimension, and a mother of the 3rd Dimension."
This scene required Ishida to weep as he clung on to his bed. The camera hovered over him as Kyoutaro's father's voice is heard. However, a short circuit raised the temperature of the camera by several degrees, caused a small amount of solder to melt, and fall onto Ishida's head! So he was actually suffering from droplets of hot melted iron falling on his scalp, not just acting; and since he wasn't sure what it was, and was afraid of ruining the take, he continued with the scene. As soon as the director called "Cut!", the continuity girl exclaimed that there was smoke coming from Ishidafs hair. When they realised what had happened, Ishida was rushed to the hospital. Look at this scene to see if perhaps the smoke was caught on film.
Production on MIRRORMAN continued for a year. There was hardly any rest for the cast and crew, and in addition there were the occasional autograph sessions held at department stores. However, the tight shooting scheduled proved difficult when the principal photography for each episode had to be completed in three days, and the actors were never sure which episode was being shot. Many expository lines were randomly filmed ("It's a monster!", "It's a saucer!", etc.) and this also added to the stress on the set.
One time after a provincial location shoot, the cast was given a minor reprieve from shooting, but still had to sign autographs and promote the show. Being Mirrorman was work and Ishida was absolutely exhausted from the grind. On the flight the next shoot's Hiroshima location, a 5 or 6 year-old girl approached him and asked, "Mister, can you please transform into Mirrorman? ". Ishida responded, "I can't; if I transform here, the plane will break apart." The little girl smiled and went back to her seat exclaiming, "We're safe, because Mirrorman is here!" Memories like these made all the personal sacrifices worthwhile.
Production on MIRRORMAN was accomplished with two units: First Unit was the live action scenes and the Second Unit for special visual effects. When Ishida heard that Mirrormanfs suit actor, Saijo Mitsuru, was injured during shooting, Ishida went to visit his colleague in the hospital. When Ishida arrived, Saijo was asleep, his waist bandaged, his face haggard and drawn. Ishida remembered the first time he ever met Saijo, the suit actor was healthy, strong and jovial - a real amicable fellow. But, he felt that the Saijo Mitsuru who was lying asleep in the hospital bed really looked thin, almost like another person. It must have been hard for him to be Mirrorman as well.
These days Ishida-san still works out, has a second-degree Black Belt in Judo, and still looks great. Recently, a role was offered to him in the upcoming MIRRORMAN REFLEX movie, currently in post-production, which will have its private screening part for cast and crew at 8:45 PM Saturday, January 21, 2006
Check out his very own Web Site!
Photos copyright of their respective owners.
Last modified on Monday, June 5, 2017
Mirrorman © 1971 Tsuburaya Productions
Pictures are for viewing only
Backgrounds mostly from http://www.windyweb.com