2019 Fort Wayne Cherry Blossom Festival Recap

by Brian Scherschel

Japanese history and culture are very important in Kaijuvision Radio’s programming.  The show gives listeners information about Japanese culture that is often germane to what’s going on in kaiju and tokusatsu movies.

So, I am always excited when Fort Wayne’s most Japanese event takes place!

This past Sunday (May 19th), I volunteered at the 12th annual Cherry Blossom Festival (I’m also on the planning committee).  The afternoon festival is a celebration of Japanese culture held at the downtown branch of the Allen County Public Library.  Entry is free to the public.

The big draws are anime and cosplay.  There are competitions for  cosplay, anime art, and haiku.  There are quite a few vendors in the Great Hall at the Festival Marketplace.  There were martial arts demonstrations, dancing, and musical performances, most of which I didn’t get to see this time around.

Below is a video of the Great Hall at the library during the festival:

Dignitaries including Fort Wayne Mayor Tom Henry and Consul-General Naoki Ito attended the festival.  I was able to quickly say hi again when he visited the Japanese tea ceremony.

briefly meeting the Consul-General of Japan Naoki Ito, who traveled from Chicago

I volunteered in the Jeffrey R. Krull Gallery working with light and sound equipment, which meant I got to see all three Japanese tea ceremonies that were held that afternoon.  I also was the announcer for the events in the gallery.

The tea ceremony is one of the most cultural events at the festival.  The group that conducts the ceremonies is headquartered in Goshen, Indiana.  They had authentic tea and Japanese sweets to have with the tea.  The ceremony is intricate, so one of the group members announced what all was going on.  After that, there was a violin and koto performance by Toki + Emi which was incredible.

Japanese tea ceremony

Japanese tea ceremony

Consul-General Naoki Ito (4th from left) with the Japanese tea ceremony group

These are the Bonsai trees that visit the festival.  The Japanese food vendors were also outside in the plaza at the “Taste of Japan”.

Bonsai trees

Because of the rain outside, the cosplay competition was moved indoors.  I got to see that and it was enjoyable.  There were a lot of enthusiastic entries in the competition.  Overall, I enjoyed volunteering and playing a part in this unique cultural experience that lasts such a short time.  It’s just like when the cherry blossoms bloom – before you know it, they’re gone.

one of the many interesting contestants in the cosplay competition


G-Fest XXVI (2019) Update

It will be a two-for-one podcast panel at G-Fest this year!

I’ll be hosting a panel with Taylor Hensley from Giant Monster Messages.  The panel will be recorded on video like last time, and YouTube is the first place to look for that once it’s done.  Subscribe to YouTube to make sure you get the notification.

I’ll also make an appearance at the panel for the Godzilla anime trilogy.

It’ll be a very special convention, and I’m looking forward to meeting more listeners.

The convention will again be held at the 4-star (4-star?!) Crowne Plaza O’Hare in Rosemont, Illinois.

Kaijuvision Radio Merchandise Now Available!

I was delayed in getting episodes out this month, and here’s why:

To celebrate the 50th episode of the show, Kaijuvision merchandise is now available on Redbubble!


Show off your affinity for the most visionary kaiju and tokusatsu podcast around!

40 different products in all ranges of colors and sizes.  Fashion, home decor, phone cases, laptop sleeves, art prints, clocks – virtually every product that Redbubble offers!

The premium T-shirts (ethically-sourced and made-to-last) still catch my eye the most.  They come with their own wash bag and look very comfortable to wear.  The acrylic blocks, travel mugs, and metal prints look incredible too.

The images on each individual item are derived from vectored artwork, ensuring that the artwork is printed at the highest quality possible.

The art for the show looks really good, and I wanted listeners to be able to experience this art personally.

The KVR sphere is Kaijuvision Radio’s official logo:

The Torii Gate Banner is the official banner art of Kaijuvision Radio:

The story about the banner art is really interesting:

The high-resolution digitally-created Torii Gate Banner is just as unique as Kaijuvision Radio is in the podcasting world. Torii are gates at Shinto shrines. They represent the entrance into a sacred space. These gates can also be thought of as gates between the normal and the supernatural/unknown.

Thus, the unnamed and mysterious kaiju is on the other side of the gate. Since Kaijuvision has an emphasis on Japanese topics, having a Torii Gate (a well-recognized feature associated with Japan) in the banner art is most appropriate.

The clock is modeled after the famous Doomsday Clock, introduced in 1947. The Doomsday Clock is a metaphor for the threats of unchecked scientific and technological advances to humanity’s existence. The clock is at 5 minutes to midnight, while the time on the real Doomsday Clock changes.

The Doomsday Clock connects to kaiju movies because it represents many of the same things Godzilla and some other kaiju represent. Godzilla is a manifestation of these unchecked scientific advances. The Doomsday Clock connects to Kaijuvision Radio because of the array of real-world topics that are covered on the show.

Brian Scherschel worked with a Japanese Patreon donor to create the design concept, and American artist Kevin C. Geary created the art.

Coming Full Circle: Takuma Sato, the Indy 500, and Godzilla

by Brian Scherschel

Since the beginning, Kaijuvision Radio has had a unique mission.  Hence the emphasis on culture, history, and global issues.

This mission carries over into social media.  There are plenty of sources on Godzilla-related news already.  Why devote time to duplicating what’s already out there?  Everyone’s seen the latest “King of the Monsters screenshot”.  Not everyone knows about what’s going on in the South China Sea.

That’s why I post about Japanese history, current events in East Asia, and Japan-related stories of local interest.  Just because something isn’t directly related to Godzilla, it has to do with the show’s mission.

Takuma Sato won the Indianapolis 500 in 2017.  He’s the first Japanese man (and thee first Asian man) to do this.  He made history.  Kaijuvision is produced in Fort Wayne.  So, I decided there should be an article about this historical event.  It’s a story of local interest.

After all, there are two connections to the Indianapolis 500 in Godzilla movies.  In All Monsters Attack (1969), Ichiro’s bully wears an Indianapolis 500 shirt.  In the episode on that film, I said how that’s maybe a reference to the give-and-take relationship that the US and Japan have on some issues.  The second connection is in Godzilla vs. Megalon (1973).  Hiroshi drives a car that has an Indianapolis 500 sticker on the window.  See the original blog post about Takuma Sato here.

Similarly, sports figure Hideki Matsui is nicknamed Godzilla.  Matsui had his own cameo in Godzilla Against Mechagodzilla (2002).

It turns out there’s much more of a connection to Godzilla than previously known.  A visitor to Kaijuvision.com sent these pictures via a comment on the original Takuma Sato blog post:

Source: Rob McEwen

Source: Rob McEwen

That’s so cool!!

Ever since 1954, Godzilla has been an expression of the Japanese National Spirit, just like Sato’s achievement is.

So two years later, the connection between Godzilla and Takuma Sato’s win at the Indy 500 has come full circle!

Two Movies Added to Kaijuvision Radio’s Season 2 Schedule

Coming soon on Kaijuvision Radio

Prophecies of Nostradamus (1974)

Bye Bye Jupiter (1984)


Completed Episodes:
Half Human (1955)
The Mysterians (1957)
Varan (1958)
The Three Treasures (1959)

Battle in Outer Space (1959)

Coming Soon:
The Last War (1961)
Gorath (1962)
Matango (1963)
Atragon (1963)
Dogora, the Space Monster (1964)
Frankenstein Conquers the World (1965)
Godzilla Anime Trilogy (all in one episode)
War of the Gargantuas (1966)
Latitude Zero (1969)
Space Amoeba (1970)
The Submersion of Japan (1973)
Prophecies of Nostradamus (1974)
Godzilla: King of the Monsters (2019)
Bye Bye Jupiter (1984)