Nakajima Ki-43 "Hayabusa" (Oscar)

Friday, 19 April 2013

Kawanishi H6K (Mavis) - 九七式飛行艇 - Film

We conclude this presentation dedicated to the Flying Boats of the IJNAF and especially the Kawanishi H6K "Mavis" with a film and we hope you enjoy the rare Mavis cockpit shot.

Title: "Nankai no Hanataba" (Flower bouquet of the South Seas)
Released by: Toho Eiga
Premiered: May 21, 1942
Length: 106min. b/w
Director: Abe Yutaka
Staring: Obinata Den, Okawa "Henry" Heihachiro & Kawazu Seizaburo
Supported by Dai Nippon Koku KK.
Story: The branch of airline "Koa Koku" in the South Seas sees the arrival of new director Igarashi (Obinata Den) who is bound to raise the spirits and expand the air lines beyond the equator. Starting his undertaking with vigorous medical tests strict rules including no drinking during flight, the pilots of the company show their displeasure since the airline worked perfectly with no accidents...

In the above two photos movie actors receive a walkaround from a Dai Nippon Koku pilot before the shooting of the film begins.

 Actors Obinata Den (left) and Tsukita Ichiro (right) in the cockpit of a Mavis.

The movie was released again on DVD in 2007 by Toho, check HERE, and is available in Japan.

Okawa "Henry" Heihachiro was born 9/9/1905 in Saitama, moved to the US in 1925 and lived first in Gainesville, then in Atlanda where he worked first in a Chinese restaurant then as a dishwasher in New York when he decided to join the actor's school of Paramount, becoming classmate with Gary Cooper. To pay for the school he had to work in a Japanese owned pet shop but the school closed after only a year. Entered Columbia University to study economics but changed his mind and decided to pursue an acting career. Went to Hollywood and found employment with Fox appearing as a stunt flier in the Howard Hawks movie The Air Circus of 1928. 
He returned to Japan in 1933 for family reasons and acted in many movies during the War. He continued his acting career after 1945 and changed his name to "Henry" Okawa in 1957 the year he starred in the most famous movie of his career "The Bridge on the River Kwai". His role was of Captain Kanematsu but he was also assistant director. Passed away in 1971.
 With US Navy Commander Sears (William Holden) in the begining of the movie.

With Colonel Saito (Hayakawa Sessue) and Major Clipton (James Donald).

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