Friday, January 29, 2010

Umezz dance

The honored guest of the first day of Taipei International Book Exhibition was Kazuo Umezz (official transliteration; most sources spell his family name as "Umezu"). Unlike most shy mangaka, 73-years-old Umezz-sensei is well known for his love of stage performance and attention. In addition to have danced at the opening ceremony, Umezz-sensei added two additional dances before his autograph session started!

The first dance had strong Middle Eastern feel, and Umezz-sensei had long white robes to fit in the theme. At the moment I felt deja vu of his outfit but couldn't name it, only to have realized the likeliness of this colonel.

Finishing the first song was far from the end. Umezz-sensei took off the long white robes, revealing his trademark red and white striped shirt.

Umezz-sensei said hello to his fans with yet another trademark of his, the gwashi gesture.

Umezz-sensei dancing with the music of "Gwashi!! Makoto-chan," related to the 1980 animated movie Makoto-chan that was also written and composed by Umezz-sensei himself. Blowing a whistle while waving two fans, the dance reminded me the famous Juliana's Tokyo, although the fans had no feathers on them.

The first reader who got Umezz-sensei's autograph.

The fan (who insisted her anonymity) had Umezz-sensei's autograph back in 1995 (right) and 2001 (left). Now that's what you call loyalty.

Due to personal issues (had an appointment with my doctor), I couldn't attend the joint interview after the autograph session. Those interested can read Tiffany's report. In summary, Umezz-sensei explained the coloring of his (in)famous house, his gwashi gesture (the original version was the middle finger...), and his perspective on horror.

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