Super Sentai fans, there is sad news coming from Japan. Legendary tokusatsu writer Shozo Uehara has passed away due to complications with liver cancer. He was 82.
Uehara is best remembered as the main writer for Ultraman and one of the original writers on Ultra Q, the series that preceded Ultraman. He was later contracted by Toei Productions and created his first Super Sentai series, Himitsu Sentai Goranger (known as Five Rangers in the West).
Shozo Uehara was born in Okinawa, Naha, an island in the far south of Japan on February 6, 1932. His family survived World War II after fleeing a Japanese occupied Taiwan in 1944. They returned home only to find it had been destroyed in air raids and drifted in the seas for two weeks before reaching the Kagoshima Prefecture. Uehara’s family would eventually return to Naha, Japan in 1946.
Uehara joined Tsuburaya Productions after graduating from Chuo University after his work was discovered by the company heads who read his writings about the war in Okinawan dramas. He would make his debut as lead writer for Ultra Q in the series’ 21st episode. From that point, he worked as lead writer for the fourth Ultraman series, The Return of Ultraman. Uehara joined Toei Productions in 1973 and created the Super Sentai series “Himitsu Sentai Goranger“, which likely served as inspiration for Saban’s Power Rangers franchise. He also led the writing team for the tokusatsu Spider-Man series (which is rumored to be featured in the second Spiderman: Into the Spiderverse film). He has also worked in several anime series including Dororon Enma-kun, Fist of the North Star, and Space Pirate Captain Harlock.
Shozo Uehara passed away January 2 and his death was made public after private services were held by his family. Uehara’s inspiration lives on in Saban’s Power Rangers franchise and Netflix’s Ultraman series.
Himitsu Sentai Goranger opening
Tokusatsu Spider-Man opening theme
Ultraman 1966 opening
Sources: Yahoo! Japan