(Stars and Stripes)

Tokyo International Airport, Oct. 4, 1957: It’s been 44 years today, June 11, since The Duke took his final curtain call but what a life and career he lived. Here he is in 1957, surrounded by some Japanese actresses who greeted him when he arrived in Tokyo. Wayne was in town to film “The Barbarian and the Geisha” (known then under its working title The Townsend Harris Story). The film, about American diplomat Townsend Harris, is set in the late 1850s and was being shot in Kyoto. John Huston of “The Maltese Falcon” (1941) and “The Treasure of the Sierra Madre” (1948) fame was to direct. The original photo caption printed in the Pacific Stars and Stripes Oct. 5, 1957, identified only three of the actresses, Hitomi Nakahara (second from left), Utako Mitsuya (third from left) and Toyomi Karita (second from right). Despite being described as “starlets” at the time by the newspaper, all three women had screen credits to their names by 1957. Nakahara was a well-known actress in Japan and would feature in over 100 movies and TV series well into the 2000s. Ms. Mitsuya and Ms. Karita also had starred in several major roles by 1957, and Ms. Mitsuya would go on to feature in over 60 Japanese movies and TV shows working well into the 1980s.

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