Star Blazers Chronicles:
The Adventures of Edward Hawkins

Few anime fans in general – and Yamato fans in particular – have been at it harder or longer than Mr. Edward Hawkins. This is his story.

In this series of half-hour audio segments, Ed takes Cosmo DNA editor Tim Eldred (standing, at right) on a journey that includes his first discovery of anime culture in the 70s, the building of a world-class collection, his cutting-edge presence at SF conventions in the northwest, events that took him across the country and back again, and the lengths one will go to follow the spirit of Yamato.

The conversation took place over two days, February 1 and 2, 2014 at his home north of Seattle, WA.

Session 1: Where Life Takes You

Part One

Nature takes its course when carnal activity between two cats leads Ed to his first discovery of anime in the 70s. From here to his co-founding of the “Anime Triad” in the 90s, Ed traces his history from neophyte to acolyte.

Part Two

During the 1990s, the “Anime Triad” set and reset the standards for anime presentation at SF conventions across America. Here, Ed discusses what they accomplished as the digital revolution took hold.

Part Three

There and back again: Ed’s passions propel him from the northwest to the nation’s capital, where his career twists and turns through the corridors of power. For most people, this would be the place to settle, but Ed’s life had other plans…

Part Four

YOU can go to Japan without even going there! Ed was one of the first to discover this, and it took his life in yet another direction. But what’s the downside of amassing the collection of a lifetime? Yes, we go there.

Session 2: Yamato for all seasons

After a morning of rummaging through and cataloging part of Ed’s massive collection of anime memorabilia, we sit down and drill deep into the world of Yamato collecting, examine trends that link past to present, and finally confront the inevitable.

Part Five

Ed’s first contact with Yamato and subsequent discovery of Star Blazers opens up the spiritual message of the series and demonstrates how it communicates to viewers in ways other than language across both time and space.

Part Six

Collecting Yamato merch before and after the advent of the web were two very different experiences. Here, Ed compares and contrasts, explaining how he went from consumer to broker and assembled a pristine collection.

Part Seven

Pie is served and conversation turns to the future all collectors must eventually face: letting it go. How does one give up the pursuit of a lifetime, what is the ultimate collectible, and what thoughts propel you toward finality? This conversation may be the first of its kind, and certainly not the last.

The Ultimate Collectible

Here are development drawings for the object talked about in part 7. Special thanks to Junichiro Tamamori.

4 thoughts on “Star Blazers Chronicles:
The Adventures of Edward Hawkins

  1. Pertaining to the last topic about preservation, it might be possible to save digital content at least to In fact everything I personally have created which I think is of worth (mostly electronic versions of classical works, another interest of mine) is uploaded to there. Paper media would have to be scanned and uploaded. Toys and stuff like that is a problem. There really should be a museum holding every kind of toy ever made, not just Yamato, or even anime related. If such a place existed I’m sure it would be a huge tourist attraction. I assume Disney probably has something like that, but not accessible to the public.

  2. There are at least two massive, privately owned, toy museums in Japan. One of them is part of a larger collection of 20th Century Japanese artifacts, owned and curated by noted collector, Teruhisa Kitahara. He is a well-known collector of tin toys and the author and consultant on numerous books on the subject.

  3. Tim, thank you for such a wonderful interview with Edward. The last words he spoke of, the love of life and others in our lives rings so true. I never did meet Edward, but do appreciate all he had done for Starblazers/Yamato.

  4. I was truly fortunate to have personally met Edward MANY years back when he lived in the Northern Virginia area, before he moved out to the west coast. I spent many hours hanging out with him and sharing our love for all things Yamato and he is responsible for supplying a vast majority of my personal Yamato book collection. His knowledge on the subject was unsurpassed. I recall him saying that he was making several attempts at requesting archival gun camera footage of the 1945 attack and sinking of Yamato through the Freedom of Information Act. Don’t know if he was ever successful (IIRC, he was running into some unexpected resistance to the inquiries), but it certainly showed his dedication to the memory of Yamato.

    He will be missed.

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