Ishirō Honda

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Ishirō Honda
Ishiro Honda directing "Eagle of the Pacific".jpg
Ishirō Honda directing Eagle of the Pacific (1953).
Native name 本多 猪四郎
Born (1911-05-07)May 7, 1911
Yamagata Prefecture, Japan
Died February 28, 1993(1993-02-28) (aged 81)
Tokyo, Japan
Cause of death Respiratory failure
Occupation Director, producer, screenwriter, editor
Spouse(s) Kimi Honda (1937 – February 28, 1993) (his death)
Children 2
Website http://www.ishirohonda.org/

Ishirō Honda (本多猪四郎?, Honda Ishirō, May 7, 1911 – February 28, 1993), sometimes miscredited in foreign releases as "Inoshiro Honda", was a Japanese film director. He is best known for his kaiju and tokusatsu films, including several entries in the Godzilla series, but also worked extensively in the documentary and war genres earlier in his career. Honda was also a lifelong friend and collaborator of Akira Kurosawa, and worked with Kurosawa extensively during the 1980s and 1990s.

Life[edit]

Honda was born in Asahi, Yamagata (now part of the city of Tsuruoka).

His early film career included working as an assistant under the famed director Akira Kurosawa. Alongside his film duties, he was drafted into the Imperial Japanese Army during World War II in China and was a prisoner of war there when the war ended.

He directed the original Godzilla along with King Kong vs. Godzilla (1962), Mothra vs. Godzilla (1964), Destroy All Monsters (1968), and many others until 1975. He also directed such tokusatsu films such as Rodan, Mothra and The War of the Gargantuas. His last feature film was Terror of Mechagodzilla (1975).

The following years were spent directing various science fiction TV shows. The superhero shows Return of Ultraman, Mirrorman, and Zone Fighter were also his. In addition, he directed the cult film Matango.

After retiring as a director, Honda returned more than 30 years later to work again for his old friend and former mentor Akira Kurosawa as a directorial advisor, production coordinator and creative consultant on his last five films. Allegedly one segment of the Kurosawa film Dreams was actually directed by Honda following Kurosawa's detailed storyboards.

His most memorable quotation: "Monsters are born too tall, too strong, too heavy—that is their tragedy", when he spoke of his film Rodan. This statement alone would give fans the impression that his intent was to give all kaiju a distinct personality instead of just being a monster-on-the-loose.

In 2009, the first book in English was published detailing Honda's life and genre films called Mushroom Clouds and Mushroom Men - The Fantastic Cinema of Ishiro Honda written by Peter H. Brothers.

Guillermo del Toro's kaiju eiga homage Pacific Rim ends with a joint dedication to Honda and Ray Harryhausen.

Filmography[edit]

Honda (left) working on the set of the original Godzilla
Title Year Credited as Notes Ref(s)
Director Assistant director Screenplay
Tadano bonji 1934 Yes [1]
Three Sisters with Maiden Hearts 1935 Yes [2][3]
Otto no teiso–aki futatabi 1937 Yes Assistant director with Akira Kurosawa [4][5]
Nadare Yes Assistant director with Akira Kurosawa [6]
Enoken no Chakiri Kinta (zen) Yes 2nd assistant director [6]
Enoken no Chakiri Kinta (go)–Kaeri wa kowai, mateba hiyori Yes Assistant director with Akira Kurosawa [7]
Chinetsu 1938 Yes Assistant director with Akira Kurosawa [8]
Tojuro no koi Yes Assistant director with Akira Kurosawa [9]
A Story of a Co-op 1949 Yes [10]
Stray Dog Yes Chief assistant director [11][12]
Aoi shinju 1951 Yes Yes [13]
Nangoku no hada 1952 Yes Yes [14]
The Man Who Came to Port Yes Yes [15]
That Dangerous Age 1953 Yes [16]
The Eagle of the Pacific Yes [17]
Farewell Rabaul 1954 Yes [18]
Godzilla Yes Yes [19]
Lovetide 1955 Yes [20]
Mother and Son Yes [21]
Half Human Yes [22]
Tokyo no hito sayonara 1956 Yes Yes [23]
Night School Yes [10]
Young Tree Yes [10]
Rodan Yes [24][25]
Be Happy, These Two Lovers 1957 Yes [26]
Wakare no chatsumi uta Yes Yes [27]
Wagamune no niji wa kiezu (dai ichibu) Yes [27]
Wagamune no niji wa kiezu (dai nibu) Yes [27]
Wakare no chatsumi uta–Onesan to yonda hito Yes Yes [28]
The Mysterians Yes [29]
Hanayome sanjuso 1958 Yes [30]
The H-Man Yes [31]
Varan the Unbelievable Yes [32]
Kodama wa yonde iru 1959 Yes [33]
Tetsuwan Toshu Inao monogatari Yes [34]
Uwayaku • Shitayaku • Godoyaku Yes [35][36]
Battle in Outer Space Yes [37]
The Human Vapor 1960 Yes [38]
Mothra 1961 Yes [39]
A Man in Red Yes [40]
Gorath 1962 Yes [41]
King Kong vs. Godzilla Yes [42]
Matango 1963 Yes [43]
Atragon Yes [44]
Mothra vs. Godzilla 1964 Yes [45]
Dogora Yes [46][47]
Ghidorah, the Three-Headed Monster Yes [48]
Frankenstein Conquers the World 1965 Yes [49]
Invasion of Astro-Monster Yes [50]
The War of the Gargantuas 1966 Yes Yes [51]
Come Marry Me Yes [52][53]
King Kong Escapes 1967 Yes [54]
Destroy All Monsters 1968 Yes Yes [55]
Latitude Zero 1969 Yes [56]
All Monsters Attack Yes Special effects director [57]
Space Amoeba 1970 Yes [58][59]
Miraaman 1972 Yes Short film [60]
Terror of Mechagodzilla 1975 Yes [61]
Kagemusha 1980 Production coordinator, 2nd unit director [62]
Ran 1985 Director Counsellor [63]
Dreams 1990 Creative consultant [64]
Rhapsody in August 1991 Associate director [65]
Madadayo 1993 Yes Also Directorial Adviser [66]
Samurai Kids Actor (Grandfather) [67]

References[edit]

Footnotes[edit]

  1. ^ Galbraith IV 2008, p. 5.
  2. ^ Galbraith IV 2008, p. 6.
  3. ^ Galbraith IV 2008, p. 7.
  4. ^ Galbraith IV 2008, p. 12.
  5. ^ Galbraith IV 2008, p. 13.
  6. ^ a b Galbraith IV 2008, p. 14.
  7. ^ Galbraith IV 2008, p. 15.
  8. ^ Galbraith IV 2008, p. 20.
  9. ^ Galbraith IV 2008, p. 22.
  10. ^ a b c Phillips & Stringer 2007, p. 110.
  11. ^ Galbraith IV 2008, p. 73.
  12. ^ Galbraith IV 2008, p. 74.
  13. ^ Galbraith IV 2008, p. 82.
  14. ^ Galbraith IV 2008, p. 84.
  15. ^ Galbraith IV 2008, p. 89.
  16. ^ Galbraith IV 2008, p. 94.
  17. ^ Galbraith IV 2008, p. 96.
  18. ^ Galbraith IV 2008, p. 99.
  19. ^ Galbraith IV 2008, p. 106.
  20. ^ Galbraith IV 2008, p. 108.
  21. ^ Galbraith IV 2008, p. 111.
  22. ^ Galbraith IV 2008, p. 113.
  23. ^ Galbraith IV 2008, p. 123.
  24. ^ Galbraith IV 2008, p. 127.
  25. ^ Galbraith IV 2008, p. 128.
  26. ^ Galbraith IV 2008, p. 130.
  27. ^ a b c Galbraith IV 2008, p. 134.
  28. ^ Galbraith IV 2008, p. 136.
  29. ^ Galbraith IV 2008, p. 140.
  30. ^ Galbraith IV 2008, p. 142.
  31. ^ Galbraith IV 2008, p. 146.
  32. ^ Galbraith IV 2008, p. 149.
  33. ^ Galbraith IV 2008, p. 153.
  34. ^ Galbraith IV 2008, p. 155.
  35. ^ Galbraith IV 2008, p. 159.
  36. ^ Galbraith IV 2008, p. 160.
  37. ^ Galbraith IV 2008, p. 162.
  38. ^ Galbraith IV 2008, p. 176.
  39. ^ Galbraith IV 2008, p. 183.
  40. ^ Galbraith IV 2008, p. 185.
  41. ^ Galbraith IV 2008, p. 190.
  42. ^ Galbraith IV 2008, p. 194.
  43. ^ Galbraith IV 2008, p. 203.
  44. ^ Galbraith IV 2008, p. 206.
  45. ^ Galbraith IV 2008, p. 210.
  46. ^ Galbraith IV 2008, p. 212.
  47. ^ Galbraith IV 2008, p. 213.
  48. ^ Galbraith IV 2008, p. 215.
  49. ^ Galbraith IV 2008, p. 221.
  50. ^ Galbraith IV 2008, p. 225.
  51. ^ Galbraith IV 2008, p. 231.
  52. ^ Galbraith IV 2008, p. 233.
  53. ^ Galbraith IV 2008, p. 234.
  54. ^ Galbraith IV 2008, p. 240.
  55. ^ Galbraith IV 2008, p. 251.
  56. ^ Galbraith IV 2008, p. 258.
  57. ^ Galbraith IV 2008, p. 261.
  58. ^ Galbraith IV 2008, p. 268.
  59. ^ Galbraith IV 2008, p. 269.
  60. ^ Galbraith IV 2008, p. 281.
  61. ^ Galbraith IV 2008, p. 300.
  62. ^ Galbraith IV 2008, p. 322.
  63. ^ Galbraith IV 2008, p. 343.
  64. ^ "Dreams". Criterion Collection. Retrieved 11 May 2017. 
  65. ^ Richie 1998, p. 260.
  66. ^ Galbraith IV 2008, p. 382.
  67. ^ Galbraith IV 2008, p. 383.

Sources[edit]

External links[edit]