Ishirō Honda

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Ishirō Honda
Ishiro Honda in 1965.jpg
Born(1911-05-07)7 May 1911
Died28 February 1993(1993-02-28) (aged 81)
Resting placeFuji Cemetery, Oyama, Shizuoka, Japan
  • Film director
  • screenwriter
  • film editor
  • actor
Years active1934–1993
Kimi Yamazaki
(m. 1939; his death 1993)
Military career
Allegiance Empire of Japan
Years of service1935–1945
Rank帝國陸軍の階級―襟章―軍曹.svg Sergeant[1]
Battles/warsWorld War II (Second Sino-Japanese War)
Japanese name
Kanji本多 猪四郎
Hiraganaほんだ いしろう[2]
RomanizationHonda Ishirō
Ishirō Honda Signature.svg

Ishirō Honda[a] (Japanese: 本多 猪四郎いしろう, Hepburn: Honda Ishirō, 7 May 1911 – 28 February 1993) was a Japanese filmmaker who directed 44 feature films in a career spanning 59 years.[5] He is regarded as one of the most internationally successful Japanese filmmakers of the 20th century.

Honda entered the Japanese film industry in 1934, working as the third assistant director on Sotoji Kimura's The Elderly Commoner's Life Study.[6] After 15 years of working on numerous films as an assistant director, he made his directorial debut with the short documentary film Ise-Shima (1949). Honda's first feature film, The Blue Pearl (1952), was a critical success in Japan at the time and would lead him to direct three subsequent drama films.

In 1954, Honda directed and co-wrote Godzilla, which became a box office success in Japan, and was nominated for two Japanese Movie Association awards, it won an award for best special effects[7] but lost to Akira Kurosawa's Seven Samurai for best picture.[8] Because of the film's success in Japan, it spawned a multimedia franchise, being recognized by Guinness World Records as the longest-running film franchise in history.[9] The film not only established the kaiju and tokusatsu genres but helped Honda gain international recognition leading him to direct numerous tokusatsu films that are still studied and watched today.[10][11]

After directing his eighth and final Godzilla film in 1975, Honda retired from filmmaking.[12] Honda's former colleague and friend, Akira Kurosawa, would, however, persuade him to come out of retirement in the late 1970s and act as his right-hand man for his last five films.[13]

Early life[edit]

Honda practicing Kendo in the late 1920s

Honda was born in Asahi, Yamagata Prefecture (now part of the city of Tsuruoka),[14][15][16] the fifth and youngest child of Hokan and Miyo Honda. His father Hokan was the abbot of Honda Ryuden-in temple.[14] Having been born in the year of the boar, his name is a combination derived from the Japanese words for boar ("Inoshishi") and fourth son ("shiro").[3][17] He had three brothers: Takamoto, Ryokichi, Ryuzo, and one sister: Tomi, who died during her childhood.[18] Honda's father and grandfather were both Buddhist monks at Churen-ji, a temple in Mount Yudono, where the Hondas lived in a dwelling on the temple's property. The Hondas grew rice, potatoes, daikon radishes, and carrots, and also made and sold miso and soy sauce. The family also received income from a silk moth farm managed by one of Honda's brothers. Honda's father earned income during the summers by selling devotions in Iwate Prefecture, Akita Prefecture, and Hokkaido and would return home before the winter.[17]

While Honda's brothers were given religious tutoring at sixteen, Honda was learning about science.[17] Takamoto, who became a military doctor, encouraged Honda to study and sent him scientific magazines to help, which started Honda's love for reading and scientific curiosity.[19] In 1921, when Honda was ten, Hokan became the abbot at Io-ji temple in Tokyo,[14] and the family moved into the Takaido neighborhood in Suginami. Though he was an honors student back home, Honda's grades declined in Tokyo and in middle school; he struggled with subjects involving equations such as chemistry, biology, and algebra.[20]

After his father transferred to another temple, Honda enrolled in the Tachibana Elementary school in Kawasaki and later in Kogyokusha Junior High where Honda studied kendo, archery, and athletic swimming but quit after tearing his Achilles tendon.[21] Honda met Kimi Yamazaki in 1937 and proposed marriage to her in 1939. Honda's parents and Kimi's mother were supportive, but Kimi's father was opposed to the sudden engagement. Though Kimi's father never approved of her marriage, he nonetheless sent her ¥1,000 upon learning of her pregnancy. Rather than having a traditional wedding ceremony, the two simply signed papers at city hall, paid their respects at Meiji Shrine, and went home.[22]

Film education[edit]

Honda became interested in films when he and his class-mates were assembled to watch one of the Universal Bluebird photoplays. Honda would often sneak into movie theatres without his parents' permission. For silent films in Japan at that time, on-screen texts were replaced with benshi, narrators who stood beside the screen and provided live commentary, which Honda found more fascinating than the films themselves.[23] Honda's brother, Takamoto, had hoped for Honda to become a dentist and join his clinic in Tokyo but instead, Honda applied at Nihon University for their art department's film major program and was accepted in 1931.[24] The film department was a pilot program, which resulted in disorganized poor conditions for the class and cancellations from the teacher every so often. While this forced other students to quit, Honda instead used the cancelled periods to watch films at theaters, where he took personal notes.[25]

Honda and four of his class-mates rented a room in Shinbashi, a few kilometers from their university, where they would gather after school to discuss films. Honda had hoped for the group to collaborate on a screenplay but they mainly just socialized and drank. Honda attended a salon of film critics and students but hardly participated, preferring rather to listen.[25] While in school, Honda met Iwao Mori, an executive in charge of production for Photographic Chemical Laboratories (P.C.L.) In August 1933, Mori offered entry-level jobs at P.C.L. to a few students, including Honda.[11] Honda eventually completed his studies while working at the studio and became an assistant director, which required him to be a scripter in the editing department. Honda eventually became a third assistant director on Sotoji Kimura's The Elderly Commoner's Life Study (1934). However, Honda then received a draft notice from the military.[26]

Military service[edit]

Honda in China, late 1930s

At twenty-three years old, Honda was drafted into the Imperial Japanese Army in the fall of 1934. Despite receiving a passing grade on his physical examination, he was not required to report for immediate duty. While waiting for his call-up, Honda continued working at P.C.L. Honda was then called to duty in January 1935 and was enlisted into the First Division, First Infantry Regiment in Tokyo. At the time, Honda began his training at the entry-level rank of Ippeisotsu, the equivalent of Petty Officer First Class.[27]

In 1936, Honda's former commanding officer, Yasuhide Kurihara, launched a coup against the civilian government, what would be called the February 26 Incident. Though Honda had no involvement with the coup, everyone associated with Kurihara were considered dangerous and the brass wanted them gone and as a result, Honda and his regiment were sent to Manchukuo in 1936, under questionable pretense. Honda would have completed his 18 remaining months of service had it not been for the coup and would be recalled to service again and again for the remainder of the war.[28]

Honda was recalled to service in mid-December 1939, a week before his daughter, Takako, was due to be born.[29] Having already risen in rank, Honda was able to visit his wife and daughter in the hospital but had to leave afterwards immediately to China.[30] Between 1940 and 1941, Honda was assigned to manage a "comfort station", a euphemism for brothels established in occupied areas. Honda would later write an essay titled Reflections of an Officer in Charge of Comfort Women published in Movie Art Magazine in April 1966, detailing his experiences and other comfort women's experiences working in comfort stations.[31]

Honda would then return home in December 1942, only to find that P.C.L. (now rebranded as Toho by that point) were forced to produce propaganda to support the war effort. The government took control of the Japanese film industry in 1939, modeling the passage of motion picture laws after Nazi policies where scripts and films were reviewed so they supported the war effort and filmmakers noncompliant were punished or worse.[32] Honda's son, Ryuji, was born on 31 January 1944, however, Honda received another draft notice in March 1944. He was assigned to head for the Philippines but his unit missed the boat and were sent back to China instead. To Honda's fortune, the conflict in China was less intense than it was in the Pacific and South-East Asia. Honda became a sergeant and was in charge of trading and communicating with civilians. Honda never ordered the Chinese as a soldier and was respectful to them as much as possible.[33]

Honda was eventually captured by the Chinese National Revolutionary Army and relocated to an area between Beijing and Shanghai for a year before the war ended. During his imprisonment, Honda stated to have been treated well and was even befriended by the locals and temple monks, who offered him to stay permanently but Honda respectfully refused in favor of finding his wife and children. As a parting gift, the locals gave Honda rubbings of Chinese proverbs, imprinted from stone carvings of temples. Honda would later write these verses in the back of his screenplays.[34]

During his final tour, Honda escaped death near Hankou when a mortar shell landed before him but did not detonate. When the battle ended, Honda later returned to retrieve the shell and took it back home to Japan where he placed it on top of his desk in his private study until his death.[35] Honda then returned home in March 1946; however, throughout most of his life, even as an old man, Honda would have nightmares about the war twice or thrice a year.[36] During his entire military service, Honda served three tours, with a total of six years serving at the front.[37]



From the left: Akira Kurosawa, Honda, and Senkichi Taniguchi with their mentor Kajirō Yamamoto, late 1930s

Honda returned to work at Toho as an assistant director. In 1946, he worked on two films: Motoyoshi Oda's Eleven Girl Students and Kunio Watanabe's Declaration of Love. In 1947, he worked on three films, 24 Hours in an Underground Market (jointly directed by Tadashi Imai, Hideo Sekigawa, and Kiyoshi Kusuda) and The New Age of Fools Parts One and Two, directed by Kajirō Yamamoto.[38] Due to issues with trade unions and employees at Toho, many left to form Shintoho. Kunio Watanabe tried to convince Honda to join Shintoho, with the promise of Honda becoming a director quicker, however, Honda chose to remain neutral and stayed at Toho.[39] Despite struggling at Toho, Honda worked on a handful of films produced by Film Arts Associates Productions.[38]

Between September and October 1948, Honda was on location in Noto Peninsula working on Kajirō Yamamoto's Child of the Wind, the first release from Film Arts. From January to March 1949, Honda worked with Yamamoto again on Flirtation in Spring.[38] Between July and September 1949, Honda reunited with his friend Akira Kurosawa and began working as a chief assistant director on Kurosawa's Stray Dog. Honda mainly directed second unit photography, all of the footage which pleased Kurosawa and has stated to "owe a great deal" to Honda for capturing the film's post-war atmosphere.[40] In 1950, Honda worked on two films by Kajirō Yamamoto: Escape from Prison and Elegy, the last film produced by Film Art Associations.[41] Honda had also worked as an assistant director on Senkichi Taniguchi's Escape at Dawn.[42][b]


In 1949, before being promoted to a feature film director, Honda had to direct documentaries for Toho's Educational Films Division. Toho sometimes used documentary projects as tests for assistant directors due to become directors.[44] Honda's directorial debut was the documentary Ise-Shima, a twenty-minute highlight reel of Ise-Shima's cultural attractions. It was commissioned by local officials to boost tourism to the national park. The film covers a brief history of the Ise Grand Shrine, the local people, the economy, and pearl farms.[44] The film is also notable for being the first Japanese film to successfully utilize underwater photography. Honda originally wanted to use a small submarine-like craft but the idea was scrapped due to budget and safety concerns. Instead, professional divers assisted with the production. Honda had commissioned a camera technician colleague who designed and built an air-tight, waterproof, metal-and-glass housing for a compact 35-millimetre camera.[45]

Ise-Shima was completed in July 1949 and became a success for Toho. The documentary was then sold to multiple European territories. The documentary disappeared for a long time until it resurfaced on Japanese cable television in 2003. Shortly after, Honda began working with Akira Kurosawa on Stray Dog.[40] In 1950, Honda began pre-production on Newspaper Kid, which would have been Honda's feature film directorial debut, however, the project was cancelled. Instead, Honda began work on another documentary titled Story of a Co-op (A.K.A. Flowers Blooming in the Sand and Co-op Way of Life)[41][43]

Story of a Co-op was a documentary about the rise of consumer cooperatives in post-war Japan. It was also written by Honda, with the production overseen by Jin Usami and with the support of the Ministry of Health and Welfare. Some records indicated that some animation was used to explain the functions of co-ops but these reports have been unconfirmed. The film was completed on 6 October 1950 and has since been lost. However, Honda recalled that the film was successful enough to convince Toho to assign Honda his first feature film.[46]

Feature films[edit]

Honda (left) working with special effects director Eiji Tsuburaya (center) on the set of Godzilla (1954)

Between filming the documentaries, Toho had offered Honda the chance to develop and direct a war film titled Kamikaze Special Attack Troop. Toho then chose not to proceed with the project after finding Honda's script, which openly criticized leaders of World War II, to be too grim and realistic. Honda recalled that the studio felt it was "too soon after the war" to produce such a film. Had the project proceeded, it would have been Honda's first directorial feature. The script has since been lost.[47]

At the age of 40, Honda completed his first feature film The Blue Pearl.[2][11][12] Released on 3 August 1951, it was one of the first Japanese feature films to utilize underwater photography and the first studio film to be shot in the Ise-Shima region.[48][49] Honda initially chose not to direct war films, but changed his mind after Toho offered to have him direct Eagle of the Pacific, a film about Isoroku Yamamoto, a figure with whom Honda shared the same feelings regarding the war. It was the first film where Honda collaborated with Eiji Tsuburaya.[50]

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. 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. Honda retired from filmmaking after directing Terror of Mechagodzilla in 1975,[12] but was persuaded to return by his old friend and former mentor Akira Kurosawa as a directorial advisor, production coordinator, and creative consultant on his last five films, including Madadayo on which he is said to have made uncredited writing contributions.[51][c]


Honda was truly a virtuous, sincere, and gentle soul. He worked for the world of film with might and main, lived a full life and very much like his nature, quietly exited this world.

— Inscription on Honda's headstone by Akira Kurosawa.[54]

In late 1992, Akira Kurosawa hosted a party for the cast and crew of Madadayo following the completion of principal photography. Honda appeared to be suffering from cold symptoms at the party, and called his son Ryuji in New York. Ryuji believed Honda was drunk and thought it strange that he called him.[55] Then, in mid-February 1993, Kurosawa, Honda, and Masahiko Kumada, the unit manager, attended a screening of The Stranger, Indian filmmaker Satyajit Ray's last film, at an art-house cinema.[55] After watching the film, Kurosawa invited Honda to his house for dinner and drinks, but Honda felt sick and went home. Honda was declared healthy following a checkup in December 1992, and no major illnesses were suspected. Although his cough kept getting worse, his family doctor diagnosed him with a common cold.[56] Initially, Honda stayed in bed for a week, but after he lost his appetite, he underwent X-rays and blood tests. Honda was immediately told to seek hospital treatment following the results. Knowing something was wrong with his health, Honda had already packed his bags. Within ten minutes of leaving home, he was taken to Kono Medical Clinic, a 19-bed facility in Soshigaya. Because the major hospitals were full, he was placed in a tiny room.[56]

A room in a bigger hospital was about to be assigned to Honda, so his friends could visit him. In the following days, Honda contracted pleurisy, a condition that causes difficulty breathing, and on February 27, just after returning home from visiting hours, Kimi and Takako received an urgent call: Honda's vital signs had suddenly deteriorated.[56] Throughout the night, Kimi and Takado stayed by Honda's side to watch as he fought for his life; however, at 11:30 pm on February 28, 1993, he died from respiratory failure at Kono Medical Center.[57][58] A memorial service was held at Joshoji Kaikan, an assembly hall in Setagaya, for Honda's friends, family, and colleagues on March 6.[59] Honda's funeral reunited Akira Kurosawa and Toshiro Mifune, an actor who had starred in both Honda's and Kurosawa's early films. The Japan Economic Newswire reported that Mifune was among the mourners at the funeral: "[Kurosawa and Mifune] made eye contact and hugged in tears at the funeral for their mutual friend."[60]

Honda's cremated remains were buried at Tama Cemetery, the largest municipal cemetery in Japan where notables like Isoroku Yamamoto and Yukio Mishima rest. His family later moved the grave to Fuji Cemetery, known for its abundant cherry blossoms.[54] Honda's wife Kimi would pass away on November 3, 2018, aged 101. This was also Godzilla's 64th anniversary.[61]




Year Title Director Writer Notes Ref.
1949 Ise-Shima Yes No [44]
1950 A Story of a Co-op Yes No [62]
1951 The Blue Pearl Yes Yes [63]
1952 The Skin of the South Yes Yes [64]
The Man Who Came to Port Yes Yes [65]
1953 Adolescence Part II Yes No [66]
Eagle of the Pacific Yes No [67]
1954 Farewell Rabaul Yes No [68]
Godzilla Yes Yes Also has an uncredited cameo as a power station worker [69][70]
1955 Lovetide Yes No [71]
Oen-san Yes No [72]
Half Human Yes No [73]
1956 People of Tokyo, Goodbye Yes Yes [74]
Night School Yes No [62]
Young Tree Yes No [62]
Rodan Yes No [75]
1957 Be Happy, These Two Lovers Yes No [76]
A Teapicker's Song of Goodbye Yes Yes [77]
A Rainbow Plays in My Heart Yes No [77]
A Farewell to the Woman Called My Sister Yes Yes [78]
The Mysterians Yes No [79]
1958 Song for a Bride Yes No [80]
The H-Man Yes No [81]
Varan the Unbelievable Yes No [82]
1959 An Echo Calls You Yes No [83]
Inao, Story of an Iron Arm Yes No [84]
Seniors, Juniors, Co-workers Yes No [85]
Battle in Outer Space Yes No [86]
1960 The Human Vapor Yes No [87]
1961 Mothra Yes No [88]
A Man in Red Yes No [89]
1962 Gorath Yes No [90]
Sampo Yes No 1962 Japanese dub [91]
King Kong vs. Godzilla Yes No [92]
1963 Matango Yes No [93]
Atragon Yes No [94]
1964 Mothra vs. Godzilla Yes No [95]
Dogora Yes No [96]
Ghidorah, the Three-Headed Monster Yes No [97]
1965 Frankenstein vs. Baragon Yes No [98]
Invasion of Astro-Monster Yes No [99]
1966 The War of the Gargantuas Yes Yes [100]
Come Marry Me Yes No [101]
1967 King Kong Escapes Yes No [102]
1968 Destroy All Monsters Yes Yes [103]
1969 Latitude Zero Yes No [104]
All Monsters Attack Yes No Also special effects director [105]
1970 Space Amoeba Yes No [106]
1972 Mirrorman Yes No Short film, theatrical release of show's first episode [107]
1975 Terror of Mechagodzilla Yes No [108]


Year Title Assistant director Actor Notes Ref.
1934 The Elderly Commoner's Life Study Yes No 3rd assistant director [6]
1935 Three Sisters with Maiden Hearts Yes No 2nd assistant director [27]
1937 A Husband's Chastity Yes No With Akira Kurosawa [109]
Nadare Yes No With Akira Kurosawa [110]
Enoken's Chakiri Kinta Part 1 Yes No 2nd assistant director [110]
Enoken's Chakiri Kinta Part 2 Yes No With Akira Kurosawa [111]
Humanity and Paper Balloons Yes No [112]
1938 Chinetsu Yes No With Akira Kurosawa [113]
Tojuro no koi Yes No With Akira Kurosawa [114]
Tsuruhachi and Tsurujiro Yes No 3rd assistant director [112]
Chocolate and Soldiers Yes No Chief assistant director [115]
1941 Uma Yes No With Hiromichi Horikawa [116]
1944 Colonel Kato's Falcon Squadron Yes No [117]
1946 Eleven Girl Students Yes No [39]
Declaration of Love Yes No [39]
1947 24 Hours in an Underground Market Yes No [16]
The New Age of Fools Yes No [38]
Spring Banquet Yes No [16]
1949 Child of the Wind Yes No [38]
Flirtation in Spring Yes No [38]
Stray Dog Yes No Chief assistant director [118]
1950 Escape at Dawn Yes No [42]
Escape from Prison Yes No [41]
1951 Elegy Yes No [41]
1966 Ebirah, Horror of the Deep No No Editor; Toho Champion Festival re-release [119]
1967 Son of Godzilla No No Editor; Toho Champion Festival re-release [119]
1980 Kagemusha No No Production coordinator
2nd unit director
1985 Ran No No Director Counsellor [121]
1986 Toho Unused Special Effects Complete
No No Interviewee [16]
1987 The Drifting Classroom No Yes Grandfather [122]
Come Back Hero No Yes Priest at wedding ceremony [52]
1988 The Discarnates No Yes Street vendor [122]
1990 Dreams No No Creative consultant [123]
1991 Rhapsody in August No No Associate director [124]
1993 Madadayo No No Directorial Adviser and co-writer [51]
Samurai Kids No Yes Deceased grandfather [portrait; posthumous] [122]
1994 Turning Point No Yes Photograph; posthumous [125]
1996 Rebirth of Mothra No Yes Photograph; posthumous [16]


Airdate Episode Ref.
The Newlyweds (Shinkon san)
7 January 1967 "The Woman, at That Moment" ("Onna wa sono toki") [126]
7 February 1967 "Forgive Me Please, Mom" ("Yurushitene okasan")
Husbands, Men, Be Strong (Otto yo otoko yo tsuyokunare)
9 October 1969 "Honey, It's a Presidential Order" ("Anata shacho meirei yo") [126]
30 October 1969 "We're Going South-Southwest" ("Nan nan sei ni ikuno yo")
Return of Ultraman
2 April 1971 "All Monsters Attack" [127]
9 April 1971 "Takkong's Great Counterattack"
14 May 1971 "Operation Monster Rainbow"
28 May 1971 "Monster Island S.O.S."
31 March 1972 "The Five Oaths of Ultra"
5 December 1971 "Birth of Mirrorman" ("Miraman tanjo") [126]
12 December 1971 "The Intruder is Here" ("Shinryakusha wa koko ni iru")
Emergency Command 10-4, 10-10 (Kinkyu shirei 10-4, 10-10)
31 July 1972 "Japanese Beetle Murder Incident" ("Kabutomushi satsujin jiken") [126]
7 August 1972 "Vampire of the Amazon" ("Amazon no kyuketsuki")
13 November 1972 "Assassin from Outer Space" ("Uchu kara kita ansatsuha")
20 November 1972 "Attack of Monster Bird Ragon" ("Kaicho Ragon no shugeki!")
Thunder Mask
3 October 1972 "Look! The Double Transformation of the Akatsuki" ("Miyo! Akatsuki no nidan henshin") [128]
10 October 1972 "The Boy Who Could Control Monsters" ("Maju wo ayatsuru shonen")
21 October 1972 "Devil Freezing Strategy" ("Mao reito sakusen")
28 October 1972 "Merman's Revenge" ("Kyuketsu hankyojin no fukushu")
2 January 1973 "Monster Summoning Smoke" ("Maju wo yobu kemuri")
9 January 1973 "Degon H: Death Siren" ("Shi no kiteki da degon H")
Zone Fighter
16 April 1973 "Defeat Garoga's Subterranean Base!" ("Tatake! Garoga no chitei kichi") [126]
23 April 1973 "Onslaught! The Garoga Army: Enter Godzilla" ("Raishu! Garoga daiguntai-Gojira toujo")
18 June 1973 "Terrobeat HQ: Invade the Earth!" ("Kyoju kichi chikyu e shinnyu!")
25 June 1973 "Absolute Terror: Birthday of Horror!" ("Senritsu! Tanjobi no kyofu")
30 July 1973 "Mission: Blast the Japan Islands" ("Shirei: Nihon retto bakuha seyo")
6 August 1973 "Order: Destroy Earth with Comet K" ("Meirei: K susei de chikyu wo kowase")
3 September 1973 "Secret of Bakugon, the Giant Terro-Beast" ("Daikyouju Bakugon no himitsu")
10 September 1973 "Smash the Pin-Spitting Needlar" ("Hari fuki Nidora wo taose")


Honda's work has influenced numerous filmmakers and actors around the world, including Brad Pitt,[13] Quentin Tarantino,[129] Guillermo del Toro,[13] John Carpenter,[13] Martin Scorsese,[13] and Tim Burton.[13]

In popular culture[edit]

The episode, "Tagumo Attacks!!!" in the television series Legends of Tomorrow is based around Ishirō Honda. The central plotline of the episode involves Tagumo, a creature that Ishirō has written, which becomes a reality due to a magic book that belongs to Brigid, the Celtic goddess of art. It is described as a "land octopus" that will destroy Tokyo, unless the protagonists can stop it (it resembles a kraken-esque creature). At the end of the episode, the character, Mick Rory tells Ishirō to "Forget about the octopus. Lizards. Lizards are king." In this fictional universe, this will lead Ishirō to creating the character Godzilla, as he states in the episode "The King... of the Monsters. I like that".[130] Honda and Ray Harryhausen were given dedications in the 2013 film Pacific Rim.[131]


  1. ^ Honda's given name has often been misread as "Inoshirō" (Japanese: いのしろう, Hepburn: Inoshirō) because his parents only used the letter I from the kanji character for Inoshishi (Japanese: , lit.'wild boar').[3][4] He is also known by the nicknames Ino-san (いのさん, Ino-san, lit.'Piggy') and Inoshirō-san (いのしろさん) in Japan.[3]
  2. ^ According to a copy of the screenplay found in Honda's archives, Honda served as assistant director, even though he is not listed in the credits for Escape at Dawn.[43]
  3. ^ There is a common misconception that Honda directed three sequences of Kurosawa's 1990 film Dreams entitled "The Tunnel,"[52] "Mount Fuji in Red," and "The Weeping Demon."[53]


  1. ^ Ryfle & Godziszewski 2017, p. 31.
  2. ^ a b Takaki et al. 1999, pp. 260–261.
  3. ^ a b c Honda, Yamamoto & Masuda 2010, p. 11.
  4. ^ Nakajima, Shinsuke (7 May 2013). "イシロウ、それともイノシロウ?". (in Japanese). Archived from the original on 13 May 2021. Retrieved 3 April 2022.
  5. ^ Ryfle 1998, p. 43.
  6. ^ a b Ryfle & Godziszewski 2017, p. 13.
  7. ^ Ryfle 1998, p. 47.
  8. ^ Higgins, Bill (30 May 2019). "Hollywood Flashback: Godzilla First Set Off on a Path to Destruction in 1954". The Hollywood Reporter. Archived from the original on 11 April 2022. Retrieved 12 April 2022.
  9. ^ "Jennifer Lawrence, Game of Thrones, Frozen among new entertainment record holders in Guinness World Records 2015 book". Guinness World Records. 3 September 2014. Archived from the original on 6 December 2016. Retrieved 23 December 2021.
  10. ^ Schilling, Mark (18 November 2017). "Ishiro Honda: The master behind Godzilla". The Japan Times. Archived from the original on 19 November 2017. Retrieved 27 December 2021.
  11. ^ a b c Tanaka 1983, pp. 539–540.
  12. ^ a b c Iwabatake 1994, pp. 148–149.
  13. ^ a b c d e f Ryfle, Steve (24 October 2019). "Godzilla's Conscience: The Monstrous Humanism of Ishiro Honda". The Criterion Collection. Archived from the original on 20 September 2020. Retrieved 19 January 2022.
  14. ^ a b c Honda, Yamamoto & Masuda 2010, p. 250.
  15. ^ Ryfle & Godziszewski 2017, p. 3.
  16. ^ a b c d e "Biography". (in Japanese). Archived from the original on 24 December 2007. Retrieved 25 December 2021.
  17. ^ a b c Ryfle & Godziszewski 2017, p. 4.
  18. ^ Ryfle & Godziszewski 2017, pp. 3–4.
  19. ^ Ryfle & Godziszewski 2017, p. 5.
  20. ^ Ryfle & Godziszewski 2017, pp. 6–7.
  21. ^ Ryfle & Godziszewski 2017, p. 8.
  22. ^ Ryfle & Godziszewski 2017, pp. 23–25.
  23. ^ Ryfle & Godziszewski 2017, pp. 7–8.
  24. ^ Ryfle & Godziszewski 2017, p. 9.
  25. ^ a b Ryfle & Godziszewski 2017, p. 11.
  26. ^ Ryfle & Godziszewski 2017, pp. 12–13.
  27. ^ a b Ryfle & Godziszewski 2017, p. 15.
  28. ^ Ryfle & Godziszewski 2017, p. 16.
  29. ^ Ryfle & Godziszewski 2017, p. 26.
  30. ^ Ryfle & Godziszewski 2017, p. 27.
  31. ^ Ryfle & Godziszewski 2017, pp. 27–28.
  32. ^ Ryfle & Godziszewski 2017, p. 30.
  33. ^ Ryfle & Godziszewski 2017, pp. 30–31.
  34. ^ Ryfle & Godziszewski 2017, pp. 31–32.
  35. ^ Ryfle & Godziszewski 2017, p. 33.
  36. ^ Ryfle & Godziszewski 2017, pp. 33–40.
  37. ^ Ryfle & Godziszewski 2017, p. 32.
  38. ^ a b c d e f Ryfle & Godziszewski 2017, p. 45.
  39. ^ a b c Ryfle & Godziszewski 2017, p. 44.
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Further reading[edit]

External links[edit]