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Ishirō Honda (本多猪四郎,   Honda Ishirō?, Born: 7 May 1911 Died: 28 February 1993)

was a Japanese film director and screenwriter. He is best known for his kaiju and tokusatsu films, including co-creating the Godzilla franchise and directing several entries, 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. He was often miscredited in foreign releases of his films as Inoshiro Honda, a misreading of the kanji in his Japanese name.


Ishirō Honda grew up in a small village, the youngest of five children born to a Buddhist priest and his wife. When Honda was a child, the family moved to the Tokyo area, where he encountered motion pictures for the first time. He later attended Nihon University (1931–33) as one of its first film majors, and before graduating, he was recruited to join Photo Chemical Laboratory, a film-production facility that in 1936 was subsumed into the Tōhō Motion Picture Company. Until the early 1950s Honda worked as an assistant director for the studio on more than a dozen films, including many directed by Yamamoto Kajirō. After Honda enlisted in an army infantry regiment in 1935, however, his nascent film career was periodically interrupted by military duties, including assignments in China and Manchuria during the second Sino-Japanese War. While stationed near Wuhan, China, in 1945, he was taken captive as a prisoner of war for about six months.

At Tōhō Honda had become friends with the talented young director Kurosawa Akira, and he later worked as chief assistant director on Kurosawa’s Nora inu (1949; Stray Dog ), capturing indelible footage of areas of Tokyo devastated by World War II. He established himself as a director in his own right with Aoi shinju (1951; “The Blue Pearl”), a semidocumentary about pearl divers that was the first full-length Japanese film to feature underwater sequences. However, the film that brought him wide attention was the special-effects showcase Gojira, in which a giant lizardlike monster, the mutant result of atomic radiation in the ocean, terrorizes Japan. Although Honda, who cowrote the screenplay, had intended the film to alert audiences to the dangers of nuclear war, it was more commonly seen as an escapist fantasy, and perhaps for that reason it became immensely popular at the box office.[2]


Ishirō Honda's real name is really Inoshiro Honda[1] his family called him by it and so did other Staff that help in his films.


Film education[]

Honda became interested in films when he and his classmates were assembled to watch one of the Universal Bluebird photoplays. Honda would have often sneaked to a movie theater without his parents' permission. For silent films in Japan at that time, onscreen texts were replaced with "benshi", narrators who stood beside the screen and provided live commentary, which Honda found more fascinating than the films themselves. 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. The film department was a pilot program, which resulted in disorganized poor conditions for the class and cancelations 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.

Honda and four of his classmates 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. While in school, Honda met Iwao Mori, an executive in charge of production for Photographic Chemical Laboratories (PCL). In August 1933, Mori offered entry level jobs at PCL to a few students, including Honda. 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.


Year Film Director Assistant director Writer Notes Ref(s)
1934 Tadano bonji Yes
1935 Three Sisters with Maiden Hearts Yes
1937 Otto no teiso–aki futatabi Yes
Nadare Yes
Enoken no Chakiri Kinta (zen) Yes 2nd assistant director
Enoken no Chakiri Kinta (go)–Kaeri wa kowai, mateba hiyori Yes
1938 Chinetsu Yes
Tojuro no koi Yes
1949-1950 Stray Dog

Japan Industrial Geography University First Edition National Park Ise Shima

Yes Yes Chief assistant director
Ise-Shima Yes
1949-1950 A Story of a Co-op Yes
1951 Aoi Shinju Yes Yes
1952 Nangoku no hada Yes Yes
The Man Who Came to Port

Tropical skin

Yes Yes
1953 Adolescence Part II Yes
Eagle of the Pacific Yes
1954 Farewell Rabaul Yes
Godzilla Yes Yes
1955 Lovetide Yes
Oen-san Yes
Half Human Yes
1956 Tōkyō no hito sayōnara Yes Yes
Night School Yes
Wakai ki Yes
Rodan Yes
1957 Be Happy, These Two Lovers Yes
A Teapicker's Song of Goodbye Yes Yes
A Rainbow Plays in My Heart Yes
A Teapicker's Song of Goodbye Yes
A Farewell to the Woman Called My Sister Yes Yes
The Mysterians Yes
1958 Song for a Bride Yes
The H-Man Yes
Varan the Unbelievable Yes
1959 An Echo Calls You Yes
Inao, Story of an Iron Arm Yes
Seniors, Juniors, Co-workers Yes
Battle in Outer Space Yes
1960 The Human Vapor Yes
1961 Mothra Yes
A Man in Red Yes
1962 Gorath Yes
King Kong vs. Godzilla Yes
1963 Matango Yes
Atragon Yes
1964 Mothra vs. Godzilla Yes
Dogora Yes
Ghidorah, the Three-Headed Monster Yes
1965 Frankenstein Conquers the World Yes
Invasion of Astro-Monster Yes
1966 The War of the Gargantuas Yes Yes
Come Marry Me Yes
1967 King Kong Escapes Yes
1968 Destroy All Monsters Yes Yes
1969 Latitude Zero Yes
All Monsters Attack Yes Special effects director
1970 Space Amoeba Yes
1972 Mirrorman Yes Short film
1975 Terror of Mechagodzilla Yes
1980 Kagemusha Production coordinator

2nd unit director

1985 Ran Director Counsellor
1990 Dreams Creative consultant
1991 Rhapsody in August Associate director
1993 Madadayo Yes Directorial Adviser
Samurai Kids Actor (the main boys Grandfather)

Major works[]

Release year Work name Production (distribution) Screenplay Screening time and others Position Poster
1949 Japan Industrial Geography University First Edition National Park Ise Shima Toho educational movie Honda Inoshiro Monochrome

standard 20-minute short documentary

directed by
1950 Flowers blooming in the sand Monochrome

Standard Unknown Short Culture Film

1951 August 3 Blue pearl Toho photo studio

( Toho )


standard 99 minutes

1952 February 28 Tropical skin Thursday Production



standard 95 minutes

"Tropical skin"
November 27 The man who came to the port Toho photo studio


Masashige Naruzawa

Inoshiro Honda


standard 89 minutes

"The man who came to the port"
1953 July 1 Puberty Toshiro Ide

Haruo Umeda


standard 89 minutes

October 21 Pacific eagle Shinobu Hashimoto Monochrome

standard 119 minutes

"Pacific Eagle"
1954 February 10 Farewell Rabaul Shinobu Hashimoto

Takeshi Kimura Masaru Nishijima


standard 109 minutes

"Farewell Rabaul"
November 3 Godzilla Takeo Murata

Inoshiro Honda


standard 97 minutes

"Godzilla" original film release Poster

1955 January 9 Love makeup Nishijima University Monochrome

standard 82 minutes

"Love makeup"
June 7 Oen Nishijima University Monochrome

standard 100 minutes

July 26 Beastman Yukio Takeo Murata Monochrome

standard 95 minutes

"Beastman Yukio"
1956 January 22 Young tree Ichiro Ikeda Inshiro



standard 92 minutes

"Young Tree"
April 18 Night junior high school Nihon University College of Art

( Daiei )

Yoko Mizuki Monochrome

standard 44 minutes

"Night middle school"
June 28 Goodbye to people in Tokyo Toho photo studio


Honda Inoshiro Monochrome

standard 61 minutes

"Goodbye to Tokyo people"
December 26 Radon the Great Monster in the Sky Takeshi Kimura Takeo



standard 82 minutes

"Ladon the Great Monster in the Sky"
1957 February 19 Good luck to these two Zenzo Matsuyama Monochrome

standard 95 minutes

July 2 Farewell tea picking song Union Production


Honda Inoshiro

Kosuke Takenaka


standard 62 minutes

July 9 The rainbow will not disappear on my chest Toho photo studio


Tokuhei Wakao Monochrome

Standard Part 1: 67 minutes Part 2: 68 minutes

August 25 The person who called the parting tea picking sister sister Union Production


Honda Inoshiro

Kosuke Takenaka


standard 67 minutes

December 28 Earth Defense Force Toho photo studio


Kimura Takeshi Color

Toho Scope 88 minutes

1958 February 11 Bride trio Tokuhei Wakao Monochrome

Toho Scope 87 minutes

June 24 Beauty and liquid human Kimura Takeshi Eastman Color

Toho Scope 87 minutes

October 14 Large Monster Balun Shinichi Sekizawa Monochrome

Toho Panscope 87 minutes

1959 January 22 Kodama is calling Goro Tanada Monochrome

Toho Scope 87 minutes

March 21 Astro pitcher Inao story Yoshio Hasuike Monochrome

Toho Scope 106 minutes

September 13 Superior/Lower/Same role Tsutomu Sawamura Monochrome

Toho Scope 89 minutes

December 26 Space War Shinichi Sekizawa Color

Toho Scope 93 minutes

1960 December 11 Gas human first Kimura Takeshi Eastman Color

Toho Scope 91 minutes

1961 July 30 Mothra Shinichi Sekizawa Color

Toho Scope 101 minutes

September 12 Crimson man Morito Matou Color

Toho Scope 89 minutes

1962 March 21 Gosei Goras Kimura Takeshi Color

Toho Scope Multi-dimensional magnetic stereophony 88 minutes

August 11 King Kong vs Godzilla Shinichi Sekizawa Color

Toho Scope 98 minutes

1963 Matango Kimura Takeshi Eastman Color

Toho Scope 89 minutes

December 22 Submarine warship Shinichi Sekizawa Color

Toho Scope 94 minutes

1964 April 29 Mothra vs Godzilla Color

Toho Scope 89 minutes

August 11 Space monster Dogora Color

Toho Scope 81 minutes

December 20 The Biggest Battle on Earth Color

Toho Scope 93 minutes

1965 August 8 Frankenstein vs. Underground Monster Toho Film Studio

Benedict Production (Toho)

Kaoru Mabuchi Color

cinema scope 90 minutes

December 19 Monster Great War Shinichi Sekizawa Color

cinema scope 94 minutes

1966 July 31 Frankenstein's Monster Sanda vs. Gaira Takeshi Kimura

Ishirō Honda


cinema scope 88 minutes

November 20 Come to the bride Toho photo studio


Zenzo Matsuyama Color

cinema scope 84 minutes

1967 July 22 Counterattack of King Kong Toho Film Studio

Rankin-Bus Production (Toho)

Kaoru Mabuchi Color

cinema scope 104 minutes

1968 Aug. 1 Kaiju total attack Toho photo studio


Takeshi Kimura

Ishirō Honda


cinema scope 89 minutes

1969 July 26 Latitude 0 Operation Toho Film Studio

Don Sharp Production (Toho)

Shinichi Sekizawa

Ted Shardman


cinema scope 89 minutes

December 20 Godzilla, Minila, Gabara, All Monsters Advance Toho photo studio


Shinichi Sekizawa Color

cinema scope 70 minutes

1970 Aug. 1 Gesora Ganyme Cameba Decisive Battle! Ogawa Hide Color

cinema scope 84 minutes

1975 March 15 Mechagodzilla Strikes Back Toho Visual Art


Yukiko Takayama Color

cinema scope 83 minutes

1980 April 26 Shadow warrior Toho Movie

Kurosawa Productions ( Toho )

Akito Kurosawa

Masato Ide


Vista Vision 179 minutes

Director Chief
1985 June 1 Disorder Greenwich Film

Herald Ace (Toho)

Akira Kurosawa

Hideo Oguni Masato Ide


Vista Vision 162 minutes

Production assistant
1990 May 25 dream Kurosawa Productions

( Warner Brothers )

Akira Kurosawa Color

Vista Vision 120 minutes

1991 August Rhapsody Kurosawa Production

Feature Film Enterprise II ( Matsutake )

Akira Kurosawa Color

Vista Vision 97 minutes

1993 April 17 Well Daiei

Dentsu Kurosawa Productions (Toho)

Akira Kurosawa Color

Vista Vision 134 minutes



Book biography[]

Ishiro Honda: A Life in Film, from Godzilla to Kurosawa

Japanese Name[]

本多 猪四郎


Initially, the director's work was handwritten by himself, but in the middle of the period, it is left to the screenwriter. The main authors of such Honda works are Kaoru Mabuchi , Takeo Murata , and Shinichi Sekizawa . However, even if it was not credited, the director himself added and corrected it. The movie music is Akira Ifukube and Masaru Sato . Shinichiro Ikebe was in charge of the director's work in the later years .

In the special effects work , Eiji Tsuburaya , Sadamasa Arikawa , Akiyoshi Nakano and others supported the visual image as special skills and special skills director.

In addition to the staff, if you include also consistently it has been manufactured by Toho, shooting Kazuo Yamada , Hajime Koizumi , Kankura Taiichi , art of Takeo Kita , recording Fumio Yanokuchi , of voicing Shimonaga In addition , Chief Assistant director Koji Kajita and others supported Honda's work, and after being assisted by production, B group photographer Shoji Ueda and director assistant Koji Yoneda and others supported it.


Honda, 1951 from the "blue pearl" of 1962 to "Gorath" in Ryo Ikebe appointed as the protagonist, 1954 from the "Godzilla" of 1969 is to "latitude 0 Battle" of Akira Takarada the , 1953 from the "continued puberty" of, 1970 of "Gezora-Ganime-Kameba Kessen! Nankai of Monster" until Akira Kubo appointed, respectively. Kenji Sahara appeared as a reporter in "Godzilla", and then played the leading role in six movies from "Ladon in the Sky Radon" in 1956 to " Sanda vs. Gaira in Frankenstein's Monster" in 1966, and others Appeared in many works as a supporting role. In addition, Tadao Takashima (3) and Yosuke Natsuki (2).

Ikebe, Sahara, Takarada, along with Kubo, Takashi Shimura is an indispensable also in Honda work, debut from the "blue pearl" 1965 of "Frankenstein Conquers the World", the production assistant work a number of up to "Kagemusha" Participate in the work. After playing the role of Dr. Kyohei Yamane in "Godzilla", he became an indispensable supporting role in Toho special effects movies.

Akihiko Hirata who made his first appearance in "Farewell Rabaul" and played Dr. Serizawa in "Godzilla" became an indispensable presence in Honda's work, Toho special effects movie with this opportunity, and in "Mechagodzilla's Counterattack" the opposite of Dr. Serizawa Played Dr. Mafune.

Yoshio Tsuchiya was named a villain for playing the Mysterian boss in "The Earth Defense Force," and became even more popular as the X-star controller in "The Great Monster War." Most of the appearances are villains.


This is a list of references for Ishirō Honda. These citations are used to identify the reliable sources on which this article is based. These references appear inside articles in the form of superscript numbers, which look like this: [1]

  1. Water Traveller-Samurai Kids
  2. www.britannica.com/Honda-Ishiro


Showa era Ishirō HondaEiji TsuburayaSFX directorMotoyoshi OdaKoji HashimotoKoichi KawakitaAssistant SFX directorJun FukudaYoshimitsu BannoMikio Naruse
Heisei era Kazuki OmoriTakao Okawara
Millennium series Takao OkawaraMasaaki TezukaShusuke KanekoHirofumi IshigakiRyuhei Kitamura
Toho reboot series