Ishirō Honda

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Ishirō Honda (本多猪四郎 Honda Ishirō), sometimes miscredited in foreign releases as "Inoshiro Honda", (May 7, 1911, in Yamagata Prefecture – February 28, 1993) was a Japanese film director. He is probably best known for his kaiju films including several entries in the Godzilla series.

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 there when the war ended.

He directed the original Godzilla along with King Kong Vs. Godzilla (1962), Mothra Vs. Godzilla (1964), All Monsters Attack (1969), and many others until 1975. He also directed such tokusatsu films such as Rodan and Mothra. 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.

Book review Ishiro Honda: A Life In Film, From Godzilla to Kurosawa

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