Ishiro Honda

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Ishiro Honda
Ishiro Honda directing Eagle of the Pacific
Occupation/Role Director, writer, editor
Birthday May 7, 1911
Date of death February 28, 1993
Birthplace Yamagata Prefecture, Japan
First work Chocolate and Soldiers (1938)
Notable work Godzilla (1954)
Monsters are tragic beings. They are born too tall, too strong, too heavy. They are not evil by choice. That is their tragedy. They do not attack people because they want to, but because of their size and strength, mankind has no other choice but to defend himself. After several stories such as this, people end up having a kind of affection for the monsters. They end up caring about them.

— Ishiro Honda, speaking of his film, Rodan

Ishirō Honda (本多猪四郎,   Honda Ishirō) was a Japanese film director and screenwriter. He is most famous for directing eight Godzilla movies, including the original 1954 film, as well as other Toho kaiju films such as Rodan and The Mysterians. He was often miscredited in foreign releases of his films as Inoshiro Honda, a misreading of the kanji in his Japanese name.


Ishiro Honda is probably best known for the many science fiction films which he directed for Toho, including eight entries in the Godzilla series. He directed the original Godzilla along with King Kong vs. Godzilla, Mothra vs. Godzilla, All Monsters Attack and many others throughout the 1950's and 1960's. He also directed other tokusatsu films for Toho such as Rodan and Mothra during this time. Aside from the original Godzilla, the 1963 cult horror film Matango is widely considered Honda's greatest work. Honda was a frequent collaborator of legendary director of special effects Eiji Tsuburaya, who directed or received credit for the effects for all of Honda's kaiju films until he passed away in 1969. Due to Tsuburaya's failing health during filming for All Monsters Attack, Honda directed the film's special effects sequences himself with assistance from Teruyoshi Nakano, with Tsuburaya still receiving honorary credit as the film's special effects supervisor.

After directing the kaiju film Space Amoeba in 1970, Honda spent the following years directing episodes of various sci-fi TV shows. Episodes of the superhero shows The Return of Ultraman, Mirrorman and Zone Fighter were directed by Honda. Honda also served as the editor for the reissues of films that were screened during the Toho Champion Festival in the early 1970's. His final feature film came with 1975's Terror of Mechagodzilla, which would also prove to be the final entry in the original Showa series of Godzilla films.

At the end of his career, Honda returned to working as an assistant director for his old friend, legendary director Akira Kurosawa. Allegedly one segment of the Kurosawa film, Dreams, was actually directed by Honda following Kurosawa's detailed storyboards.

Selected Filmography


External Links


This is a list of references for Ishiro 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. David Kalat. A Critical History and Filmography of Toho's Godzilla Series. McFarland. p. 216. 1997.
  2. Ishiro Honda Interview

Real World


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12 days ago
Score 0
Was definitely the finest director of the Showa era. Except for All Monsters Attack, I like or love pretty much every kaiju film he directed.


20 months ago
Score 0

This book might have some good information on Ishiro Honda. It was shown at G-Fest 2017.


Magara M&E

29 months ago
Score 0
This guy is amazing


28 months ago
Score 0
I must give you right. (LOL Germanismus)


29 months ago
Score 0
He would be happy to know about Godzilla's success