Koichi Kawakita

From Wikizilla, the kaiju encyclopedia
Jump to navigationJump to search
Koichi Kawakita
Koichi Kawakita with the Oxygen Destroyer prop and model of Godzilla
Born December 5, 1942
Nihonbashi, Chūō, Tokyo, Japan
Died December 5, 2014 (aged 72)
Occupation Director of special effects
First work Gorath (1962)
Notable work Godzilla vs. King Ghidorah (1991)
Imdb.pngWp EN.pngWp JA.png
Godzilla.jp - Dead Kamoebas.jpg [citation(s) needed] This article is missing references.
Please improve this article by including relevant citations.
As a reader, exercise caution when encountering unsourced statements.

Koichi Kawakita (川北 紘一,   Kawakita Kōichi) was a Japanese special effects director best known for creating the effects for every Godzilla film from 1989 to 1995, as well as the first two Rebirth of Mothra films. He also occasionally appeared in cameos in some of Toho's tokusatsu productions. Kawakita was Toho's fourth-ever special effects director, the last of them to have worked under tokusatsu pioneer Eiji Tsuburaya, and the last person to receive the title "director of special effects" on a Godzilla film for over 20 years until Shinji Higuchi on 2016's Shin Godzilla.

Kawakita joined Toho in 1962, getting his start as an assistant cameraman on that year's Gorath. He eventually took up compositing and optical photography before graduating to assistant director. He made his debut as a special effects director not with Toho, however, but on episode 21 of Tsuburaya Productions' 1972 series Ultraman Ace. He directed Godzilla for the first time the following year on Zone Fighter episode 4, and received his first directorial assignments for film in 1976: uncredited on Geiensha's The Barren Zone and credited on Toho Pictures' Zero Pilot.

By 1989, Kawakita was chosen to replace Teruyoshi Nakano as special effects director of the Godzilla series, doing so on that year's Godzilla vs. Biollante and five subsequent movies. The first of these, 1991's Godzilla vs. King Ghidorah, earned he and his staff a Special Technology Award at the 1992 Japanese Academy Awards. Kawakita departed from Toho in 2002, and the next year established his own special effects company, Dream Planet Japan, through which he took contract work for the remainder of his career. This notably included all three shows in the Ultra Star God franchise from 2003 to 2006, their 2005 feature film, and the 2007 puppet/suitmation hybrid series Kawaii! JeNny. Kawakita passed away on December 5, 2014, his 72nd birthday.[1]

Selected filmography

Director of special effects



Assistant special effects cinematographer

Optical photographer


First assistant director of special effects


Selected video games

Selected bibliography



Kawakita playing his younger self in the Godzilla-themed episode of Narrow Escapes from Death Special


External links


This is a list of references for Koichi Kawakita. 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. "平成ゴジラ特技監督、川北紘一さん死去".
  2. "1/35 Gunhed 2025 Special Edition w/DVD". HobbyLink Japan by Kotobukiya. Retrieved 30 March 2022.
  3. "ガンヘッド Blu-ray 2枚組". Amazon. 30 March 2022.
  4. "【謹んでお悔み申し上げます。】平成ゴジラ特技監督、故・川北紘一氏インタビュー/『ゴジラ-GODZILLA-』発売にあたり" [(Our sincerest condolences) Late Heisei Godzilla special effects director interview, on the release of "Godzilla"]. Famitsu. 18 December 2014.
  5. "All Night". Shin-Bungeiza. Retrieved 5 August 2023.


Showing 6 comments. When commenting, please remain respectful of other users, stay on topic, and avoid role-playing and excessive punctuation. Comments which violate these guidelines may be removed by administrators.

Loading comments...
Real World