Snowman

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Snowman
The Snowman in Half Human
Alternate names Yeti, Abominable Snowman,
Half Human[1]
Subtitle(s) Beastman (獣人,   Jūjin)[2][3]
Species Yeti
Height 3.5 meters[1][3]
Weight 200 kilograms[1][3][4]
Relations Snowman's Child
Modeled by Fuminori Ohashi, Teizo Toshimitsu,
Kanju Yagi, Yasuei Yagi
Played by Sanshiro Sagara
First appearance Half Human
Roar(s)

Snowman (雪男,   Yuki Otoko) is a yeti kaiju who appeared in the 1955 Toho film, Half Human.

Name

This creature's Japanese name translates to "Snowman," which is his official English name. Snowman is also referred to as a Yeti or the Abominable Snowman, while the book Encyclopedia of Godzilla (Mechagodzilla Edition) gives him the name Half Human, the English title of the film in which he appeared.

Development

A publicity photo of Snowman with Fuminori Ohashi's more ferocious head design. Note the visible fangs.

Snowman was designed with inspiration from various types of ape in order to give his design an aspect of realism. Eiji Tsuburaya prided himself on Snowman's design being "not just to be scary." Snowman was initially modeled by Fuminori Ohashi,[5] who designed the suit's feet to be set on large clogs to increase its height, though this was scrapped due to the potential danger. Snowman's face was remodeled several times, but after about six months the face modeled by chief modeler Teizo Toshimitsu was adopted and the torso was remodeled by the Yagi brothers Kanju and Yasuei. Ohashi's face for Snowman was characterized by its ferocious look with its fangs exposed, whereas Toshimitsu's opted for a more gentle look. In addition, a suit consisting only of Snowman's lower body was also made.[6]

The Snowman suit on set

The suit's body was covered in goat hair. The face was a life mask of suit actor Sanshiro Sagara. There are conflicting reports as to whether Sagara was simply modeler Fuminori Ohashi, as this was a pseudonym of his, or a different person entirely. Toho advertised that Sagara was chosen from a nationwide contest to provide the face for Snowman,[7] while fellow modeler Eizo Kaimai attested that Ohashi was the suit actor for Snowman in addition to his original modeler.[5] Additionaly, a photograph exists of Ohashi in the Snowman suit with the mask off.

Half Human was shot on location in the Japanese Alps.[7] Initially, a child was used as a stand-in for actress Momoko Kochi when the Snowman was holding her character in order to make the monster appear larger, but the difference between the physique of Kochi and the stand-in was too obvious and this was scrapped. Tsuburaya also experimented with stop-motion animation for Snowman using outdoor time-lapse photography, though this too went unused as the moving shadows of surrounding trees were not accounted for.

At the time the film was released, publicity photos were taken of Snowman with the Godzilla suit from Godzilla Raids Again, with the caption "Snowman is stronger than Godzilla."[8]

Design

Snowman has an extremely muscular body and is able to lift a woman and run extremely fast without trouble. The creature has a humanoid face along with human body features, such as opposable thumbs. Snowman is significantly taller than humans, and has shaggy fur all over its body.

Origins

The Snowman's exact origins are unknown, but it is presumed to be a type of large ape that has lived for centuries high in the Japanese Alps. Though only a single adult Snowman and its offspring are living during the events of the film, the skeletal remains of several other members of their kind are found in a cave. The characters speculate that the entire Snowman population was killed by consuming a type of poisonous mushroom found in their habitat, leaving only two individuals alive.

History

Showa series

Half Human

The Snowman is first seen looking into a tent window while explorers are sleeping in it, and he caresses a female explorer's face. His curiosity is cut short when she wakes up and screams, causing him to run into the forest. It is revealed that villagers worship the Snowman as a deity. The next scene with him in it shows him carrying a deer carcass, when he hears a scream, and goes to help a human, also a member of that explorer party, that almost fell off a cliff. Later, an animal broker, thanks to information from a village girl, discovers the location of the monster's cave and figures that he can catch the monster by using its offspring as bait. The hunter captures the Snowman, but accidentally lets the child escape. He ends up killing the baby and the adult Snowman breaks out of its cage. He kills the hunter and returns to his cave. Later, he captures the same female explorer he saw earlier and brings her to his mountain cave, where he is shot by the explorer team and falls into a pit of sulfuric acid along with the village girl.

Abilities

Snowman's only ability is superhuman strength, it can lift humans and smash down structures with ease. After its young was killed by a circus attempting to capture the creature, Snowman goes berserk and attacks everything in sight, killing many people and destroying the entire circus ground. It then kidnapped the female lead and escaped into the mountains, carrying her with one hand.

Comics

Godzilla: Rage Across Time

Snowman makes a brief appearance looking out from a cave in the first issue of Godzilla: Rage Across Time as Akio and Gorou Suda approach the Shobijin temple.

Gallery

Main article: Snowman/Gallery.

Trivia

  • Snowman is most likely based on the Japanese bigfoot, Hibagon, which is said to live in the mountains of Japan.
  • In Godzilla, Dr. Yamane at one point mentions the discovery of "snowman footprints" in the Himalayas when discussing the presence of unknown creatures like Godzilla in the world.

References

This is a list of references for Snowman. 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. 1.0 1.1 1.2 Encyclopedia of Godzilla (Mechagodzilla Edition). Gakken. p. 99. 10 December 1993. ISBN: 405600174X.
  2. Toho Special Effects All Monster Encyclopedia. Shogakukan. p. 13. 23 July 2014. ISBN: 4-096-82090-3.
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 Toho Special Effects Movie Complete Works. Village Books. p. 18. 28 September 2012. ISBN: 9784864910132.
  4. Godzilla Giant Monsters Super Encyclopedia (TV Magazine Deluxe 20). p. 65.
  5. 5.0 5.1 Tomoi, Kento. Kaijin of the Special Effects World: Fuminori Ohashi. Yosensha. pp. 86-87. 11 May 2011. ISBN: 978-4-86248-805-3.
  6. Nakajima, Haruo. Monster Life: Original Godzilla Actor Haruo Nakajima. Yosensha. p. 347. 2010. ISBN: 978-4-86248-589-2.
  7. 7.0 7.1 Half Human (1955). IshiroHonda.com.
  8. Toho Special Effects Movie Complete Works. Village Books. p. 19. 28 September 2012. ISBN: 9784864910132.

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