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Ishiro Honda


Ishirō Honda[a] (Japanese: 本多 猪四郎いしろう, Hepburn: Honda Ishirō, 7 May 1911 – 28 February 1993) was a Japanese filmmaker who directed 46 feature films in a career spanning five decades. He is acknowledged as the most internationally successful Japanese filmmaker prior to Hayao Miyazaki and one of the founders of modern disaster film, with his films having a significant influence on the film industry. Despite directing many drama, war, documentary, and comedy films, Honda is best remembered for directing and co-creating the kaiju genre with special effects director Eiji Tsuburaya.


Honda entered the Japanese film industry in 1934, working as the third assistant director on Sotoji Kimura's The Elderly Commoner's Life Study.[9] After 15 years of working on numerous films as an assistant director, he made his directorial debut with the short documentary film Ise-Shima (1949). Honda's first feature film, The Blue Pearl (1952), was a critical success in Japan at the time and would lead him to direct three subsequent drama films.


In 1954, Honda directed and co-wrote Godzilla, which became a box-office success in Japan and was nominated for two Japanese Movie Association awards. Because of the film's commercial success in Japan, it spawned a multimedia franchise, recognized by Guinness World Records as the longest-running film franchise in history, that established the kaiju and tokusatsu genres. It helped Honda gain international recognition and led him to direct numerous tokusatsu films that are still studied and watched today.


After directing his eighth and final Godzilla film in 1975, Honda retired from filmmaking. Honda's former colleague and friend, Akira Kurosawa, would, however, persuade him to come out of retirement in the late 1970s and act as his right-hand man for his last five films.

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