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Ishiro Honda
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    (May 7, 1911-February 28, 1993)
    Born in Yamagata Prefecture, Japan
    Directed 46 films
    Known for directing Japanese monster films, including 'Godzilla' (1954), 'Rodan' (1956), 'Varan the Unbelievable' (1958), 'Mothra' (1961), 'King Kong vs. Godzilla' (1962), 'Mothra vs. Godzilla' (1964), 'Dogora the Space Monster' (1964), 'Ghidorah the Three-Headed Monster' (1964), 'Frankenstein vs. Baragon' (1965), 'The War of the Gargantuas' (1966), 'King Kong Escapes' (1967), 'Destroy All Monsters' (1968), 'All Monsters Attack' (1969), 'Space Amoeba' (1970) and 'Terror of Mechagodzilla' (1975)
    He fought in the Imperial Army in China during WWII.
    Some Japanese critics complained that 'Godzilla' exploited the Lucky Dragon incident (in which crew members of a Japanese fishing boat suffered radiation sickness after being unexpectedly exposed to fallout from an American H-bomb test).
    His later monster films became increasingly silly.
    His wife said, 'I'm not sure if the success of the Godzilla movies was a good thing or not. They were so popular that Mr. Honda became trapped. He had to work on them.'
    He and Kimi Honda were married for 55 years until his death.
    He was well liked by the movie crews he worked with since he treated them as equals rather than underlings.
    The magazine 'Kinema Junpo' listed 'Godzilla' as one of the 20 greatest Japanese films of all time.
    Before and after making his own films, he worked as an assistant director and creative consultant for Akira Kurosawa.
    Kurosawa delivered the eulogy at his funeral.

Credit: C. Fishel

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