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Thank you for visiting the Official Ishiro Honda Website (English version).

If you would like to contact the Ishiro Honda website with your comments, you can write to the following e-mail address:

email address info@ishirohonda.org

While every effort will be made to respond to your message, please understand that we cannot guarantee a response to every inquiry.

Staff members of the Official Ishiro Honda website:
Ryuji Honda, Koji Kajita, Kenji Sahara, Hiroshi Takeuchi, Shinsuke Nakajima, Ryusuke Hikawa, Yuji Kaida, Aya Kaida, Katsumi Kato, Takuji Yasuda, Yuuko Honda, Ed Godziszewski.
Webmaster: Jeff Horne



Posted below are some of the messages from fans of Ishiro Honda received through this website.



October 30, 2008
At the age of 8 , I was introduced to what would become the most single important momment of my life...watching the original Godzilla on television. I was scared to death, but it left me with a passion for that kind of movie which has stayed with me throughout my life. Forty six years latter, Japanese science fiction films have become my number one hobby, and because of it I have traveled all around the world, met wonderful people who share a similar passion for the genre, and have helped create the fantastic cinema Asian-oriented festival FANTASIA.
 
The positive impact to my life is endless. As I grew up from a child to adulthood, I was more and more aware that my most favorite movies were all those Japanese science fiction films, and what an incredible coincidence ...my personal best  were all directed by the same man, Ishiro Honda. I enjoyed all of these films, but those by Honda were a mile above the rest. WHY??? The quality of the effects done by Eiji Tsuburaya is immense to say the least, writers came and went on other films too. But films not by Honda somehow were missing something. Even with the last Godzilla film of the 70s, TERROR OF MECHAGODZILLA, even without the magic touch of Tsuburaya, this film still flies above the rest of its era.

It's a fact that none could match Honda`s films and everytime I would make a list of my top 10 best of the genre, not a single film entered that list that wasn`t a film directed by Honda. It took 40 years before anybody entered that sacred ground (namely Shusuke Kaneko with his Gamera series).
 
What was the secret ingredient that Honda had that others only wish they had? Storytelling...the first and most fundamental quality of a director. The way to balance the talents of all the other talented people who all join together to create a film. Some people think its easy to make a giant monster film, yet it isn't. The only way to bring the audience within this imaginary universe is with careful respect for them and the material at hand. The HONDA films all have this quality. No matter what monsters are featured in it. the interest in the human drama is always intriguing and more than carries its weight against the special effects. Look no further than any of the more recent Godzilla films of the 90ies and later to see the unbalanced shift of interest between the drama and the sfx. Boy, those films are in serious need of a Honda....
 
Even today Honda films still dominate my top 10 list, 50 years after mesmerizing me with his first entrance into the genre. He was a master storyteller....and that`s what movies are all about.
 
-- Andre Dubois - Montreal

Oct 25, 2008
I was fortunate enough to interview Ishiro Honda in December 1992 - just two months before he died. The interview took place in his home, which was located in Tokyo only a few miles away from Toho's studios.

What first struck me about Honda was that instead of the elderly and perhaps somewhat frail man I was expecting to meet - Honda was 81 years old at the time - I was being introduced to a very energetic individual dressed in a sweat suit who seemed like he was ready to go jogging and could have run circles around me!

Very shortly after the interview began, I noticed just how intelligent and thoughtful a man Honda was, so I wasn't at all surprised when he said that his favorites of the science fiction films he'd directed were the more serious ones, and that he had a great admiration for documentarians. Finding out that he did not agree with portraying Godzilla anthropomorphically also did not come as a surprise.

I'd heard from a number of sources that Honda was very well liked by the people with whom he'd worked because he'd treated them as equals rather than underlings. As I left Honda's home, I thought that most likely was really true because he'd treated me with such decency.

After Honda died, I visited with his widow, Kimi, and their son, Ryuji, a number of times. Ryuji spoke perfect English because he had lived in New York City for many years before returning to Japan. With each visit, I learned more and more about Honda - in particular about his work and close friendship with Akira Kurosawa, who delivered the eulogy at Honda's funeral.
The two men not only worked together on Stray Dog, Kagemusha, Dreams and other films, but roomed together when they were young and played golf together throughout their lives.

I wish that I'd had more than just one opportunity to talk with Honda. I quickly came to like and respect him very much.

-- David Milner - New York

October 21, 2008
Though Ishiro Honda never received the kind of opportunities and artistic freedom of his longtime friend and colleague, Akira Kurosawa, in a way Mr. Honda's accomplishments are no less impressive. If one is to compare Mr. Kurosawa with, say, a Henry Ford, then Mr. Honda was certainly a foreman on the assembly line, in his way no less responsible for the production of Model-Ts that revolutionized an industry.
 
As a director, Mr. Honda was above all else a loyal company man who did the work assigned him. In Hollywood, such men were generally considered hacks, but in Japan from these ranks emerged many of the great postwar filmmakers. And Mr. Honda was no exception, for his films became and remain popular all over the world.
 
Japanese fantasy films continue being made, but just as CGI lacks the warmth and artistic personality of Eiji Tsuburaya's special effects, so too do they lack the inquisitiveness, basic optimism, and delicate humanism of Ishiro Honda.
 
-- Stuart Galbraith IV - Kyoto

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