first time I met Mr. Honda was when I was filming Mr. Kurosawafs gSeven
Samuraih. At the time, I was residing at the Kurosawa home.
Mr. Honda came to visit the Kurosawa mansion periodically (circa
1953). Every time I saw Mr. Honda, I felt the warmth of his
Mr. Honda and Mr. Kurosawa had spent their youth
under director Kajiro Yamamoto, and both started on their path in film
together. Perhaps this is the reason why they were so close, as
if they were brothers. This continued until their very last years.
During the Godzilla years, Mr. Honda made the monster stomp around the world with Tsuburaya no oyaji (an affectionate term for gold manh--aka sfx director Eiji Tsuburaya).
had already been interested in these works, and then ended up appearing
in gThe Mysteriansh. I liked to choose interesting roles which
had a twist or two. There was the part of an alien commander, so
I requested to play that character. However, the company declined
my wish because they felt it was not good for people to not be able to
see my face since I would be wearing a helmet. I replied saying
gactors are not just a face to be viewedh, which really moved Mr.
Honda. Since then, we had a really genuine relationship.
And thanks to this, it seems that amongst film fans, I am now
known as the first Japanese to every play an alien on screen.
there, I played stoic roles for Kurosawa films and unique characters
for Honda films, going back and forth between the two. Interestingly,
both Hondafs and Kurosawafs films are now treasured overseas.
If I were to say Mr. Kurosawa was a man of g angerh, then Mr. Honda was a man of gsmilesh.
On Mr. Hondafs birthday, all of us actors would gather at the Honda home and celebrate.
Honda often sang traditional songs from the Northern region. His
singing voice was so beautiful and clear, it still lingers in my ears.
last time I met with Mr. Honda was at a film festival in Furuyu,
Kyushu. Both of us were invited to the festival and gave a
lecture. I really wanted to go see the historical ruins of
Yoshinogari, so I invited Mr. Honda to join me when we had some free
time and the two of us leisurely walked around as we observed. This
became my very last time spending time with him.