There are two Ishiro Hondas existing within me, Ishiro Honda, my Father, and Ishiro Honda, the film director.
Frankly, my memories of Ishiro as my Father are very scarce.
Recollections from my childhood:
went to the Meiji shrine with my Father to celebrate shichi-go-san (the
7, 5 and 3 festival). This alone was an odd occurrence.
Aside from being away at war, he never really went out; all he did was
go back and forth between his home in Seijo and the film sets, or at
most, either go see films at the theater or visit the museum in
Ueno. So why of all people did he take me to celebrate? It
is a big question mark to this day. And this decision was proven
a few days later to be a mistake when the photo prints of that day came
back. It turns out that my Father had taken every single photo
with himself at the center of the pictures.
My Father liked to
work on detailed tasks. He was a self-proclaimed boy of science,
which I feel was a bit of a stretch. For example, he would take
everything apart from watches, scales, radios, as soon as anything
remotely malfunctioned. I remember seeing dismembered machinery
all over the house. And of course, nothing ever got
repaired. I recall being asked by my Mother to rebuild a few
parts on his behalf.
I do remember getting taken to see films
often. But this became a whole day affair. I believe we
left the house around 9am; he would not say a word. I would just
have to follow him, get on the train, and we would arrive in
Ueno. Naturally, my head fills up with imagining a fun day at the
famous Ueno Zoo, my heart beating with excitement and great
expectation. However, such hope was quickly shattered.
Where I was taken is a huge, old buildingc the
museum! Again, without any words spoken, he takes my hand and
into the museum we went. The next two hours until lunch were
sheer hell for a child.
Lunch was always at a curry & hashed
beef rice restaurant called Akatombo, which was located in
Yurakucho. I don't remember ever eating lunch after a film with
my Father anywhere else.
And then came time to see the
movie! But once again, I am quickly disappointed. gTerminal
Stationh, gThe Lovers of Montparnasseh, gWaterloo Bridgeh,
gCasablancah, doesnft my Father have any consideration for a
child? The voice of his own young son was completely ignored each
But in spite of this, the words that come to mind for this man are kind, grand and quiet.
just a few times a year, before the start of a project and at the
wrap-up parties, I had the pleasure of hearing him wonderfully singing
his favorite minfyo (traditional) songs.