There is an autograph board in front
gMokumokutoshite tentotomonikatari mokumokutoshite tentotomoniyuku* -
film director Ishiro Hondah
(*This is a saying by Japanese philosopher Kitaro Nishida, which
basically says to gdo
what was given from heaven, and do as it was given
from heavenh. Meaning, act honestly,
without lies nor deception, be as you are, do not try to be taller than
you are, do not try too hard, just simply do what you can.)
These are genuine words I received directly from the Director Honda.
I was blessed with the opportunity to visit his home and speak with him
several times before he passed. My friend Shinsuke Nakajima,
an old friend from my fanzine days and now an
editor, illustrator Yuji Kaida, and novelist Takeshi Narumi
accompanied me on these visits. To this day I cannot forget
the excitement I felt when he opened the door and welcomed us with a
From his body emanated a style resembling a philosopher, there beamed a
calm aura, and with his tall and strong physique he looked that much
grander, and I was just utterly overwhelmed.
gAh, this is THE Director Honda, the person I had admired since
elementary school, THE master of Toho SFX filmsch To think
this just filled my heart with excitement.
It all originates back to 1985, the year after Godzillafs 30th
anniversary, when an original story contest was held
for a new film. Fortunately mine was chosen and the
17th Godzilla series film gGodzilla vs Biollanteh was made.
At the time, the screenplay writer and director Kazuki Omori had
declared that the origin of his film life began with
gAtragonh. He would play the marching song from gThe Invasion
of Astro-Monsterh on the set, laughing and shooting saying,
gDamn, Terror of Mechagodzilla was really well-madec"
Special effects director Koichi Kawakita is one of the true Honda staff
since the gKing Kong vs Godzillah days. Starting with these
two, every staff member felt they wanted to make another true Godzilla
film. In other words, this was a direct homage to Director
Everyone involved would all smile like a little boy and speak
passionately whenever the topic of conversation was about Director
Honda. gGodzilla vs Biollanteh without a doubt is a work born
as a crystallization of this mutual feeling.
However, with the Director himself in front of me, I was filled with
fear and in no way could I bring myself to directly ask of his
opinions. I would see him many times since, and as I was
warmly received everytime, I finally started to feel a sense of ease
and comfort. With the Mrs., who is a pioneer of our countryfs
screenwriters, as well as their daughter who cooked wonderful meals for
us and served us great wines, we were so happy, so excited, so
intoxicated. The Director drank but never got drunk, had an
excellent memory and ample topics to speak about, and we would spend
all night having fantastic conversations.
Admired for his endless vitality, if I was to complain about some daily
fatigue or other, the Director would say gI have never once felt I was
tired. I do not feel right saying 'Ifm tired' when I am able
to do the work I just love.h Hearing this I felt moved and
embarrassed at the same time. The Director had been creating
films with this very will. And the will he had evidently
matched the very words I mentioned at the beginning of my message on
the autograph board.
The great Director Ishiro Hondac The reason why all adore and
admire him is not just praise which we give to his films.