There was always a fresh surprise and a new discovery each
time I saw Director Honda. One such example would be his
Whenever I visited the directorfs home, I
was always accompanied by Mr. Yuji Kaida, Takeshi Narumi and Shinsuke
Nakajima. All of them also have such incredible, encyclopedic
knowledge and great memory, which constantly made me feel
overwhelmed. The questions they would come up with, especially
about particular scenes, were so elaborate and without any
hesitation. They were so detailed, they sounded as if these
scenes were filmed just yesterday.
Perhaps this will sound a bit
rude, but it was as if they were King Ghidorah, ambushing the three
earth monsters (Godzilla, Rodan and Mothra). Actually, it was a
much greater, overwhelming experience. They would talk about the
secrets of special effects filming one after the other. There
would be the three of them, listening with sheer bliss on their faces,
and myself, totally stunned by the level of conversation, as if I was
in another dimension. And one day, I was taught the
following: gAdding to an actorfs performance is directing, but
that is not the only job for a director. The director needs to
pay maximum attention to make sure all staff, including the actors, can
work in the most comfortable environment. Of course, towards Mr.
Tsuburaya as well.h
I was also surprised by Mr Honda's youthful
curiosity, particularly his great interest in the sciences. When
we were asked about a topic in recent science that was interesting, I
replied, gThe positioning of the innumerable galaxies in the universe
was thought to be in a disorderly fashion until now. But they now
found that they seem to actually be densely formed on an orbiter with
intervals, starting with the originating point of the Big Bang, just as
the planets orbit around the Sun. Which means, this structure is
very similar to the numerous electron shells within an atomic nucleus,
and is quite interesting to see the similar figuration between these
two maximum and minimum structures.h To this, with glittering
eyes, he said gthat is indeed very interestingh.
kindness and eloquence, he charmed others. With his smile, he
made people around him very content. gA welcoming hearth is the
essence of director Honda himself, and I think this is a special
characteristic, which can be felt consistently in all of his works.
a couple of months after my last visit to his home, he passed away like
the wind. I was informed by a phone call from director Kazuki
Omori. The first thing he said when I answered was gWhat the
hell!h? It was apparent how very upset he was, especially because
he had been so looking forward to officially meeting director Honda.
was such sudden news, and I heard he passed only a week after he was
admitted into the hospital. As dazed and stupefied as I was, I
also felt that this brilliant way of departure was very gdirector
Honda-esqueh, as if he had calculated to not worry and trouble his
family. His funeral service was held on a sunny early Spring
day. Akira Kurosawa, who acted as the representative for all of
this friends, and Toshiro Mifune, who had not made a public appearance
in a long time until that day, were shaking each otherfs hands firmly,
each with many emotions going through their mind. When I saw
this, I thought gwhat a very tasteful arrangement, very suited for a
man like director Honda. He must be smiling from above right
gIf we were to resurrect Godzilla now, I do have
some ideas of my own.h Director Honda said, with a smile.
Unfortunately, I was not able to hear what they were from him.
However, there must be so many people all over the world who feel
blessed by the works he had made. Let us take these blessing and
turn them to a sense of appreciation, inherit this feeling, and take
action. This, I believe, will be the best homage to director
Ishiro Honda, an unparalleled man of great talent.