The Films of Ishirô Honda


Fans of Japanese monster flicks already know the name Ishirô Honda. For those of you not familiar with Honda’s work I have included his impressive fifty strong list of directorial efforts. To the best of my knowledge, Honda worked with Toho his entire film career. So many of my favourite Toho flicks are on this list; Godzilla, Matango, Mothra, Rodan, and Destroy All Monsters. In fact, Destroy all Monsters will be my first film review for this feature. Not coincidentally, all of my aforementioned favourites were collaborations with special effects guru Eiji Tsuburaya. Fellow Toho director Akira Kurosawa also collaborated with Honda, who was chief assistant director on Kurosawa’s Stray Dog and Ran. Apparently the two were close friends; Kurosawa delivered the Eulogy at Ishirô Honda’s funeral in 1993. Honda died at the age of 81. Ishirô Honda was responsible for some of Toho’s best and most successful creature features and is a director worth celebrating!

The Films of Ishirô Honda

1990 Dreams (The Tunnel, Mount Fuji in Red, prologue & epilogue of The Weeping Demon – uncredited)
1977 Godzilla
1975 Terror of Mechagodzilla (Mekagojira no gyakushu)
1973 Mirâman
1970 Space Amoeba (Gezora, Ganime, Kameba: Kessen! Nankai no daikaijû)
1969 Gojira-Minira-Gabara: Oru kaijû daishingeki
1969 Atragon II (Ido zero daisakusen)

1968 Destroy All Monsters (Kaijû sôshingeki)
1968 The War of the Gargantuas (Furankenshutain no kaijû: Sanda tai Gaira)
1967 Come Marry Me (Oyome ni oide)
1967 King Kong Escapes (Kingu Kongu no gyakushû) (english language version)
1965 Invasion of Astro-Monster
1965 Frankenstein vs. Baragon
1964 Monster of Monsters: Ghidorah (San daikaijû: Chikyû saidai no kessen)
1964 Dagora, the Space Monster (Uchû daikaijû Dogora)
1964 Mothra vs. Godzilla
1963 Atoragon: Flying Supersub (Kaitei gunkan)

1963 Matango (Attack of the Mushroom People)
1962 Varan the Unbelievable (Japanese scenes – uncredited)
1962 King Kong vs. Godzilla (Kingu Kongu tai Gojira)
1962 Astronaut 1980 (Yôsei Gorasu)
1961 The Scarlet Man (Shinku no otoko)


1961 Mothra (Mosura)
1960 The Human Vapor (Gasu ningen dai ichigo)
1959 Battle in Outer Space (Uchû daisensô)
1959 Seniors, Juniors, Co-Workers (Uwayaku, shitayaku, godôyaku)
1959 Inao: Story of an Iron Arm (Tetsuwan toshu inao monogatari)
1959 An Echo Calls You (Kodama wa yonde iru)

1958 Varan the Unbelievable (Daikaijû Baran)
1958 Half Human: The Story of the Abominable Snowman (Japanese scenes)
1958 Beauty and the Liquidman (Bijo to Ekitainingen)
1958 Song for a Bride (Hanayome sanjûsô)
1957 Defence Force of the Earth (Chikyû Bôeigun)
1957 A Farewell to the Woman Called My Sister (Wakare no chatsumi-uta shimai-hen: Oneesan to yonda hito)
1957 A Teapicker’s Song of Goodbye (Wakare no chatsumi-uta)
1957 A Rainbow Plays in My Heart (Waga mune ni niji wa kiezu)
1957 Be Happy, These Two Lovers (Kono futari ni sachi are)
1956 Rodan (Sora no daikaijû Radon)
1956 People of Tokyo, Goodbye (Tôkyô no hito sayônara)
1956 Godzilla, King of the Monsters! (Kaijû-ô Gojira)
1956 Yakan chûgaku
1956 Young Tree (Wakai ki)
1955 Beast Man Snow Man (Jû jin yuki otoko)
1955 Cry-Baby (Oen-san)
1955 Love Makeup (Koi-gesho)
1954 Godzilla (Gojira)

1954 Farewell Rabaul (Saraba Rabauru)
1953 Eagle of the Pacific (Taiheiyô no washi)
1953 Adolescence Part II (Zoku shishunki)
1952 The Man Who Came to Port (Minato e kita otoko)
1952 The Skin of the South
1951 The Blue Pearl (Aoi shinju)

Ishirô Honda

4 Responses to “The Films of Ishirô Honda”

  1. Aaron Babcock Says:

    Excellent!!!

  2. I had no idea he’d made so many. When I saw the headline, I literally said “Yes!!!”. Honda’s movies are so much fun.

    Last Saturday, I showed up early to the theater for the midnight showing of The Big Lebowski. In the bar, the bartender was showing Terror of Mechagodzilla. It was a total blast.

    • goregirl Says:

      Honda is awesome!

      How fun! A bar here called The Railway (one of the best bars in the city) used to play movies on Sunday nights and they would include the odd Toho monster flick! Monsters and cocktails are one of the world great pairings!

  3. Victor De Leon Says:

    Honda has such an incredible body of work. So many I haven’t seen either. I need to track some of them down. I didn’t realize he directed Varan. Matango is an overlooked gem. I loved his direction on War of the Gargantuas too. This was an amazing post and a great read. Thanks!

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