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Ishiro Honda is a monk's son who fought in World War II and was taken prisoner by the Chinese. His travels through the wreckage of post-nuclear Hiroshima inspired Godzilla. He hoped that the film would inspire anti-nuclear sentiment, and was sad to his dying days that this was not the case.
Honda directed dozens of films in a variety of genres, though most of them have never been released in the west. He served as an assistant director on Akira Kurosawa's Stray Dog, and even in his retirement worked with Kurosawa on Ran and Dreams.
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