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Ishiro Honda's Wife Passes Away at 101

Ishiro Honda's Wife Passes Away at 101

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We are sad to pass along news that Kimi Honda, wife of the late Ishiro Honda, has passed away. Ed Godziszewski & Steve Ryfle, authors of Ishiro Honda: A Life in Film, from Godzilla to Kurosawa, broke the news on their book's Facebook page. She died on November 3rd, Godzilla's 64th anniversary. She was 101.

Born Kimi Yamazaki, January 6th, 1917, she became a script supervisor and dormitory neighbor to Ishiro Honda and Akira Kurosawa.[1] "She was very energetic, and her personality could be completely different from me. Maybe that's why we got along so well," said Honda.[2]

They developed a close friendship and Honda would walk with Kimi to the studio every day. When Honda asked her to marry him Kimi wasn't even aware he felt that way about her. The two got married March, 1939.[2]

Kimi gave birth to their first child, Takako, in December, 1939.[3] Their son Ryuji was born January, 1944. Honda would be drafted into the war for three different tours, leaving Kimi on her own for their children's early years.[4]

After the war, Honda returned to film. He would consult Kimi on screenplays he was assigned and speak at length about the projects.[5] Eventually, Kimi would cease giving advice on screenplays to focus on being a housewife.[6]

Kimi noted Honda's work ethic remained unchanged as he went on to produce kaiju films. "He enjoyed working on them [kaiju films]," she explained, "but he preferred working on films such as The Mysterians (1957) and Gorath (1961)."[6]

Ishiro Honda passed away February 28th, 1993. Kimi extended the vigil for her husband so Ryuji could travel home and pay his respects. During that time Kurosawa would stay late each night mourning his best friend. "It broke my heart, just watching him," said Kimi.[7]

Years later, Kimi would assist Ed Godziszewski & Steve Ryfle on their biography about her late husband. "She granted the authors numerous interviews," they wrote. "Inviting us into the home that she had shared with Ishiro Honda and spending long hours and at the dining room table with us, recounting stories of the couple's life together."[8]

A private funeral will be held for family and close friends, November 8th in Tokyo. Our hearts and prayers go out to Kimi's family.

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Sources:
[1] Ishiro Honda: A Life in Film, from Godzilla to Kurosawa, pg. 23, Godziszewski, Ed; Ryfle, Steve.
[2] Ishiro Honda: A Life in Film, from Godzilla to Kurosawa, pg. 24, Godziszewski, Ed; Ryfle, Steve.
[3] Ishiro Honda: A Life in Film, from Godzilla to Kurosawa, pg. 27, Godziszewski, Ed; Ryfle, Steve.
[4] Ishiro Honda: A Life in Film, from Godzilla to Kurosawa, pg. 30, Godziszewski, Ed; Ryfle, Steve.
[5] Ishiro Honda: A Life in Film, from Godzilla to Kurosawa, pg. 75, Godziszewski, Ed; Ryfle, Steve.
[6] Kimi Honda Interview
[7] Ishiro Honda: A Life in Film, from Godzilla to Kurosawa, pg. 292, Godziszewski, Ed; Ryfle, Steve.
[8] Ishiro Honda: A Life in Film, from Godzilla to Kurosawa Facebook Page
*Image of Kimi Honda taken by Ed Godziszewski

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This article was written By G. H. (Gman) and published on 2018-11-06 00:07:09

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