Tuesday, August 9, 2022

河内 桃子, Kōchi Momoko (Momoko Kōchi): Japanese Horror and Science Fiction

河内 桃子Kōchi Momoko (Momoko Kōchi) was born 大河内 桃子Ōkōchi Momoko (Momoko Ōkōchi), on March 7, 1932, in 台東区Taitō-ku (Taitō City), a special ward of Tokyo Metropolis. 























Her paternal grandfather was Japanese physicist, Viscount 大河内正敏Ōkōchi Masatoshi (Masatoshi Ōkōchi), in 1927, he became the third director of 理化学研究所 (Rikagaku Kenkyūjo aka Riken now Ricoh). "Riken" was a large scientific research center that was working on the Japanese Atomic Bomb during the Second World War. In 1943, Masatoshi Ōkōchi was appointed an advisor to the cabinet of 東條 英機, Tōjō Hideki.




















On August 6, 1945, the city of Hiroshima was the target of an American Atomic Bomb, and three-days later, on August 9, 1945, the city of Nagasaki received the same fate. One month later, on September 2, 1945, the Japanese officially surrendered, ending the Second World War. On December 6, 1945, Momoko's grandfather was charged with war crimes, and on December 13, 1945, he would begin a detainment in Sugamo Prison. Masatoshi Ōkōchi, would not be released from custody until April 1946.

Momoko's father was the second son of Masatoshi Ōkōchi, he was painter 大河内 信敬Ōkōchi  Nobuhiro (Nobuhiro Ōkōchi). In 1933, his painting "画室の一隅Gashitsu no ichigū (A corner of the room)", won the fourteenth "Emperor Exhibition" prize from the "Imperial Art Academy". I could only locate the first name of Momoko's mother, Chieko. 

While I could not locate photos of Momoko's parents, I was able to locate two of her father's paintings, that sold at a March 13, 2021 auction. The following is a signed landscape painting done in 1939.




 






















I also could not locate the year Momoko graduated from High School, her highest education, her high school was an affiliate of the "Japan Women's University" system. Upon her graduation, Momoko became an "Office Lady (a Secretary)", but in April 1953, "Toho Studio's" held their "New Face" program. The studio was looking for potential new actors. Momoko, along with 宝田 明 Takarada Akira (Akira Takarada), and 佐原 健二 Sahara Kenji (Kenji Sahara), were accepted with contracts. 

All the filmographies I checked, including from Japan, give Momoko Kōchi credit for roles in 46-motion pictures. I am not mentioning that complete list, but a select group relating to this article's title. Along with four motion pictures, credited to her on those listings, but that she never actually went anywhere to film.

Momoko Kochi's first motion picture was 1953's, ":女心はひと筋に Onna gokoro wa hitosuji ni (A Women's Heart is straightforward, or A Women's Heart Released)", from 
director 杉江敏男Sugie Toshio (Toshio Sugie), Momoko was tenth billed as "Yaeko".

For her next four motion pictures, Momoko had descending billing. she started at fourth, then fifth, sixth, and finally seventh. It would seem that her motion picture career was trending toward its end, before it really started.

However, it was that fourth motion picture, that move Momoko Kōchi toward worldwide recognition, five-years after its release. 

 "土曜日 の 天使 Doyobi no tenshi (Saturday Angel)" was Momoko's third motion picture with director 山本 嘉次郎Yamamoto Kajirō (Kajiro Yamamoto). One day, while she was filming a scene, visiting the set, was one of Yamamoto's protege's going back to the early 1930's本多 猪四郎 Honda Inshiro (Ishiro Honda). Honda was getting ready to film a Science Fiction feature for Toho Studio head 田中 友幸 Tanaka Tomoyuki (Tomoyuki Tanaka) and he had now found his leading lady.


ゴジラ GOJIRA released on October 27, 1954 in Nagoya, Japan






Before I turn to the actors and the story line, I want to look at the back story for the motion picture. The following is from my article, "GOJIRA aka GODZILLA: Back Stories 1954 Through 2016". My complete article will be found at:

http://www.bewaretheblog.com/2021/03/gojira-aka-godzilla-back-stories-1954.html

PART ONE:

The building in the following photograph doesn't seem menacing in any way. In 1942, under President Franklin Delano Roosevelt, it was the "New War Department Building" and today, it is either called, the "Harry S. Truman Building", or "The State Department Building".














However, back on August 16, 1942, the United States Army Chief of Engineers, Major General Eugene Reynolds, created the "Manhattan Engineering District (MED)", located at 270 Broadway, in the New York City borough of that name. Next, Reynolds assigned Lieutenant General Leslie Groves and Colonel James C. Marshall to what Groves would name, "The Manhattan Project". 

However, because of his need to interact with Washington, D.C. and the President. Groves moved his Headquarters to an office on the 5th floor of the above building. It was from that unobtrusive office, that General Groves coordinated the building of the World's First Atomic Bomb.
















Above Lieutenant General Leslie Groves in his 5th floor office.


The date was July 16, 1945!

The site was the "Jornada del Murerto (Single Days Journey of the Dead Man) Desert", located 35 miles southwest of the town of Socorro, New Mexico!

The time was 5:29 a.m.!































"The Trinity Test" was a complete success and President Harry S. Truman gave the "green-light". On August 6, 1945, the Boeing B-29 Superfortress Bomber Enola Gay, piloted by Colonel Paul Tibbets, dropped the Atomic Bomb on the Japanese city of Hiroshima.























On August 9, 1945, a second Atomic Bomb would be dropped on the Japanese city of Nagasaki. Less than a month later, on September 2, 1945, the Japanese Government, on the "U.S.S. Missouri", would sign the official documents ending the Second World War.
















However, a nuclear arms race had begun between the United States and our World War 2 Ally, the Soviet Union.

Starting on March 1, 1954, the United States began, "Operation Castle", a series of high yield (high-energy) nuclear tests at Bikini Atoll, in the Marshall Islands. 

That first test, known as "Castle Bravo", exploded the first lithium deuteride fueled thermonuclear weapon. The American scientists predicted the yield might reach 6.0 megatons equivalency of TNT. They were wrong in their calculations, because of the unforeseen effect of "Lithium-7". The actual yield was 15 megatons equivalency of TNT, or 2.5 times GREATER than expected.
























There would be another UNEXPECTED result of "Castle Bravo".


PART TWO:

The Japanese tuna fishing boat was called "DAIGO FUKURYU MARU 5 (LUCKY DRAGON #5)", because of "Castle Bravo" the crews "Luck" ran out.



















Those same United States scientists and military geniuses, who predicted the yield of the "Castle Bravo" bomb. Also, set up a safety zone around Bikini Atoll and the "Daigo Fukuryu Maru" was operating well beyond that safety zone's outer limits on March 1, 1945.

However, the bombs "Fallout", exceeded the predicted limits, and engulfed the "Lucky Dragon #5".

When the test took place, the sky to the west of the tuna boat, was described as "lighting up like a sunset". The crew might still have been safe, but, several hours after the test. Radioactive dust, made from radioactive coral and sand, fell upon the crew and the fishing boat. Apparently, the wind changed directions from what was predicted and carried the radioactive material out to the un-Lucky Dragon #5. 

Between, March 2nd and March 11, 1945, the crew started to develop symptoms of radiation  sickness. The crew, now, encountered rough weather on the 11th, the date they were to have returned to Japan, and as a result did not dock until March 14th.

The only upside, if you could call it that, of the incident was related to the catch of fish. Because of the time of day the "Daigo Fukuryu Maru" returned to port, the fish could not be unloaded. As a result of the discovery of the radiation that the crew had been exposed too. The fish never got out into the general Japanese population.


























One member of the "Daigo Fukuryu Maru" crew, during the voyage back to Japan, had kept some of the dust in a pouch to have it analyzed upon their return. Unfortunately, it was hanging beside the man's bedside exposing the crew, further, as they slept.


























The crewmen were suffering from nausea, headaches, pain in the eyes, bleeding gums and other symptoms of radiation poisoning. On March 15th, the "Elderly" members of the tuna boat's crew, engineer Yamamoto, deckhand Masuda and five others were sent to the "Tokyo University Hospital" for further treatment. Testing on Yamamoto's bone marrow, indicated his white blood cell count was reduced to the half the normal number. The Japanese doctor's sought information, from the "U.S. Atomic Energy Commission" about treatment, and that was when the United States first became aware of the incident.

Like the "Hibakusha", normally translated to mean a "person affected by exposure to radiation", the name given to the survivors of both the Hiroshima and Nagasaki Atomic Bombs. The survivors of the "Daigo Fukuryu Maru" were also stigmatized by the general Japanese public, because of the belief that exposure to "radiation was contagious".





























Above is the exterior of the "Tokyo Metropolitan Diago Fukuryu Maru Exhibition Hall". established in 1972, containing the actual ship.























ENTER TOMOYUKI TANANKA






























Tomoyuki Tanaka joined the forgotten "Taisho Motion Picture Studios" upon his 1940 graduation from "Kansai University", in Suita, Osaka, Japan. The following year they merged with "Toho Studios" in Chiyoda, Tokyo, Japan. After four years with Toho, Tanaka began producing his own feature films.

I now turn to my much-worn copy of J.D. Lees and Marc Cerasini's, 1998, "The Official GODZILLA Compendium", for the following story,

According to Tomoyuki Tanaka, he had put together a cast and crew to make a Japanese-Indonesia co-production entitled, "Eiko no Kanatani (Behind the Glory)". However, the Indonesian government decided not to grant the Japanese visa's and the producer was forced to fly home to Japan instead of having the actor's and technician's join him in Indonesia.

According to an interview Tanaka gave, in 1981, to the "Japanese Fantasy Film Journal", mentioning that failed Indonesian project. Tomoyuki Tanaka thought at the time that:
Now I had to come up with something big enough to replace it.
On the plane flight back to Japan, he started to wonder what might hide under those calm ocean waves he could see below him?

End of the excerpt from my other article!


Tomoyuki Tanaka assembled an excellent group of writers, technicians, and actors to bring the answer to his question onto the motion picture screen.
  
I have already mentioned director Ishiro Honda, the previous year he had directed "
太平洋の鷲Taiheiyo no washi (Eagle of the Pacific)", a biography of "Admiral Isoroku Yamamoto". 

The motion picture used stock-footage from 1942's, "
Hawai Mare Okikaisen (The War at Sea from Hawaii to Malaya)" about the attack on Pearl Harbor. That stock-footage was created by 円谷 英二 Tsburaya Eiji (Eiji Tusburaya), who literally built Pearl Harbor to scale. Tsuburaya created the new war footage for "Eagle of the Pacific",  and now was to work with Ishiro Honda on Tomoyuki Tanaka's project.




















Above, Ishiro Honda, and below, Eiji Tsuburaya.

















There would be five people associated with writing the motion picture. The initial outline came from Tomoyuki Tanaka and Eiji Tsuburaya, and had the extremely long title of:

底二万哩から来た大怪獣Kaiteinimanmairu kara Kita Daikaijū (The Giant Monster from 20,000 Miles Beneath the Sea)". 

The outline was turned over to 香山 滋 Kayama Shigeru (Shigeru Kayama), who wrote the first draft screenplay, "Project G-Review Script". After the success of the motion picture his draft had been for, novelist Kayama would turn the story into a serialized novel, "怪獣ゴジラ Kaijū Gojira (Monster Godzilla)".



















The final screenplay was written by 村田 武雄 Murata Takeo (Takeo Murata), and Ishiro Honda.
















Designing the monster went to "Special Effects Director" Eiji Tsuburaya's team. The actual designing of "Gojira" was assigned by Tsuburaya to "Art Director" 渡辺 明 Watanabe Akira (Akira Watanabe).


















While the actual construction of "Gojira" was assigned to 利光 貞三 Toshimitsu Teizō (Teizo Toshimitsu).















The haunting music was by 伊福部 昭, Ifukube Akira (Akira Ifukube).
















Ishiro Honda now having a screenplay in place, began to cast the main characters of the motion picture.

Tomoyuki Tanaka's allegorical look at the 1945 Atomic Bomb droppings on Hiroshima and Nagasaki and their aftermath, was to have a love-triangle weaved around it.

The triangle consisted of:

Akira Takarada portraying salvage ship captain, "Hideto Ogata". This was only his second motion picture since Toho's 1953 "New Face" search.























Momoko Kōchi portrayed the love interest and the daughter of Japan's leading paleontologist, "Emiko Yamane". Actually the main storyline revolves more around her than the title character.

















平田昭彦Hirata Akihiko (Akihiko Hirata) portrayed "Dr. Daisuke Serizawa". Akihiko had just portrayed "Seijuro Yoshioka" for the first of three times in director 稲垣 浩, Inagaki Hiroshi (Hiroshi Inagaki's) Samurai trilogy.





















Three other important roles:


志村 喬Shimura Takashi (Takashi Shimura) 
portrayed "Emiko's father", paleontologist "Dr. Kyohei Yamane". Shimura was a regular in 黒澤 明 Kurosawa Akira (Akira Kurosawa's) stock company. Shimura Takashi had already been in Kurosawa's 1949's "Stray Dog" with Chief Assistant Director" Ishiro Honda, 1950's "Rashomon", 1951's "The Idiot", 1952's, "Ikiru", and was the leader of 1954's "Seven Samurai".
















堺 左千夫Sakai Sachio (Sachio Sakai) portrayed "Newspaper Reporter Hagiwara". The character is very important to the original storyline, but he is almost non-existent in the 1956 re-edited English language "Godzilla, King of the Monsters". Sachio was also a member of Akira Kurosawa's stock company and among his films are 1952's "Ikiru", 1954's "Seven Samurai", and 1958's "Hidden Fortress".

 















豊秋 鈴木 Suzuki Toyoaki (Toyoaki Suzuki) portrayed "Shinkichi Yamada", below left corner. Although websites like IMDb list Toyoaki Suzuki with Thirteen film roles, in reality there were only Eight! Three films were a trilogy with Suzuki in the same role and two were re-edits of "Gojira", the 1956 American version and the 1957 French version I will speak too.





The story starts with the freighter Eiko-maru, in a semi-recreation of the Lucky Dragon #5, being destroyed by a blinding flash of light and boiling water.





























Note: The number FIVE on the life preserver above.






Cut to "Emiko" and "Ogata" in his apartment discussing her arranged marriage to "Dr. Serizawa". When the phone rings, and the salvage captain must leave.




























A second ship, the "Bingo-maru", sent to find survivors of the freighter is also lost.  A fishing boat from Odo Island is destroyed, but someone has survived. Reporters arrive, including "Hagiwara", and start to interview the islanders, but that night, during a storm, something comes out of the sea and kills "Shinkichi's" brother, the lone fishing boat survivor, and his wife.

"Emiko's" father heads an investigation to Odo Island for the Japanese government. Among the village's destruction is a large footprint containing a radioactive trilobite.

























While attempting to get the villagers away from the radioactive footprint, the alarm bell starts to ring and "Dr. Yamane", "Emiko", and others head toward the top of a small mountain. Suddenly, from over the top is seen a dinosaur-like creature and everyone just stops, most turn, and run down the hill back toward the village.


















































The dinosaur turns around and goes back to the sea, as "Dr. Yamane", "Emiko", "Ogata", "Hagiwara", "Shinkichi", and "Dr. Tanabe", portrayed 村上 済州 Murakami Saishū (Saishu Murakami) known as actor, 村上 冬樹 Murakami Fuyuki (Fuyuki Murakami), return to the hill top and look down at the giant footprints the dinosaur-like creature has left.


































Next, "Dr. Yamane" addresses the Japanese government about what the Odo Islanders call "Gojira". He explains that this living Jurassic Age dinosaur, has been exposed to underwater hydrogen-bomb tests, and stands 164-feet-tall. 


































Meanwhile, "Emiko" and "Hideto" have come to a decision! She will tell "Dr. Serizawa" that their marriage cannot be, because she loves and plans to marry "Ogata". Before "Emiko" leaves for "Serizawa's", "Hagiwara" arrives and asks if she would introduce him to "Dr. Serizawa". "Emiko" agrees, but warns the reporter that the doctor might not want to speak to him.
























As "Emiko" thought, "Serizawa" will not give any pertinent information to the newspaper reporter and "Hagiwara" leaves. "Emiko" remains and "Dr. Daisuke Serizawa" now reveals, to the woman he loves, his secret invention.




























































"Emiko" promises never to reveal what she has seen and leaves without mentioning her engagement to "Ogata".

"Gojira" appears in Tokyo Bay and attacks Shinagawa and destroys a passenger train.































International experts are consulted and the "Japanese Defense Force" builds a 98-foot-tall, 50,000-volt electrical fence. The Navy is heavily deployed within the Sea of Japan and is patrolling Tokyo Bay. Which creates a bad time for "Ogata" and "Emiko" to raise the question of their marriage to her father. "Dr. Yamane's" reaction is to tell "Hideto Ogata" to leave, because "Ogata" agrees with the actions being taken against "Gojira".



























Her father retires to his study and "Emiko" enters and listens, as the paleontologist reflects upon the need to study "Gojira" and find out how he survived.






















































"Emiko" turns off the light, leaving her father with his thoughts.






























"Gojira" attacks Tokyo once more and the electrical fence doesn't stop his nuclear breath. As now, Tokyo becomes the allegorical Hiroshima, to "Gojira's" allegorical nuclear bomb.































































































































































Nothing stops "Gojira" and after he has disappeared below the waves of Tokyo Bay. The hospitals overflow with the injured and dying. It is at this point that "Emiko" makes the decision that will save Japan and tells "Ogata" about what she saw that day at "Dr. Serizawa's".

The two go to convince "Serizawa" to use his "Oxygen Destroyer" to stop "Gojira". "Dr. Serizawa" refuses, speaking to countries turning his discovery into a weapon, an argument between "Ogata" and "Serizawa" becomes physical and "Hideto" injures his head.































On "Dr. Serizawa's" television, pictures of the destruction by "Gojira" is being shown, and then a young girl's chorus sings a prayer for Japan.




























What he is seeing gets through to "Dr. Serizawa", he burns all his notes on how to make the "Oxygen Destroyer", and the three leave. On board a Navy ship "Serizawa" and "Ogata" prepare to dive into Tokyo Bay and destroy "Gojira".


























Both men put on heavy deep sea diving suits and with the "Oxygen Destroyer" descend into the sea. They locate "Gojira" and the devise is deployed and their ascent begins, but "Serizawa" tells "Ogata" he wishes him and "Emiko" happiness and cuts his own airline.




























"Ogata" makes it up safely, but because of "Dr. Serizawa's" fear of his discovery being turned into a weapon. He sacrifices his life to keep his secret from ever being recreated.














































The film ends with "Emiko" looking into the sea.































Three films credited to Momoko Kōchi that she never filmed!

As I have mentioned, it would be five-years, before Momoko Kōchi's role of "Emiko Yamane" would be recognized worldwide. In most non-Asian countries, "Gojira", went unnoticed on its initial release, because it only played in Asian language movie theaters and that required a large Asian population to have one.

In 1956, "Godzilla, King of the Monsters", was released, but it wasn't the major "Godzilla Franchise" film it would start to become just three-years later. This Americanized version of the original Toho feature would finally be seen in Japan on May 29, 1957.






The American re-edit, deleted many of the original scenes, and added English language recreations with Raymond Burr portraying "Reporter Steve Martin". The 1954 "Gojira" had a running time of 98-minutes, but "Godzilla, King of the Monsters", only ran 80-minutes, with Burr's narration filling in some of the missing story.























Additionally, the picture had four producers and to profit from their investment. Each producer was given a section of the United States to book theaters to show their "American Monster on the Loose" movie. Ever notice that on some prints there is a different distributer name? 

One of the major factors, in 1956, that had dominated the discussion about doing a straight dubbed into English, American release, of the 1954 "Gojira". Had been the still active prejudice toward Japanese Americans, over the Second World War in parts of the United States. 

To assist in avoiding that problem, the producers sold "Godzilla, King of the Monsters", as a normal American giant monster film. Like 1953's "The Beast from 20,000 Fathoms, or even the fifth re-release of 1933's "King Kong", in 1956

Of the four producers, only publicist Joseph E. Levine, knew how to really sell the feature. It was Levine who had come-up with the tag line, "King of the Monsters".

Does my reader see any reference to this story being set in Japan on the following poster? Which helped draw 10-years-old Lloyd and others to "Godzilla", in 1956?





As to that profit, the final budget to make the re-edited "Gojira" was $650,000. The profit, not the box office receipts, the four producers split was only $200,000 at the end of their movies initial run.

On March 15, 1957, in France, "Godzilla, le Monstre de L'Ocean Pacifique (Godzilla, the Monster of the Pacific Ocean) premiered.

































This was a hybrid re-editing of both the original 1954 "Gojira", and 1956's "Godzilla, King of the Monsters", The story had a new French screenplay by Michel Gast and Bruno Guillaume, with a French slant, creating a third version of the original Toho Studios release. I could not locate who directed the re-edit, or the name of the film editor. 

I only mention this motion picture, because it does appear as a credited feature on Momoko Kōchi's film listings.

Another film that appears on her film list, is the 1977 Italian "Godzilla" aka "Cozzilla". 

































Producer, director, and writer Luigi Cozzi had his own vision of 1954's "Gojira". The picture was colorized and a sound process similar to "Sensurround" was used. To get realism into this re-edit, Cozzi used actual newsreel footage of death and destruction during previous wars. Luigi Cozzi even used edits from American director John Frankenheimer's, 1964, "The Train", British director Val Guest's, 1961,"The Day the Earth Caught Fire", and some brief clips from stop-motion-animator Ray Harryhausen's, 1953, "The Beast from 20,000 Fathoms". 



Returning to 1955, Toho had released a sequel to "Gojira", "ゴジラの逆襲 Gojira no Gyakushū (Godzilla's Counterattack)". The only leading member of the original 1954 cast in the sequel, was Takashi Shimura as "Dr. Yamane", in a cameo appearance.




































Again, the original Toho production was basically only seen in Japan and other Asian countries. However, in 1959, Warner Brothers purchased the English language distribution rights. 

Warner Brothers original plan was to turn writer Ib Melchior's, the creator of "The Angry Red Planet" and "Reptilicus", screenplay, "The Volcano Monsters", into a feature film, but the budget was considered to expensive for a monster movie. 

However, after acquiring the rights to the 1955 Japanese monster movie, the answer was simple, turn it into "The Volcano Monsters". The result was 1959's "Gigantis, the Fire Monster", a straight dubbed into English version, written by Melchoir, with some added footage at the start of the picture, relating to volcanoes and dinosaurs to refer back to his original screenplay.


































However, the reaction in the United States wasn't what Warner Brothers expected, because earlier that year, "Godzilla, King of the Monsters", had appeared on the syndicated television series, "The Million Dollar Movie". 

After seeing the Warner Brothers release, audience members, like myself, who had seen either the original 1956 release, just the television airing, or both. Started asking their local film critics, IF "Gigantis, the Fire Monster", wasn't really "Godzilla"? Letters, like my own, to "Famous Monsters of Filmland", brought an unexpected replyfrom the magazine. 

No, "Gigantis" was not "Godzilla", but "Godzilla" wasn't really "Godzilla" either!

The "Famous Monsters of Filmland" article stated, that the movie "Gigantis the Fire Monster" was really a 1955 Japanese sequel to a 1954 movie called "Gojira". Further, "Godzilla, King of the Monsters", wasn't really a completely American made motion picture, as 1956 audiences had believed. It was a re-edit of that 1954 Japanese motion picture with added scenes of Raymond Burr. The purpose being to avoid some of the anti-American sentiment in the original feature film.

Before 1959 was over, I had gone to the "Nuart Theater", in Santa Monica, California, and seen both the original 1954 and 1955 Toho releases in Japanese with new English language subtitles. That same year I saw another Toho motion picture with Momoko Kōchi, but now I am getting ahead of myself.


Following "Gojira", Momoko Kōchi appeared in four films for Toho, two, 1955's "School Girl's in Costume", and "No Response from Car 33", came to the United States, but I could not locate what the plots were.

The next motion picture for Momoko Kōchi was a Japanese Horror Science Fiction picture that would get a similar Americanization as "Gojira", reducing its running time to 63-minutes, instead of the original 94-minutes.


獣人雪男, Jūjin Yuki Otoko (Beast-Man Snow-Man) released on August 14, 1955 in Japan





Tomoyuki Tanaka now assigned director Ishiro Honda not to the expected, same year, sequel to "Gojira", but would become known as the Japanese Abominable Snowman feature.

The film is part of my article, "The Abominable Snowman' As First Interpreted By Film Makers 1954 to 1967", at:

http://www.bewaretheblog.com/2020/02/the-abominable-snowman-as-first.html

The story was by Shigeru Kayama and the screenplay was written by Takeo Murata.

Back also, were Eiji Tsuburaya as the director of special effects, and Akira Watanabe as the art director.

The six main roles of the original Toho production:

Akira Takarada portrayed "Takeshi Iijima, alpine club member". Between portraying "Hideto Ogata" and this role, Takarada was seen in six other motion pictures.

Momoko Kōchi portrayed "Machiko Takeno, Iijima's lover".



























根岸明美Negishi Akemi (Akemi Negishi) portrayed "Chika, villager". This was her fifth motion picture, but there might never have been a first. Except that director Joseph von Sternberg saw her dancing at a cabaret and cast her in a movie.


































中村伸郎Nakamura Nobuo (Nobuo Nakamura) actually 小杉 義男Kosugi Yoshio (Yoshio Kosugi) portrayed "Professor Shigeki Koizumi" in the original Japanese version, but apparently is now "Professor Shigeki Tanaka" in the American version.

Nobuo had appeared in director Akira Kurosawa's 1952, "Ikiru", and in director 小津 安二郎, Ozu Yasujirō (Yasujiro Ozu's) classic 1953, "Tokyo Story".






















高堂 国典Kōdō Kokuten (Kokuten Kodo) portrayed "The Old Man". He also portrayed the elder fisherman who tells "Reporter Hagiwara" the name of the creature that young Odo Island women where once sacrificed too, "Gojira".

























小杉 義男Kosugi Yoshio (Yoshio Kosugi) portrayed "Oba". 




























The story opens at a train station below the Japanese Alps in Nagano, in the waiting room is a group of students with a traditional box holding the ashes of a loved one, "Kiyoshi Takeno", played by                ただし 岡部 Okabe Tadashi (Tadashi Okabe). "Kodama", a reporter played by 堤 康久 Tsutsumi Yasuhisa (Yasuhisa Tsutsumi), approaches the group and confirming they're the student group that had a strange encounter in the Alps. He politely asks to hear their story: 




























"Takeshi Iijima" starts to relate their story and the film becomes a flashback.



























Five friends, all University Students, have come to the Japanese Alps in Nagano to enjoy a New Year's skiing holiday. The group is made up of "Takashi Iijima", his lover, "Machiko Takeno", her older brother, "Kiyoshi Takeno", and the three's good friends, "Nakada", portrayed by Sachio Saki, and "Kaji", played by アキラ 山田 Yamada Akira (Akira Yamada).






























The "TCR" numbers at the above still's top, are actually timing numbers for scene editing. It is believed that the print with them, I have a DVD copy, was the one used to make the American re-edit. There was a court case, more on that later, that resulted in Toho Studio's destroying all known copies of the motion picture, but this print being in the United States, was apparently overlooked.

The group separates before reaching the inn for the night's stay. "Kaji" has already left to go to the home of his friend "Gen", "Machiko's" brother decides to go after him, and tells the others that the two friends will rejoin them later after their visit to "Gen".

The remaining three students arrive at the inn and the hotelier, "Matsui", portrayed by 瀬良 明 Sera Akira (Akira Sera), informs them that a strong blizzard is approaching. "Matsui" attempts to call "Gen's" remote captain, but nobody answers the phone. "Matsui" trays to hide his concern, but the other three can tell otherwise and "Takashi" takes the phone and continues trying to get someone to answer.

While looking out of a window, "Machiko" sees a fur covered figure approaching in the worsening blizzard. The figure enters and is "Chika", a girl from a very remote village that doesn't want contact with anyone outside of their village, but she has befriended "Matsui". Because of the advancing blizzard, "Chika" is forced to stay at the inn for a short time, but doesn't speak much to the others. 

The sound of an avalanche is heard from a distance, suddenly the phone rings, "Machiko" answers it, and just as suddenly throws it down. Through the earpiece the other four people hear screaming and the sound of a gunshot, followed by silence. "Chika" quickly puts her furs back on and leaves the inn, acting as if she knows something.

The following day the weather has cleared and with mountain guides, the police and the three students leave for "Gen's" house.





























There they find "Gen" dead on the cabin floor and the body of "Kaji", seemingly dragged out into the snow, behind the cabin. The two men's injuries suggest they had been attacked by some strong animal, but there is no sign of "Machiko's" brother, "Kiyoshi". Tuffs of animal hair are found stuck to the back doorway, but from the positioning of the hair The animal would have been gigantic compared to the two dead men's size. More disturbing, are giant footprints of a biped in the snow near "Kaji's" body. The rescue party now splits-up, one group will take the two dead men back to the inn and the other will continue a search for "Machiko's" brother.






























By nightfall there is no sign of "Kiyoshi" and the leader of the rescue team informs the others that until the snow thaws, they might as well go back to Tokyo and wait comfortably there.


Note: Over the years, both names I've mentioned above, for Nobuo Nakamura's character, "Professor Koziumi", and, "Professor Tanaka", have become mixed in reviews of the movie. Both have even appeared in the same review, one such article is Wikipedia's:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Half_Human#:~:text=Half%20Human%20%28%E7%8D%A3%E4%BA%BA%E9%9B%AA%E7%94%B7%2C%20J%C5%ABjin%20Yuki%20Otoko%2C%20lit.%20%27Beast-Man,Nakamura%2C%20with%20Sanshiro%20Sagara%20as%20the%20Abominable%20Snowman.

I will call him "Professor Kozuimi":

Six-months later, "Machiko" and "Takashi" return to the inn with anthropologist "Professor Koizumi" and an expedition to discover what killed "Gen" and "Kaji". Even "Machiko" believes her brother is dead, but she hopes to find out what happened to him.

At the inn, "Machiko" finds a monkey in a cage and starts to feed it. A shifty looking man approaches "Matsui" and asks questions about the "Koizumi" expedition, gets his answers, and reports to his boss in another room. His boss is "Oba"who is an animal broker and knows more about what killed the two men than the others. However, now he can use "Koizumi's" expedition to find the snowman for him, by not following too closely to be seen and caught. However, unknown to both groups, is a white-haired old man and his oddly shaped side kick following them.

Late one night, as the expedition is attempting to get some sleep, a very large shadow falls over the tent of "Machiko". Next, the face of the Beast-Man Snow-Man is seen looking through the tent window and his hand comes in under the tent's material and touches her face, causing "Machiko" to wake-up and scream.




 


















































The Beast-Man Snow-Man runs off into the forest with "Takashi" running after him. "Takashi" finally stops running and realizes he doesn't know the way back to the camp. He looks around, picks a direction, starts walking, has a bad fall, and stumbles his way toward a campfire that turns out to be "Oba" and his men. They give "Takashi" a very bad beating and toss him into a very deep ravine.

"Chika" discovers "Takashi" and brings him back to her village and attends to his wounds. She is the granddaughter of the white-bearded village elder-chief, is expected to follow all the laws, and now has broken the first one. "Chika" has brought an outsider into their village, a village that for generations has inbred as part of their isolationism from the outside world.






























The village becomes outraged over "Chika's" deed, but her grandfather pretending to be reasonable, sends her to feed the Beast-Man Snow-Man that they worship. 
























































After "Chika" has left the village, her grandfather and others enter the room with "Takashi" in it. They gag him, bind his hands and feet, and hang "Takashi" on a rope over a cliff to be eaten by the vultures. 





























When "Chika" returns to the village, her grandfather severely beats her with a stick for violating the law.






























"Chika" runs away to nurse her wounds and comes upon "Oba" and his men, believing them to be the "Koizumi" expedition. Realizing her mistake as a means of gaining knowledge of the Beast-Man Snow-Man, "Oba" plays upon "Chika's" trust. He trades a silver ring for information on the Beast-Man Snow-Man's location.

Meanwhile, the Beast-Man Snow-Man is on its way back to his son and their cave with a freshly killed deer. He notices the rope, looks over the cliff and sees "Takaahi", puts the deer down, pulls up the rope, unties him, and very calmly walks away with his deer once more on his shoulders.






















































The adult returns to his cave and his son.























































With the knowledge that the misled "Chika" has told them about the location of the Beast-Man Snow-Man's cave, "Oba" lays a trap. They're surprised to see playing outside the cave a younger Beast-Man Snow-Man, and capture and gag him. 






























When they're ready, the gag is removed to lure the adult into their trap. The adult comes charging out of the cave, but before he can do anything, a large steel net drops from above, and "Oba's" men, chloroform him. 






























Grandfather discovers the silver ring and once again "Chika" is punished. Next, "Chika's" grandfather and the villagers arrive at the cave as "Oba" and his men are loading the adult Beast-Man Snow-Man onto a truck. Grandfather confronts "Oba" and is shot dead, the other villagers just leer in fright. The young Beast-Man Snow-Man had been able to escape in the confusion, and as the truck carrying his father passes his hiding place, he jumps onto the cage and frees his parent.






























The adult Beast-Man Snow-Man attacks the truck he was caged in and kills the driver. 





























"Oba" now shoots and kills the young Beast-Man Snow-Man, causing the adult to go berserk. He kills everyone and throws "Oba" off a cliff, heads for the village, destroys it and kills many of the villagers who worshiped him.

Meanwhile, "Takashi" finely makes it back to "Professor Koizumi's" camp and tells everyone what has happened to him. That night, the Beast-Man Snow-Man is heard approaching the camp and while "Machiko" is adding logs to the fire, grabs her and runs off into the forest heading for his cave.






















The following morning the group spots smoke on the horizon coming from the direction of the village. Upon arriving, they find the death and destruction caused by the enraged Beast-Man Snow-Man and a alive "Chika". She will guide them to the cave where her village's god would have taken "Machiko". 

Entering the cave, they spot the remains of "Machiko's" brother "Kiyoshi" and his journal. Reading it, the group learns he had been tracking the Beast-Man Snow-Man after the attack on "Gen's" house and was trapped by the avalanche. It was the Beast-Man Snow-Man who saved him and took him back to his cave and gave the injured "Kiyoshi" food. Over time, he grew weak, and eventually died.

Further in the cave, a pile of bones belonging to many of the species is found. Also, "Professor Koizumi" finds a form of poisonous mushroom that he believes the Beast-Man Snow-Men ate and eventually died out from. It was possible the mushrooms were part of the food given to "Kiyoshi".

Suddenly, they are interrupted when the Beast-Man Snow-Man enters with "Machiko" over his shoulder. 





















What happens next, is "Chika" sacrifices her life to save "Machiko" and with the last of the Beast-Man Snow-Men falls into a sulfur pit.


























































I've mentioned that there was a court case that resulted in Toho destroying all the prints for "Jūjin Yuki Otoko". This was because of the scenes in the village of inbreeding that caused a backlash from the  
部落民 Burakumin "hamlet/village people" protection groups. These Japanese villages, the homes originally of "untouchables", goes back to the Japanese feudal era, and were established, originally, by outcasts that kept to themselves. Inbreeding still existed in 1955, as well as community's cut-off, for one reason or another, from the main population of Japan and their members faced discrimination. It wouldn't be until 1969 that the Japanese government passed a law to help these isolated communities.

It's speculation on my part, but the fact that Toho had sent a copy of " Beast-Man Snow-Man" and the suit used for the young boy to the United States, might have been ignored when the prints were destroyed. Perhaps believing that the film re-edited by the American movie company destroyed the original print.

Although there are reports of two television showings of the original film in Japan, and that it was seen in a 2001 film retrospect in Kyoto. In 2017, Toho Studios denied all of that, and stated that a complete version of the motion picture has never been released by the studio.

At the time of writing this article,
the following link will take my reader to the same video of "Beast Man Snow Man" I have, but as my reader will notice, someone obviously attempted to remove the "TCR Codes" on the print.

https://video.search.yahoo.com/search/video?fr=mcafee&ei=UTF-8&p=video+of+1955+half+human&type=E211US105G0#id=1&vid=7f0987b3df7e5a8aedeb6712063ce4d2&action=click


Bringing me back to that United States copy of Toho's original 1955 "Beast-Man Snow-Man" obtained by "Distributors Corporation of America (DCA)". That they turned into the motion picture "Half Human", and also appears upon Momoko Kōchi's list of film credits.


HALF HUMAN released on December 10, 1958




DCA was faced with one major problem in publicizing "Half Human". In the original Japanese feature film, the monster is really "Oba", and not the "Beast-Man Snow-Man"

In fact, the "Beast-Man Snow-Man" only reacted when threatened, or his son was murdered. The original story line had the creature rescue "Takeshi Iijima" from the vultures, and calmly walk away, and earlier, rescue "Kyioshi Takeno" from the avalanche.

So, to make the "Beast-Man Snow-Man" monstrous to DCA's potential audience, the above poster now has saliva dripping from the mouth and the tagline:
HALF-MAN, HALF-BEAST but ALL MONSTER!

As I mentioned, when I wrote about "Gojira", there was still a large amount of anti-Japanese sentiment from the Second World War in the United States, and for this poster, Japanese actress, Momoko Kōchi's "Machiko", became an obvious Caucasian woman..

The poster states the creature is:

1400 POUNDS of FROZEN FURY

While, this screenplay keeps the weight as stated in the original motion picture of:

1800 POUNDS
 

























 






































Directing credit reads, Kenneth G. Crane, (US sequences), Ishiro Honda billed as Inoshiro Honda (Japanese sequences).

Note: Crane was also the movie's film editor, and performed the same two functions on "Monster from Green Hell"
As I said above, with all the new footage shot by Crane, and after his editing of "Half Human". The motion picture was still 31-minutes shorter than Honda's original film

It should be noted that there is no English language writing credit given for the screenplay and the credit reads, Shigeru Kayama (original story) and Takeo Murata (screen adaption). 

To continue the idea that "Half Human" was an original American release was the following title card.

























Keeping the above statement in mind is the "Official Cast List":

John Carradine portrayed "Dr John Rayburn, Anthropologist".

Russell Thorson as Russ Thorson portrayed "Professor Philip Osborne".

Robert Karnes portrayed "Professor Alan Templeton".

Morris Ankrum
portrayed "Dr. Carl Jordan". 

Akira Takarada is now "The Boy".

Akemi Negishi is now "The Mountain Girl".

Momoko Kōchi as Momoko Kouchi is now "The Girl".

And the rest of the Japanese cast appears in "Uncredited Roles".


The motion picture opens with "Dr. John Rayburn", just back from a sabbatical to Japan meeting at an unnamed University with "Professor Philip Osborn" and "Professor Alan Templeton", his best friends, which he calls "Doctor's", not "Professor's", and none of the three refer to the other by their first names.

 



























"Dr. Rayburn" now starts to tell the story of his experiences in Japan, the Japanese footage is basically silent and Carradine narrates, and the film first cuts to Honda's footage of the five students on a ski trip to the Japanese Alps that occurred years earlier. 


























"Rayburn" tells the other two that "The Girl" and "The Boy" are brother and sister. The audience sees two students break away from the other three to inspect a cabin that will be the skiers base of operations and "Rayburn" states:
As they took off, no-one knew that the next time they saw their friends, most of them would be stilled by death
The three arrive at a lodge for the night, as a violent storm starts and the sound of a far off avalanche is heard. With concern for their two friends, the boy attempts to contact the cabin they were going to check out, but gets no answer. The three start to comfort each other, the phone rings, the girl answers, then drops the receiver in shock. The sounds of screaming and gunfire are heard over it. The owner of the lodge rings the distress bell to summon the mountain police, and the next day the three students join the search party.

Outside of the cabin, everything seems normal, inside is the dead body of one of the two friends, apparently crushed to death, and out back is the other friend, also crushed to death. Giant footprints are seen in the snow and some strange hair is inside the cabin.

Cut to "Dr. Rayburn" telling the other "Professors (Doctors)" that both dead boys were his assistants at the University of Tokyo. He adds that because of the bad weather the search was called off until Spring.

The audience is told that the search never figured out what the footprint belong too, and the newspapers got wind of the story about a monster and had a field day in Japan. "Dr. Rayburn" asked permission to take a copy of the cast of the footprints and a sample of the hair and it was granted. "Rayburn" offers his two friends a look at the hair under the microscope.





















































According to "Rayburn's" story, under the leadership of "Professor Tanka", described by "Dr. Rayburn" as
One of the most brilliant men in the field of anthropology
A expedition to find out what creature made the giant footprints is formed. Among his team are "The Boy" and the "Girl", who, at "Tanaka's" base camp, bed down for the night together in the same tent. As they sleep, the creature's face is seen through the tent's flap, his hand touches "The Girl's" cheek, she wakes-up screaming, the creature runs off, the boy chases it, trips and falls down an unseen slope. The others follow, but return in the morning to tell "The Girl", that they could not find "The Boy", only his rifle.

"Professor, Dr. Templeton" interrupts "Dr. Rayburn" narration with an important question:
Why did the killer, this killer, suddenly, almost tenderly, touch the girl's cheek?
"Professor, Dr. Osborne" replies:
I don't know what explanation Dr. Rayburn will give for his species behavior, but it's logical to assume he ran because...the girl's sudden scream frightened it.
"Dr. Rayburn" returning to his story, informs the other two that unconscious "Boy" was rescued by "The Mountain Girl". Who comes from a strange mountain people that had never seen a "civilized man" before. 

To which, "Templeton" asks:
Were these people you refer to...savage?"

"Rayburn" replies:

Oh...not to the point of eating their own dead!

"The Boy" wakes-up to see "The Mountain Girl" standing over him in a room in the village. The Village Chief" enters, orders "The Mountain Girl" to go outside , where the furious villagers are angry for her violation of their law. She is ordered by the "Village Chief" to take a sacrifice to their god, the creature, for her violation. She leaves, the villagers bind "The Boy" and hang him over a cliff on a rope.

Here, "Film Editor Crane" is faced with how to turn the scene from Honda's picture into one of terror with a murderous monster? 

What Crane does, is to rearrange the scenes sequences and with the aid of threatening sounding music, make it appear that the creature is toying with "The Boy" and deciding if it wants to kill him, or just let him hang by the rope. In the end, Crane was still forced to use Honda's ending to the original scene.

Next, "Rayburn" takes "Templeton" and "Osborne" to meet "Dr. Carl Jordan", who just performed an autopsy on the body of the young creature. 




























"Dr. Jordan" has deduced that the creature is half human, half animal, and a few generations removed from Neanderthal Man. He guesses the adult might have primitive reasoning and very basic emotions. 





























"Osbourne" now asks:
Would you say that over a period of 200,000 years, this species' system, as it grew, might slowly evolve into man?
"Jordan's" tells him, that if we tinkered with the creature's brain, over ten or fifteen generations, it:
Might be able to speak a single sentence.
Now being asked what became of the adult, "Dr. Rayburn" continues:

A Japanese circus man heard about the creature and was able to capture the son. The bait of his son led to the capture and sedation of the adult, who was put in a caged truck. The son jumped onto the speeding truck, released his father, but is shot and killed by the circus workers in a following truck. The adult goes mad and kills all the circus people, goes to the village and destroys it. 

"The Boy" was now able to return to "Professor Tanaka's" expedition's camp and convinces them that the creature is well meaning. The expedition now retraces the way "The Boy" took from the village and sees its destruction. Next, the creature starts an avalanche to bury the village and the expedition members just escape. Later, that night, the creature abducts "The Girl", and the expedition members start to follow and meet "The Mountain Girl", who had escaped the vengeance of her god.

They enter the creature's cave, where it is about to toss "The Girl" into a bubbling pit of some substance. However, "The Mountain Girl" takes out a knife, runs at and attacks the creature. "The Girl" is freed, but "The Mountain Girl" and the creature fall into the pit and die.

"Dr. John Rayburn" concludes that the loss of the adult probably means no one will ever know that they had "The Missing Link to Human Evolution".


After completing, "Jūjin Yuki Otoko (Beast-Man Snow-Man)", Momoko Kōchi appeared in eleven motion pictures for Toho studios. The tenth and eleventh films were actually, Part One, and, Part Two, of "わが胸に虹は消えず (The Rainbow in My Heart Won't Disappear aka: A Rainbow Plays in my Heart)", both parts released on July 9, 1957.








 



















The two-part story reunited director Ishiro Honda, Momoko Kōchi, Akira Takarada and Akemi Negishi


地球防衛軍Chikyū Bōeigun (Earth Defense Force) released December 28, 1957 




The motion picture's English language rights were originally purchased by the American studio "Radio-Keith-Orpheum (RKO)", and the studio completed the dubbing, but as they were going into baknruptcy at the time. "RKO" sold the dubbed film to "Lowe's Incorporated" for release. However, "Lowe's" in turn sold the film to "Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer (MGM)" and they released "The Mysterians", on May 15, 1959.







There are several actors and technicians from "Gojira" associated with this feature.

Producer Tomoyuki Tanaka hired Japanese Science Fiction writer 丘美 丈二郎 Okami Jojirio (Jojirio Okamki) to create a more scientific story than seen in either 1954's, "Gojira", and, 1956's, "空の大怪獣 ラドン (Sora no Daikaiju Radon) (1957's Rodan)". That original story had no monsters, and the aliens were not interested in inbreeding with Earth women.

Okamki's story was turned over to Shigeru Kayama, who added the aliens wanting to mate with Earth women to repopulate their dying race. However, Tanaka wanted to add a monster and the idea of a pre-"Barago
n" monster was considered, but dropped. 


































Tomoyuki Tanaka also wanted to show the superior technology the aliens had that the Earth scientists would have to overcome. 

Note: the above kaiju was named "Mogera, and it morphed into the robot seen below in the motion picture.


















The actual screenplay was written by 馬淵 薫Mabuchi Kaoru (Kaoru Mabuchi), better known as,  木村 武Kimura Takeshi (Tajeshi Kimura). Kimura, English titles, wrote 1956's "Rodan", and would write, 1958's "The H-Man", 1963's, "Matango", 1961's, "The Last War" and 1962's, "Gorath", among others.

Ishiro Honda was to direct, the following is a quotation from my article, "Toho Studio's EARTH DEFENSE FORCES:  A Space Opera Trilogy, or Not?: 1957-1977", that you may read at:

http://www.bewaretheblog.com/2018/11/toho-studios-earth-defense-forces-space.html

"According to Steve Ryfle and Ed Godiszewski in their 2017 work "Ishiro Honda: A Life in Film, from  Godzilla to Kurosawa". Honda said the following about the production of "Chikyu Boeigun" being:
larger in scale compared to Godzilla or Rodan and is aimed to be more of a true science fiction film... I would like to wipe away the [Cold War-era] notion of East versus West and convey a simple, universal aspiration for peace, the coming together of all humankind as one to create a peaceful society."

Eiji Tsuburaya returns as the "Director of Special Effects". As does Akira Watanabe as the "Special Effects Art Director".

The musical score was another beautiful one, written by Akira Ifukube.


 Main Cast:

佐原 健二 Sahara Kenji (Kenji Sahara), middle below, portrayed "Joji Atsumi". Sahara actually was in "Gojira" in a role described as "Young Lover on the Sound", but in "Godzilla, King of the Monsters", the role was described as "Man on Boat".



















Above, and on Kenji Sahara's right, is Fuyuki Murakami portraying "Dr. Nobu Kawanami". As previously mentioned in "Gojira", he portrayed "Professor Tanabe".


白川 由美Shirakawa Yumi (Yumi Shirakawa) portrayed ""Etsuko Shiraishi". She was the co-star in 1956's, "Sora no Daikaiju Radon".























Momoko Kōchi portrayed "Hiroko Iwamoto". 

Akihiko Hirata
portrayed "Ryoichi Shiraishi".




















Above, Akihiko Hirata and Momoko Kōchi.

Takashi Shimura portrayed either "Dr. Kenjiro Adachi", or, "Dr. Tanjiro Adachi", depending on what English language article you read.



















Above, left to right, Takashi Shimura, Fuyuki Murakami, and Kenji Sahara.


Astrophysicist "Ryoichi Shiraishi", his fiancée ""Hiroko Iwamoto", his sister "Etsuko", and his friend "Joji Atsumi" are attending a village festival near Mount Fuji. 





































Above, Akihiko Hirata, Momoko Kōchi, Yumi Shirakawa, and Kenji Sahara.

As the four are enjoying the festival, a strange, intense, fire suddenly erupts in the nearby forest! 






















































"Ryoichi" and "Joji" join the villagers going to fight the fire and they notice that the flame are burning from the roots of the trees from under the ground. The fire appears to be burning more rapidly in one area and "Ryoichi" runs toward it, leaving "Joji" standing there. After the fire appears under control, "Ryoichi Shiraishi" has vanished.

The next morning "Joji Atsumi" goes to visit his mentor, "Dr. Adachi", the head astronomer of the local observatory. "Joji" gives the doctor a written report made by "Ryoichi", about a newly discovered asteroid, he named "Mysteroid". According to "Shiraishi", the asteroid was once a planet located between Mars and Jupiter. "Dr. Adachi" is familiar with "Ryoichi's" theory and speaks of it to "Atsumi".

Meanwhile, the village that the festival took place, experiences a unusual Earthquake, completely destroying it. "Joji Atsumi" receives a phone call, explains the Earthquake to Dr. Adachi" who has started to read "Ryoichi Shiraishi's" report, and joins the Earthquake investigation. 

Note: American producer, John Beck, making the English language version of Toho Studio's,                  "キングコング対ゴジラ Kingu Kongu tai Gojira (King Kong vs Godzilla)", edited the earthquake scene into the climactic battle between the two kaiju to make it more exciting.

After investigating what's left in the  destroyed village:










 







"Joji" and the police investigation team are heading back to Tokyo, but the jeeps tires start to stick to the road. Getting out, they find the tires are literally melting, but suddenly a part of a mountain just falls down and the "Moguera" comes out, attacks the group, and using a ray from its eyes, kills a member and blows up his jeep.





















































"Moguera" now advances toward the Takayama Bridge, in the village of Minamiyamashiro, and is met by the Japanese Army Defense Forces, but to no avail. 




























The robot next starts to go onto the bridge, at the same time, "Joji" has gone to get "Etsuko", who is staying at an inn, and is taking a bath. The two watch, as the robot is on the bridge and the army detonates explosives, bringing the bridge and robot down.

At the "National Diet Building", in Nagatacho, Chiyoda, Tokyo, "Joji Atsumi"  briefs officials on what he has learned about the "Moguera". The robot is made from some unknown chemical compound, but otherwise he has no further information.


















Following "Atsumi's" meeting, astronomers, from around the Earth, are reporting observing activity on the moon and in outer space. Once more near Mount Fuji, strange activity starts to take place and observers including "Dr. Adachi", "Dr. Kawanami", and "Joji Atsumi", arrive to watch a large dome structure come out of the ground.










































A voice calls out from the dome, inviting (?), certain named people to come and meet with him. "Dr. Adachi" accepts and as the military stands-by for action, the named men enter the alien dome.





 













Upon reaching the dome's entrance, the voice informs the group that they will find protective clothing just inside. Within, the group meets the alien race of "Ryoichi Shiraishi's" report and the leader of "The Mysterian's", portrayed by 土屋 嘉男Tsuchiya Yoshio (Yoshio Tsuchiya), welcomes them and then gives the group his demands. 
























Above, Yoshio Tsuchiya without his "Mysterian Uniform", below as the "Mysterian Leader".






















"The Mysterian's" want to be permitted to keep a two-mile radius strip of land they now control! Oh, and by the way, they want to marry Earth Women!























Their leader explains that 100,000-years ago, their planet "Mysteroid", was the fifth planet from the sun, but they suffered a nuclear war and their home world was totally destroyed, becoming bits of asteroids. Some members of their race were able to escape to Mars, before their world exploded. However, strontium-90 has left 80-percent of their remaining population deformed. For this reason, they want to marry Earth woman and inbreed with them to save their dying race. Oh, by the way, they have already taken three chosen women, and "Hiroko" and "Etsuko" are two others they want.































Above, Kenji Sahara, Momoko Kōchiko, and Yumi Shirakawa.

"Atsumi" meets the two women and explains to them that they are targets of "The Mysterians". Adding guards will be assigned to the two and as they speak, the voice of "Ryoichi" comes over the television set.


















"Ryoichi" now tells his three viewers that he is with the "Mysterians" and Japan needs to give them what they require. He seems to be convinced the aliens mean well and tells them to just turn on the television should they want to speak to him again and the screen goes blank.

The aliens mother ship is located near the moon and from that ship smaller flying saucers are released.




















Note: American producer John Beck turned the mother ship into an International Communications Satellite in 1962's "King Kong vs Godzilla". Even though you could see the smaller flying saucers coming and going in the scenes.
























Japan will not accept "The Mysterians" demand and they attempt to destroy the dome, but conventional weapons prove useless against the alien technology. Both on the ground and in the air against flying saucers.




























 


































































A plea for world assistance goes out and a meeting is held.






























The aliens now asked for a larger portion of land, 75-miles in radius, but it is believed that may already occupy even a larger underground radius. The nations of the world come together and new technology is created and Japan is ready for a final confrontation with the invaders. However, at the same time,






 













both "Hiroko" and "Etsuko" are kidnapped and "Joji" searches for an entrance to the command dome of "The Mysterians".

Below the "World Air Force", Alpha, and, Beta, battleships.























The battle against "The Mysterians" begins!



















































As the battle gets worse for them, another "Moguera" is sent out and is destroyed. Inside the dome, "Ryoichi Shirakawa" has realized he was on the wrong side and dressed as a "Mysterian", he sets out to free the women.


































"Joji" has found his way into the complex and meets "Ryoichi" and the women. He is to take them to safety and the other will finish destroying the "The Mysterians" Earth base, sacrificing himself.

































With the women safely out of harm's way, "Joji", "Etsuko", and "Hiroko" observe the final defeat of "The Mysterians".




























At the end of 1958, Momoko Kōchi left Toho and would take a two-year break from movies, return in 1960, take a second break in 1961 until 1967, and then work sporadically in feature films in the 1980's and 1990's.

Their were two major events in 1961 for the actress:

The first was marrying 貞隆 久松 (Hisamatsu Sadataka(Sadataka Hisamatsu), I could not locate any information about him. The two would remain married into 1998, until either his death, or Momoko's, depending upon the biography of the actress you read. 

The other event was appearing on the legitimate stage with the "劇団俳優座Gekidan Haiyūza (Hauyuza Theatre Company)". The company was known for "新劇 (Shingeki "New Drama")". Instead of traditional Japanese plays, the company did William Shakespeare, Tennessee Williams, Henrik Ibsen, and Moliere, for example.

One of the other actresses in the company was 水野久美Mizuno Kumi (Kumi Mizuno), who would be known for portraying "Miss Namikawa" in Toho's 1965, "怪獣大戦争Kaijū Daisensō (The Great Monster War aka: Invasion of the Astro-Monster)".

Three productions of the "Hauyuza Theatre" that Momoko Kōchi appeared in, were William Shakespeare's "Twelfth Night", "Merchant of Venice", and Macbeth".


In author Steve Ryfle's, "Japan's Favorite Mon-star: The Unauthorized Biography of 'The Big G", is the following quote from an interview Momoko Kōchi gave the cable news network, "CNN":
After the first Godzilla movie people pointed at me saying, 'Godzilla, Godzilla, Godzilla.' As a young woman I hated Godzilla, so I thought, 'no more Godzilla for me.' But 41 years later I watched the film again and realized how great it was for its anti-nuclear theme

For the thirtieth anniversary of 1954's, "Gojira", executive producer and story creator, Tomoyuki Tanaka, wanted to make a one-time tribute to the kaiju and start the "Hesei Era" off with it. The result was 1984's, "ゴジラGojira". Which would also be known by the English language name of "The Return of Godzilla". 

My reader must not confuse Toho's original production with "Godzilla 1985", that brought back Raymond Burr as "Steven Martin", to avoid confusion with "Saturday Night Live's", comedian Steve Martin.




The screenplay for the 1984,"Gojira", was by 永原 秀一 Nagahara Hideichi (Hideichi Nagahara), who somehow was credited as Shuichi Nagahara. 

What Tanaka and Nagahara came-up with was a reimagining of some of the events in the 1954 film. Mainly, that "Gojira" was not destroyed by "Dr. Serizawa's" "Oxygen Destroyer", but attacked Tokyo and then just disappeared for the last thirty-years. His attack and disappearance are remembered, specifically, by "Professor Makoto Hayashida", who watched his parents being killed by the living nuclear weapon, and "Prime Minister Seiki Mitamura". Although others, including reporter "Goro Maki", know about the attack and the disappearance in 1954. 

The screenplay opens during a violent storm and a fishing boat, the "Yahata-Maru", gets caught in the currents around the uninhabited 大黒島Daikoku-jima (Daikoku Island). As the fishing boat drifts toward the shore, there is a volcanic eruption on the island and "Gojira" reappears. There is only one survivor and that is "Naoko Okumura", who verifies for "Professor Hayashida", that it was "Gojira" that he saw come out of the eruption. 

Note: This plot point is still debated, because of the ending of the original film. However, even "Godzilla 1985", basically follows this story line.

"Gojira 1984" would be followed by five motion pictures until:


ゴジラVSデストロイアGojira tai Desutoroia (Godzilla vs Destoroyah) released on December 9, 1995





What had happened between 1984 and 1995 was a slowing down of audiences for films about "Gojira". As a result, Executive Producer Tomoyuki Tanaka and Producer 富山省吾 Tomiyama Shogo (Shogo Tomiyama), announced this was to be the last "Gojira" motion picture.

The motion picture would be directed by 
大河原 孝夫 Okawara Takao (Takao Okawara). He had directed the fourth and fifth films of the "Hesei Era" series.

The screenplay was by 
大森 一樹Ōmori Kazuki (Kazuki Omori). Omori had written the screenplays for the excellent 1989, ゴジラvsビオランテGojira tai Biorante (Godzilla vs Biolante)", but also the controversial, time-traveling, 1991, ゴジラvsキングギドラ Gojira tai Kingu Gidora (Godzilla vs King Ghidorah).


For this excellent screenplay, Kazuki Omori returned, somewhat to the original 1954, "Gojira", and somewhat to the 1984, "Gojira", but only refers directly to 1994's, ゴジラvsスペースゴジラGojira tai SupēsuGojira (Godzilla vs Space Godzilla)". 

The basic plot concept is that "Gojira" is a nuclear reactor and his heart, the reactor, is reaching meltdown. Should his temperature reach 1200 Celsius, "Gojira" will explode, and ignite the Earth's atmosphere destroying the planet.

Kazuki Omori brought back the character of "Emiko Yamani", once more played by 
Momoko Kōchi. 























Should the films viewer be observing the photos in "Emiko's" apartment, they would notice that one face is missing. Nowhere is there a picture of "Hideto Ogata", her love from the 1954 "Gojira", and the man the classic film gave the viewer the impression she will marry

There is also no explanation, as to why, after forty-one-years, "Emiko's" last name is still "Yamane"! No answer is given to this discrepancy, or to the missing "Ogata" by Kazuki Omori.

However, "Emiko's" apartment is filled with photos of "Dr. Daisuke Serizawa", and he is indirectly related to the plot of the story.

There are two other "Yamane's" in Omori's screenplay. a television news reporter, "Yukari Yamane", is "Emiko's" niece, and, College Student, "Kenichi Yamane", is "Emiko's" nephew. The viewer finds out that "Dr. Yamane" had adopted the "Odo Island" young man, "Shinkichi Yamada", and he was their father and "Emiko's" step-brother.

The "Oxygen Destroyer" does come into the story as the means of creating "Gojira's" opponent. Apparently, the area in Tokyo Bay that "Dr. Serizawa" released it, has been drained to build "The Tokyo Bay Aqua Line". Somehow, "Dr. Serizawa's" device has reanimated "Precambrian Organisms" that unite to form creatures that will combine to form the living oxygen destroyer, "Destoroyah".

While that is going on, "Auntie", aka: "Emiko", warns her niece, "Yukari", about the dangers of an another "Oxygen Destroyer", end of Momoko Kōchi's cameo appearance.

A subplot has news reporter, "Yukari Yamane", going to "Dr. Kensaku Ijuin", and convincing him to build an "Oxygen Destroyer". In reality, this is Kazuki Omori adding a love story and "Ijuin's" "Oxygen Destroyer" never is used and seems to disappear from the main storyline later. 

In the end, "Gojira" goes nuclear, but "Gojira, Jr.", see "Space Godzilla", absorbs the released nuclear energy, saves the Earth, and becomes an adult "Gojira" in the process.


On, November 5, 1998, Momoko Kōchi, passed away at age 66, from cancer.



























The previous year, on April 2, 1997, Tomoyuki Tanaka, passed away at age 86, from a stroke.

 





























Four years earlier, on February 28, 1993, Ishiro Honda passed away at the age of 81, from respiratory failure.
























On, January 25, 1970, Eiji Tsuburaya had passed away at the age of 68, from a heart attack.





































But "GOJIRA" aka: 'GODZILLA, THE KING OF THE MONSTERS". carries on their legacy.

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