Happy 114th Birthday, Eiji Tsuburaya!

birthdayGreetings, Kaiju fans!

Ye Olde Dragon here, with a birthday salute for someone near and dear to every Kaiju‘s heart. Today marks the 114th anniversary of the birth of the man who can legitimately be called the Father of Japanese Special Effects, Eiji Tsuburaya. Of course, he’s best known as one of the four ‘fathers’ of Godzilla, along with Producer Tomoyuki Tanaka, Director Ishiro Honda and Composer Akira Ifukube.

In addition to his extensive early model work, he pioneered the use of the Optical Film Printer in Japan, which made his effects look even better. It was costly, but he persuaded Toho to help defray the cost, after he saw it in use during a tour of Walt Disney Studios on the 1950s. He also established the still active Tsuburaya Productions, where he created the original iteration of the size changing Japanese hero ULTRA-MAN.

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Tsuburaya overseeing the work on the Dragon, OROCHI, for THE THREE TREASURES (1959)
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Tsuburaya making final checks on GODZILLA, moments before a fight scene in KING KONG VS GODZILLA (1962)

Recently, I posted about how Godzilla, and Toho Effects Films in general, seemed to finally be garnering more respect. How’s this for more proof? Checkout today’s Google Doodle, which lets you set up a movie WITH Tsuburaya!

Tsuburaya-GoogleMy thanks to Google, for honoring a truly legendary film maker!

You can read another post of mine about Tsuburaya, here.

…End of Line…

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