Snowman 雪男

Snowman
Snowman

Height : 3 meters
Mass : 200 kilograms

Powers / Weapons

Strength

Appearances

Half Human (1955)

Series // Showa


Description

Five members of the Towa University mountaineering club meet with grave misfortune when two of their members wind up vanishing in a blizzard during a skiing trip in the mountains. Though one member, Kaji, is found deceased, a student named Takeno remains unaccounted for. What makes this affair so bizarre is that unusual patches of fur and large footprints are discovered nearby.

With the help of renowned zoologist Dr. Koizumi, the three survivors form an expedition and return to the area in Spring. However, when they venture into the dreaded Garan Valley, their guides swiftly take leave. One night, a mysterious figure wanders into camp and begins to caress Michiko's face. In the ensuing chaos, the unknown creature flees with Takashi in close pursuit, but the latter takes a rough tumble down a steep incline and finds himself in the midst of another party. It turns out that a carnival owner named Oba and his henchmen were closely observing the students' activities, concerned that they would stumble across the monster that Oba was so diligently seeking to exploit for profit.

After a violent struggle, Takashi takes yet another tumble and awakens in a secret village, nursed back to health by a local woman named Chika. It turns out that this hidden community treats the beast that Takashi had earlier encountered as their master. The violent tribal chief, intolerant of the interference of outsiders, harshly punishes Chika and has Takashi strung from the edge of a precipice. Appalled by such wretched treatment, Chika makes a deal with two of Oba's henchmen, both of whom she believes to be Takashi's fellow students. She reveals the location of the monster's cave in return for the promise of getting to meet the other members of their party.

Meanwhile the enigmatic creature, resembling some sort of an apeman, appears at the precipice with a freshly killed carcass slung over his shoulders. Takashi is reeled in by the beast, who surprisingly sets the young man free. A series of churlish grunts... and the monster is gone...

Oba's men arrive at the hulking hominid's cave and capture the apeman's only son. When the boy's father returns from the hunt, the child is used as bait, and the drop of a net and swift application of a sedative-soaked rag quickly subdue Oba's quarry. The young one manages to escape and later drops in on the caged lorry by which Oba prepares to transport his prize out of the valley. Alas, the child is also captured, but when his father regains consciousness, he strangles the driver through the bars and uses his immense strength to pry open the back hatch. After a series of unsuccessful shots, Oba's very last bullet downs the beast's progeny. The enraged father makes very short work of the sinister carnival owner, and in an inconsolable rage, further attacks the hidden village, killing the tribal chief in the process.

Takashi finally makes it back to camp and reveals that the furry behemoth he had earlier encountered resembles reports of the Abominable Snowman! Shortly thereafter, the lumbering cryptid approaches the camp and in the ensuing confusion, Takeno's sister Michiko is kidnapped! With the help of Chika, they track the pair back to the Snowman's cave, where they manage to locate Takeno's remains and his final writings. It is revealed that Takeno was actually cared for by the beast following an injury sustained from an avalanche on the night of the blizzard. Unfortunately, he was very weak at the time of his writing and correctly predicted that he wouldn't make it...

Further exploration reveals the existence in the cave of the fly agaric, a mushroom Dr. Koizumi believes killed off the majority of the Snowpeople. Finally, the Snowman is discovered carrying Michiko in his arms like a rag doll. Scaling a tall speleothem, he ascends to a higher level of the cave as the others follow in close pursuit. Chika bravely distracts the Snowman, allowing Michiko to escape the creature's grasp. During their struggle, the Snowman endures two bullet wounds, and both he and Chika ultimately plummet into a geothermically-active pool below... likely boiled alive.


Powers / Weapons
Strength

Strength

While having no elaborate powers, the Snowman was strong for it's size. It was able to lift humans with ease. It's most extraorindary example of it's strength came when the Snowman was able to effortlessly flip a truck off a cliff after going beserk.

It's strength is only marginally impressive, though, given it was almost twice as tall as a normal human and weighed roughly four times a normal man's weight as well.


Background and Trivia
  • The full grown abominable monster was portrayed by suit actor Sagara Sanshiro. The child Snowman was portrayed by suit actor Takashi Ito.
  • SnowmanPromotional images of the Snowman show a much different face for the creature. These can be seen both on posters and some production stills, such as in the "Strength" power area above and the image to the right. These differences include overt fangs, hairless eyebrows and a fuller head of hair on the top. In the actual film, there are no fangs sticking out and the Snowman has very bushy eyebrows. The hair on the top of the head is also much less prominent in the movie, almost appearing like it's receding as it might on an older man.

    Both versions of the character's look have been released as toys. The toy company Iwakura called the earlier version of the design the "poster version".
  • Goat hair was utilized to create the fur of the beast for the suit.
  • To drum up interest for the film, Toho released promotional images showing the Snowman facing off with Godzilla. The promotion strategy included the rather odd claim that "the Snowman was stronger than Godzilla" ("Gojira Yori Tsuyoi Yukiotoko" - ゴジラより強い雪男).
  • No color photos of the Snowman suit are known to exist. Recolored images and toys depict the fur as brown. The skin sometimes differs, appearing as a more muted shade of brown, a more vibrant beige and occasionally slightly green like on a toy from Iwakura.
  • The child's roar is vastly different from the adult's, sounding high pitched and shrill in contrast to the deep tone of the full grown member of it's species.
  • In the American version of Half Human, the Snowman is given an additional stock library roar.