Half Human

Japan Release: 1955
Running Time:
98 minutes

Half Human

Japanese Title

[Jujin Yuki Otoko]

Distributor: Production:


A small group of university students wind up discovering the truth to one of the world's greatest legends during a skiing trip in the Japanese Alps. Two of the students, charged with a jolt of caution-free excitement, ski ahead of their comrades. However, a blizzard sweeps over the mountain. The remaining three skiers return to their cabin and attempt to contact another shelter further down the slopes. A phone call from the cabin ends with gunshots and a mysterious shriek that's only vaguely human. A subsequent investigation discovers the shelter in shambles, one skier dead, his comrade missing, and a set of footprints trailing into the wilderness. The mystery continues to build, with complications arising from a money-hungry businessman and a nearby village of less-than-friendly people...

Live Action Science Fiction

Box Office - Stock Footage - DVDs - CDs - Pictures - Background - Concept Art - Cut Scenes - Reviews


International Title


Initial US Title

Half Human
US Distributor: DCA (1957) / Time: 63 Minutes

Alternate Titles

Monster Snowman
[Literal translation]





Directed by Ishiro Honda
Writing credits Shigeru Kayama, Takeshi Kimura
Produced by Tomoyuki Tanaka
Music by Masaru Sato
Cinematography by Tadashi Iimura
Film Editing by Shuichi Anbara
Production Design by Tatsuo Kita, Akira Watanabe
Assistant Director Kihachi Okamoto
Director of Special Effects Eiji Tsuburaya
Takashi Iijima Akira Takarada
Chika Akemi Negishi
Machiko Takeno Momoko Kochi
Dr. Koizumi Nobuo Nakamura
Nakata Sachio Sakai
Shinsuke Takeno Kenji Kasahara
Tribal Chief Kokuten Kodo
Oba Yoshio Kosugi
Kurihara Koji Suzuki
Matsui Akira Sera
Shinagawa Ren Yamamoto
Kodama Yasuhisa Tsutsumi
Takeno Tadashi Okabe
Kaji Akira Yamada
Oba's Henchmen Akira Tani, Yutaka Nakayama, Kamayuki Tsubono Yasumasa Onishi, Koichi Sato, Kazuo Fukuda
Guides Etsuro Saijo, Kamayuki Tsubono, Rinsaku Ogata
Chief Investigator Ichiro Chiba
Policeman Takuzo Kumagai
Villagers Shigeo Kato, Akio Kusama, Akira Kichijoji, Keiichiro Katsumoto, Kyoko Ozawa
Railway Attendant Hiroshi Akitsu
Snowman Fuminori Ohashi
Snowchild Takashi Ito


Background and Trivia

  • Like Godzilla (1954) before it, which had an early title of "G" in English, the pre-production title of Half Human was simply "S" which was for Snowman.
  • Masaru Sato's score for the film was all recorded on July 25th, 1955. The score was, oddly, recorded outside of the Toho studios at an independent stage called the "Radio/Television Center". This was noted in the book Age of the Gods (Self-Published).
  • The movie remains controversial due to its savage depiction of the natives in the film. This group is seen as a stand in for the Burakumin, a social group who suffered harshly from discrimination in Japan. Due to the controversy, a home video copy of the original Japanese version has never been released. This is stated in the 2001 publication Tokyoscope: The Japanese Cult Film Companion.
  • According to Minoru Nagano, as quoted in Age of the Gods (Self-Published), Eiji Tsuburaya originally tried making some stop motion footage of the kidnapper's truck going down a winding mountain rode. The staff, however, filmed this sequence outside with the sun moving overhead. The result was that the scene looked like it was showing, in time lapse fast motion, that it took the truck all day to reach the end of the road. Toho, after seeing the sequence, denoted stop motion to be too costly and time consuming.
  • The US version, released by DCA, utilizes original footage filmed with actors John Carradine, Russ Thorson, Robert Karnes and Morris Ankrum. These new sequences were directed by Kenneth Crane. This version also erroneously credits the production as being from "Pomoyuki Tanaka" rather than Tomoyuki Tanaka.


Patrick Galvan Star Rating
January 11, 2016