Koji Hashimoto  Koji Hashimoto (橋本幸治)
  Director / Producer
  Date of birth:
  Janaury 21st, 1936
  Ashikaga, Japan
  Date of death:
  January 9th, 2005
  Japan
Director Filmography - Assistant Director Filmography - Producer Filmography

Biography

Koji Hashimoto's career in motion pictures began in 1962 when he served as third assistant director on Ishiro Honda's King Kong vs. Godzilla: the start of a seven-year professional association between the experienced director and the young assistant. In total, Hashimoto worked under Honda on six films, including Ghidorah, the Three-Headed Monster (1964) and Frankenstein vs. Baragon (1965). Little did anyone suspect their time together would eventually lead to a defining moment in Hashimoto's career. But that day was still some years in the future.

Hashimoto remained an assistant director through the 1970s, aiding well-known directors such as Akira Kurosawa, Shiro Moritani, and Toshio Masuda. His working on productions such as Submersion of Japan (1973) and Prophecies of Nostradamus (1974) increased his knowledge of working on special effects-heavy productions. And finally, in 1984, the longtime subordinate was promoted to co-direct (with novelist Sakyo Komatsu) a gigantic space opera known as Bye-Bye Jupiter. Production on the film proved to be a very stressful endeavor; and the reception was less than enthusiastic. Nonetheless, completion of the film did demonstrate, for the upper management, Hashimoto's capability of handling a large-scale production. And on-set, he'd built a reputation as a cordial and patient director.

1984 was a fateful year for another—more famous—reason. Ishiro Honda had just been approached by producer Tomoyuki Tanaka to direct The Return of Godzilla (1984). The film would serve as a 30th anniversary project for the franchise and do precisely what Honda had been wanting for twenty years: return the monster to its dark, symbolic roots. However, Honda, now an older man working alongside Kurosawa, felt content passing Godzilla onto the next generation; and so, after declining Tanaka's offer, Honda recommended his former assistant—who shared the antinuclear sentiment in an era when many people had long forgotten the Second World War—be assigned as the director of Godzilla's cinematic return.

With his second directorial effort, Hashimoto strived to "throw some questions at people and make them think about the nuclear problem" and created the film for which he will always be remembered. The Return of Godzilla updated Godzilla within the context of the Cold War and went on to become a modest box office success—faring well considering its December competition included Ghostbusters and Gremlins—and gave birth to the second cycle in Toho's iconic franchise.

However, not long after the film's release, Hashimoto found himself forced to make a difficult decision. The Japanese filmmaking industry was still reeling from the previous decade's slump, and stiff international competition meant fewer Japanese films would be made in the foreseeable future. Understandably concerned the studio would one day fail to renew his contract, Hashimoto opted to become a producer in order to secure his future at Toho. He left the director's chair with just two titles under his belt and spent the remainder of his career in the front office.


Director Toho Filmography

Date      Title Type
1984 Bye-Bye Jupiter Produced
1984 The Return of Godzilla Produced

Assistant Director Toho Filmography

Date      Title Type
1962 King Kong vs. Godzilla Produced
1964 Ghidorah, the Three-Headed Monster Produced
1965 Frankenstein vs. Baragon Produced
1965 Invasion of Astro-Monster Produced
1968 Sun Above, Death Below Produced
1969 Latitude Zero Produced
1969 All Monsters Attack Produced
1969 Konto 55: Grand Outer Space Adventure Produced
1970 Dodes'ka-den Produced
1972 Unheard Swan Song Produced
1972 No Sunday for Youth Produced
1973 Submersion of Japan Produced
1974 Prophecies of Nostradamus Produced
1975 Gate of Youth Produced
1976 The Human Revolution Continues Produced
1977 Gate of Youth Part 2 Produced
1979 House of Hanging Produced
1979 Glowing Autumn Produced
1980 Magnitude 7.9 Produced
1981 The Imperial Navy Produced

 

Producer Toho Filmography

Date      Title Type
1989 Double Triangles Produced
1992 Godzilla vs. Mothra Produced
1995 Godzilla vs. Destoroyah Produced
1995 The Tower of Lilies Produced
1996 The 8-Tomb Village Produced
1996 Rebirth of Mothra Produced
1997 Rebirth of Mothra II Produced
1998 Rebirth of Mothra III Produced