The man behind the Turtle

We have had many people on this side of the blog that has come to create many wonderful memories within the community of the Giant Monsters. This time we take a look at a director who came up with a rival to Godzilla that is still to this day so revered as one that the whole community wants to see for a fight. I give you Noraki Yuasa. The man behind the Turtle we know as Gamera. camera pictures were taken by Hidalgo944 and

Joe Haupt

Where our guy lived

Born in September 28, 1933, Noriaki Yuasa was the son of a stage actor and began an early career as an actor Toyko Japan is a booming city not to far fetched being related to New York City.

His school life

After graduating university Noriaki began to work with Daiei studio in 1955 to later begin directing a musical comedy If you are happy clap your hands. In the year of 1967. Eventually, he began his work on a little different project from what he had done earlier called The Giant Rat Swarm. I believe that was the first time he ever made a movie with a more serious approach to an audience.(i nteresting fact) while making this our guy made a few miniatures for this movie only to have them completely get infested with fleas which had to be completely redone all over.

The turtle idea

Noriaki came up with the concept of a giant turtle after this movie he had done recently. So he made his own decision to try out the concept in the form of Gamera the giant monster or as we yanks call Gamera the invincible. From here on out we get to see him direct almost all the Gamera movies (with the exception being Gamera vs Barugon). Being the father of showa Gamera I would imagine that if he was still around to this day. He would have been so proud of his work. Gamera did take Godzilla on one in the box office and win a few times.

Life after the turtle

The following content is part of an interview that was done in 1996 by a man by the name of David Milner who talked with Noriaki about some of his work. Just to make sure I am clear this is not going to be a copy and paste work as far as this goes. But I will mention some key elements with this guy so you the audience can have a full understanding as to what he was like and the stuff he has done.

David Milner: Did you ever work with your father on stage?

Noriaki Yuasa: I saw both my grandmother and my father on the stage but I had never worked with them.

David Milner: How old were you when you appeared in your first film?

Noriaki Yuasa: I only appeared in one movie. (TWELVE HOURS BEFORE RECRUITMENT) It was directed by Koji Shima who was my uncle. It was a story about medical students who were recurred in the army. The whole story took place twelve hours before the students had to go to boot camp. I played the younger brother of one of the students.

By the way, during the war,(WW2) The Government ordered several films to unite. That’s how Masaichi Nagata founded Daiei studios.

David Milner: Why did Daiei file bankruptcy?

Noriaki Yuasa: Hidemasa Nagata was more of an artist rather than a leader of a movie studio. (Hidemasa is the son of Masaichi Nagata)

David Milner: Who came up with the idea for the Giant flying turtle?

Noriaki Yuasa: Nisan Takahashi (he wrote all the movies except Gamera Guardian of the universe and Attack of legion.)

Gamera’s spinning was modeled after a type of firework that was made to spin when you light it up. Frankly ,the newer spinning that the new Gamera does comes closer to the original concept than ours did. Making Gamera spin was very difficult and eventually ,we ended up stopping him spinning because if one of the jets stopped spinning the whole shot gets ruined.

David Milner: How much work did you do on Gamera vs Garasharp before it was canceled?

Noriaki Yuasa: Right after Gamera vs Zigra was completed I went to go talk with the Planning Department about the next Gamera movie. I remember the next movie was going to have a two-headed monster in it. The costume was made but Mr. Takahashi hadn’t written the script before Daei filed for bankruptcy.

David Milner: Why did you decide to kill Gamera in Gamera the super monster?

Noriaki Yuasa: I was asked to combine the footage of all the Gamera films into one movie shortly after Tokuma publishing resurrected Daiei. I remember that when I met with Yasuyoshi Tokuma and ask him how large the project budget would be. I was given four months for editing. It was a very painstaking job to do.


Well as this concludes I want to thank everyone who had participated in this. I am going to include a link for the full interview if you guys want to check it out the link will be marked down below and as for the usual links? I am going to look for an appropriate link for you guys so as I don’t keep issuing the same links over and over again cause to me that is lazy.

(Noriaki Yuasa interview)

Author: Vic

Just a little about me is I like monster movies and love educating people with blogs and content.

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