Here, for the first time in English print, is the inspiring story of a humble and soft-spoken man who became one of the most-prolific directors in the history of fantasy films. Raised in a primitive Japanese village by a Buddhist monk, Ishiro Honda fell in love with films at a young age and soon enrolled in film school with the intent of one day becoming a director. Called to enlist in the Imperial Japanese Army druing World War II, he returned with a knowledge of the futility of war and a dread of the atomic age. A dedicated craftsman who directed over 80 films during a remarkable 60-plus year career, Honda is undeservedly remembered mostly as the "greatest director" of the famous Japanese monster film series; however, he was in fact much more. Utelizing a wide-variety of source material never before assembled into one volume, Mushroom Clouds and Mushroom Men is an objective critical analysis and definitve study of a man whose fantasy films -- when seen in their original versions -- are "beautiful nightmares" of quality and subtext which transcend the visceral thrill of watching monsters destroying cities. Honda's admirers include George Lucas, Martin Scorsese and Steven Spielberg and his films are masterpieces of entertainment that have enthralled audiences for generations . . . and will for generations to come.