Half Human: Loren Coleman’s Inspiration To Wonder

Posted by: Loren Coleman on March 1st, 2012

Happy March!

Fifty-two years ago I was inspired to go into cryptozoology after watching the movie Half Human, originally released in Japan as Jūjin Yuki Otoko (獣人雪男?, lit. “Half-Beast-Half-Man Snowman”).

After viewing the 1958 film late in March of 1960, I asked my school teachers about the Yeti, about the Abominable Snowmen. The responses I received were negative, discouraging, and frustrating. So I went to the friendly reference librarians of the Decatur (Illinois) Public Library, and was shown to a small shelf of books that contained the works of Willy Ley, Bernard Heuvelmans, and Ivan T. Sanderson. I read of cryptozoology even before the name was being used in print, and recognized a whole new world in natural history existed beyond what I was being taught about in school.

I had literally “discovered” cryptozoology.

The whole universe of cryptozoology opened up a remarkable new world view for me.

The slick, professionally produced, 88-page, international magazine G-Fan once published an in-depth look at the Ishiro Hondo motion picture, Half Human, in Peter H. Brother’s long article, “Abominable Snowman: Honda’s Hidden Gem,” pages 30-44, in their issue No. 69, Fall 2004.

That article is followed by a contribution by Brett Homenick, “Phenomenal Snowman: A Conversation with Loren Coleman,” on page 45. That piece specifically is an interview about the inspiration and impact of Half Human on my investigative life and writing career. G-Fan is a quarterly magazine of the Godzilla Society of North America, disseminated worldwide, devoted to coverage of Godzilla and other Japanese monsters. (A copy does not electronically exist for me to share, as far as I know, but for those who have old copies of the magazine, I thought you might like to know about it.)

(After seeing this posted overnight, Brett Homenick emailed me and informed me that the Japanese star of the film, Akira Takarada, will be the guest of honor at the annual G-FEST Convention in Chicago, July 13-15, 2012. Takarada was also the star of the original Godzilla and several other popular kaiju movies.)

Thank you, Half Human. It is the source of my inspiration.



Yet another footnote:

I wrote the “Foreword” (mostly about Half Human) in the following massive and comprehensive tome that encompasses all the hairy hominoid films and television movies. For those who wish to pursue more info on Half Human please read my Foreword and the book’s individual entry by David Coleman on Half Human. Dave’s essay covers parts of four pages!

The Bigfoot Filmography: Fictional and Documentary Appearances in Film and Television by David Coleman.

Loren Coleman About Loren Coleman
Loren Coleman is one of the world’s leading cryptozoologists, some say “the” leading living cryptozoologist. Certainly, he is acknowledged as the current living American researcher and writer who has most popularized cryptozoology in the late 20th and early 21st centuries. Starting his fieldwork and investigations in 1960, after traveling and trekking extensively in pursuit of cryptozoological mysteries, Coleman began writing to share his experiences in 1969. An honorary member of Ivan T. Sanderson’s Society for the Investigation of the Unexplained in the 1970s, Coleman has been bestowed with similar honorary memberships of the North Idaho College Cryptozoology Club in 1983, and in subsequent years, that of the British Columbia Scientific Cryptozoology Club, CryptoSafari International, and other international organizations. He was also a Life Member and Benefactor of the International Society of Cryptozoology (now-defunct). Loren Coleman’s daily blog, as a member of the Cryptomundo Team, served as an ongoing avenue of communication for the ever-growing body of cryptozoo news from 2005 through 2013. He returned as an infrequent contributor beginning Halloween week of 2015. Coleman is the founder in 2003, and current director of the International Cryptozoology Museum in Portland, Maine.

8 Responses to “Half Human: Loren Coleman’s Inspiration To Wonder”

  1. Rob008 responds:

    It actually is a pretty good movie for its time. I own the American version and the hard-to-find Japanese version. In Japan, the movie was pulled because it showed the village as a bunch of developmentally-delayed inbreeds.

    The Yeti suit is quite impressive, considering it was made by the company that made the Godzilla suits.

    I read somewhere that when the movie was sold to an American distributing company, the Toho movie company sent not only the small Yeti costume, but also the large one as well. Rumor has it that the large Yeti costume was stolen. I wonder if the Bigfoot in Roger Patterson’s film is the long lost Yeti suit? I guess that is other theory to throw out there. I can see why this movie would have sparked an intereast in cryptozoology.

    The movie that inspired me was the Legend of Boggy Creek.

  2. paul_r responds:

    A life time interest that we all share in part because of your becoming inspired. I might not agree with everything in cryptozoological world but it is always omni present in my interest like many people. So thanks for maintaining and spreading that interest to us younger folks!

    Just slightly younger, I remember well that ancient time when there were no computers or internet and how entertaining reading about loch Ness or Roger Patterson in my scholastic reader could be. When I was ten I finally viewed the film in and was for ever hooked.

    Imagine kids of today not being able to review all aspects of your favorite cryptid simply by logging onto the internet. When gaining access to knowledge meant hoofing it to the library or the book store. When asking a question of an author meant mailing a letter and waiting weeks for a reply. Think about how hard people worked to bring all this.

    Thanks Loren for staying interested!

  3. rrib13 responds:

    Wow, in 1968/9?? I was 11!! and reading W. Ley’s Book A Look at Atlantis, I think it was called? in the late 60’s early 70’s..Thanks for making me remember those wonderful things 🙂

  4. rrib13 responds:

    Found the Half Human DVD for 12.99 🙂

  5. Desertdweller responds:

    Holy Cow, Rob008!

    Another conspiracy theory?

    I got interested in this field about the same time Loren did. But my inspiration wasn’t a movie, it was an article in “Boys’ Life” magazine sometime in 1960, I think. It featured legends of the Yeti, and gave me inspiration to go tracking one down. In our cow pasture, giant footprints (actually, enlarged by the sun). With my Daisy Model 95 BB gun. On short, snowy Iowa afternoons, after school.

    Fortunately, I never caught up to it.

  6. bigyeti responds:

    Glad to hear the great Loren Coleman is not only a cryptid fan, but a kaiju fan too! I actually remember reading the G-Fan article about Half Human, but I still have yet to see the film. I may just have to go buy it now. As for my inspiration, Leonard Nimoy’s In Search of Bigfoot was probably my first start. As Jack Black would say, “that was a kick-ass In Search Of!”

  7. mystery_man responds:

    I live in Japan, have a fascination for all things Japanese, love kaiju and yokai (Japanese mythical and folkloric creatures), and and have written one of the longest running, if not the longest running series of articles here on Cryptomundo specifically about Japanese cryptids, yet I feel ashamed to say I have not seen this film yet. This is besides the fact that I’ve seen just about every other Japanese monster movie ever made.

    How embarrassing. I can’t even explain why. I just.. haven’t seen it yet. Odd.

    I’ll watch it, I’ll watch it Ok! Stop throwing all of the tomatoes and don’t revoke my cryptozoology card just yet. 🙂

  8. DWA responds:

    My inspiration? This article.

    I read it when I was 11, hot off the presses. It informed my attitude toward cryptozoology.

Sorry. Comments have been closed.

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