It should be noted that Honda's wife Kimi shrugged off this story following his death, saying she "didn't believe it." But given how often Honda told the story over the years, the general air of mystery around the origin, and the fact that by all accounts the word "Gojira" just kind of showed up casually in his journal one day, we're inclined to go with the grade-school version of events.
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An Old-Timey Gentleman Thief Was The Real Dr. Jekyll And Mr. Hyde
Dr. Jekyll's alter-ego Mr. Hyde may not be the most famous of evildoers, but the story is still easily one of the most borrowed in history (*cough*TheIncredibleHulk*cough* ). As much as it might seem like the notion of a man living two lives -- one of renown and one of infamy -- kinda writes itself, it turns out that Robert Louis Stevenson's two-faced villain was based on a real dude.
In mid-1700s Scotland, there lived a man named William Brodie, a fancy-pants socialite and cabinetmaker to the stars. He was elected deacon of the Incorporation of Wrights and given a seat on the Edinburgh town council. Far from the images of Parks And Recreation running through your head, that was kind of a big deal. The richest and most important people in the city thought nothing of giving Brodie the keys to their homes so he could install their cabinets in peace while they were out accusing women of being witches or whatever it was people did for fun in the 1700s.
But here's where things got illegal. Brodie would make wax impressions of all of those keys, and then, dressed in black, he would break into their homes in the dead of night and take all their brandy, silverware, and other rich people shit. Like, for years. Then, after literally running into fellow thief George Smith on a street corner, he started a small gang of thieves that went around robbing stores of gold, tobacco, and tea. They even swiped the ceremonial mace from the University of Edinburgh.