Cinema and Media Studies Godzilla
by
Kathryn Page-Lippsmeyer
  • LAST MODIFIED: 28 August 2018
  • DOI: 10.1093/obo/9780199791286-0298

Introduction

The 1954 Godzilla (Gojira) is a landmark monster film, and the film franchise has made the monster Godzilla one of the most globally recognizable figures of Japanese celebrity. The original Japanese film is remarkable for its melding of concerns about scientific progress, environmentalism, and for its use (at the time) of excellent special effects. In particular, the monster Godzilla (actor Haruo Nakajima in a rubber suit) rampages across small villages and through power lines, flattens planes and ships alike, and finally destroys Tokyo. It is the first of the live-action Japanese film genre tokusatsu (special filming) and is also part of the kaiju (monster or strange beast) genre. Gojira is an amalgam of gorira (gorilla) and kujira (whale). However, in order to export the film to the United States, Toho Studios used Godzilla, a portmanteau of god, lizard, and gorilla. Rather than invading foreign countries (and invoking colonial narratives by locating the foreign, other, or monstrous in former colonial spaces), this monster is terrorizing the nation-state itself. Godzilla’s origins and subsequent defeat are articulated through sophisticated scientific analysis and discovery. Dr. Yamane determines that Godzilla is the product of irradiated nuclear testing that penetrated the ocean’s depths, and Dr. Serizawa developed a weapon he called the “Oxygen Destroyer” that can dematerialize Godzilla and destroy all life in the body of water where it is deployed. The government sends naval vessels to drop depth charges in an attempt to destroy the monster, although neither the Japanese Coast Guard nor the land-based military succeeds in stopping Godzilla. Scenes of Japanese people running to air raid shelters coordinated by soldiers and the flattening of major cities recall the destruction rained down on Japan in World War II. The film closes with a somber note. Although the young lovers Emiko Yamane and Hideto Ogata reunite and Serizawa’s sacrifice saves them all, Yamane suggests that if nuclear testing continues another Godzilla may rise in the future. Godzilla did return, of course, in subsequent films, first as a rampaging monster and later as a defender of Japan, beginning in 1955 and continuing in the 2000s. Scholarly interest in studying the franchise began in the late 1990s with news of a new US film from TriStar Pictures starring Matthew Broderick, and much of the scholarly attention to the series flourished in the 2000s. The franchise remains active with the film Shin Gojira (Godzilla: Resurgence), produced in 2016 by Toho Productions and Cine Bazar, that drew inspiration from the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear disaster in 2011.

General Overviews

Many of the books on Godzilla are a mix of formal academic and fan scholarship. However, some, such as Tsutsui 2004, straddle the boundary of fan and scholar and include theoretical speculation and extensive research, as well as behind-the-scenes stills and information on the production, cast, and crew. Almost all works go beyond the 1954 Japanese film Gojira and discuss many of the films in the franchise. Ryfle 1998 and Lees and Cerasini 1998 are often referenced for background information and early analysis of the franchise, although the most often cited is Kalat 2010 as it contains particularly exhaustive details of film history, reception, production notes, and interviews. Galbraith 1998 discusses major aspects of kaiju monsters in Japanese cinema, speculates on why they were so popular, and includes cultural and historical information about Japan in the 1950s through the 1970s, in addition to reproducing a number of stills and promotion posters. Inuhiko 2008 summarizes the theoretical ground presented in depth in other works and is an excellent overview of the film’s production, critical issues, and legacy as a franchise. Napier 1996 is one of the earliest critical works to tie Godzilla to other disaster films and speculate on Japanese science fiction. Barr 2016 is the most comprehensive critical exploration that brings together multiple theories of Godzilla in one volume.

  • Barr, Jason. The Kaiju Film: A Critical Study of Cinema’s Biggest Monsters. Jefferson, NC: McFarland, 2016.

    Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

    Comprehensive critical exploration of the kaiju eiga (monster film) genre. Barr situates Godzilla films in their myriad cultural contexts and suggests their popularity is partly due to their depiction of contemporary anxieties that often exceed national concerns. Links monster films to earlier Japanese supernatural tales, explores monsters as representations of disasters, articulates the film relationship of science to the military, and the constructions of gender throughout the genre’s history.

    Find this resource:

  • Galbraith, Stuart, IV. Monsters Are Attacking Tokyo: The Incredible World of Japanese Fantasy Films. Venice, CA: Feral House, 1998.

    Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

    Galbraith’s collection of materials on fantastic cinema of Japan acts as a kind of oral history as it contains mini-biographies of the actors and technicians, as well as interviews with the cast and crew of Godzilla (and other monster films), including an interview with Ishirō Honda (p. 22).

    Find this resource:

  • Inuhiko, Yomota. “The Menace from the South Seas: Honda Ishiro’s Godzilla (1954).” In Japanese Cinema: Texts and Contexts. Edited by Alastair Phillips and Julian Stringer, 102–111. New York: Routledge, 2008.

    Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

    An overview of the film’s production, critical issues, and legacy as a franchise. Succinct yet thorough summary of all of the ways in which Godzilla represents different traumas, as a symbol of Japanese traditions, a metaphor for the nuclear bomb, a victim of nuclear attack, and finally, as the embodiment of ghosts of Imperial soldiers. Great for a college course assignment.

    Find this resource:

  • Kalat, David. A Critical History and Filmography of Toho’s Godzilla Series. Jefferson, NC: McFarland, 2010.

    Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

    Annotated critical account of the Godzilla franchise as a whole. Focuses on comparing American and Japanese film culture within the respective industries and the discrepancies between American and Japanese Godzilla films. It features detailed filmographic data for both the American and Japanese versions of each film, including plot synopses, cast, credits, and detailed production notes.

    Find this resource:

  • Lees, J. D., and Marc Cerasini. The Official Godzilla Compendium. New York: Random House, 1998.

    Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

    Lees, editor of G-Fan magazine, and Cerasini, author of 1990s Godzilla youth-novels, worked with Toho Studios on an official English-language guide that concentrates on the monster’s characterization from film to film. Outlines twenty-two films—including behind-the-scenes notes, “monster profiles,” stills, and promotional materials—and details Dark Horse Comics and Random House’s Godzilla publications. Has short essays ranging from “Godzilla as a Parenting Tool” (pp. 107–110) advice for fans with children to “A Dinosaur Paleontologist’s View of Godzilla” (pp. 102–107).

    Find this resource:

  • Napier, Susan. “Panic Sites: The Japanese Imagination of Disaster from Godzilla to Akira.” In Contemporary Japan and Popular Culture. Vol. 1. Edited by John Whittier Treat, 235–264. London: Curzon, 1996.

    Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

    Proposes that one common thread in Japanese science fiction films is the “dystopian/disaster movie” in which the visual vocabulary is a “particularly appropriate vehicle” for interrogating the wartime and postwar Japanese experience, from rapid change of social and technological capability, to ideologies of progress, to economic success that was built on the ruins of wartime failure. Napier uses Susan Sontag’s notion of the “imagination of disaster” (see Sontag 1965, cited under Monster Theories) to consider the Godzilla series.

    Find this resource:

  • Ryfle, Steve. Japan’s Favorite Mon-Star (The Unauthorized Biography of “The Big G”). Toronto: ECW, 1998.

    Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

    Extremely detailed, clearly and competently written example of movie reportage, includes Ryfle’s critical opinions and reviews of all the Godzilla films. Unauthorized work that covers the films through time of publication, including American productions. The informative appendixes incorporate an extensive bibliography; interviews with Japanese and American directors, producers, and actors; discussion of obscure Godzilla connections by Jay Ghee, including a write-up of Frankenstein vs. Godzilla; and movie trivia, including good descriptions of Gojira’s special effects (pp. 26–30).

    Find this resource:

  • Tsutsui, William M. Godzilla on My Mind: Fifty Years of the King of Monsters. New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2004.

    Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

    Based on scholarly research using Japanese- and English-language sources, qualitative survey data, and personal interviews, the author explores the power and history of the film and the franchise with an enthusiastic and conversational style. This often-cited work of scholarship on Godzilla includes chapters on “The Birth of Gojira” (pp. 13–42) and “The Godzilla Franchise” (pp. 43–80) and carefully draws together a wide range of research to locate Gojira in its industrial as well as cultural history.

    Find this resource:

Reviews

Reviews by American critics, such as Crowther 1956, largely panned the 1956 Godzilla: King of the Monsters! or, like Scott 1956, considered it a derivative part of the thriller/monster movie craze that included King Kong. It was only after the franchise returned to a more serious bent in the 1980s that the first films were judged by their cultural and ideological interest (Burgess 1984).

  • Burgess, John. “Godzilla Rises Again.” The Washington Post, 19 December 1984.

    Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

    Discusses the history of the Godzilla franchise, the motivations of the producer, and its relationship to the new Gojira (released in English as The Return of Godzilla) screening worldwide in 1984.

    Find this resource:

  • Crowther, Bosley. “Screen: Horror Import: ‘Godzilla,’ a Japanese Film, Is at State.” The New York Times, 28 April 1956.

    Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

    Often-cited, and particularly derisive, review suggesting Godzilla is a pasted-together knockoff of American monster movies, particularly King Kong, produced in a Japanese studio.

    Find this resource:

  • Scott, John. “New Monster Dredged Up for Movie Thriller.” Los Angeles Times, 12 July 1956.

    Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

    Notes Godzilla is the first non–art-house film to be imported from Japan. Although Scott does suggest horror fans should see the film, his disdain for the plot (there is one, sort of) and the acting (although he points out most of the dialogue is dubbed) make this a dubious review at best.

    Find this resource:

Director, Producer, and Toho Studios

Producer Tomoyuki Tanaka, who wanted to make a sea-monster film, brought together two inspirations: the American King Kong monster film and the 1954 nuclear bomb testing by the United States in the Bikini Atoll islands, in which irradiated fallout infected the crew of the small fishing boat Lucky Dragon No. 5. Tanaka hired Kayama Shigeru, author of H. Rider Haggard–like adventure stories and detective thriller novels, to develop the story. Tanaka then modified the script and assigned it to Toho Studios’ (or Photo Chemical Laboratory [PCL], as it was called at the time) director Ishirō Honda. Honda was then a young man who had risen through the ranks as assistant director for Kajirō Yamamoto and Akira Kurosawa and made his directorial debut in 1949 with a documentary Ise Island (Ise Shima, 1950). Honda worked on everything from highbrow artisan films to “teen pics.” During the 1950s, Honda was one of the most productive directors, as detailed in Brothers 2009 and Galbraith 2008. Kushner 2006 discusses Godzilla’s impact as an international media event. Shen 2017 articulates women’s roles in monster films with a focus on Momoko Kōichi’s performance as Emiko Yamane. For a more contextualized discussion of Honda’s career, see Ryfle and Godziszewski 2017. The film’s special-effects style was determined by Eiji Tsuburaya, who favored subdued special effects and the use of low-key lighting, articulated in Ragone 2007, who also discussed Ifukube, the musical composer influenced by the folkloric music of ethnic minorities in Japan and who created Godzilla’s legendary scream via a double bass.

  • Brothers, Peter H. Mushroom Clouds and Mushroom Men: The Fantastic Cinema of Ishirō Honda. Bloomington, IN: AuthorHouse, 2009.

    Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

    Overview of Honda’s film career with a detailed discussion of each major film, as well as quotes from Honda’s interviews, essays, and other writings. Gathers English-language sources on Honda, his life, and the people he worked with into one volume.

    Find this resource:

  • Galbraith, Stuart, IV. The Toho Studios Story: A History and Complete Filmography. Lanham, MD: Scarecrow, 2008.

    Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

    Useful reference covers Toho Studios from its foundation in the 1930s to the early 2000s, including all films created, a chronology, and an appendix on all film series, and discusses the studio’s relationship with overseas theatres.

    Find this resource:

  • Kushner, Barak. “Gojira as Japan’s First Postwar Media Event.” In In Godzilla’s Footsteps: Japanese Pop Culture Icons on the Global Stage. Edited by William Tsutsui and Michiko Itō, 41–50. New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2006.

    Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

    Argues that the 1954 film and subsequent 1956 American film were transformative media events that laid the groundwork for global Japanese media domination. The 1954 Gojira was the first modern film export that conveyed a sense of contemporary postwar Japan (in comparison to more prestigious award winners such as Akira Kurosawa’s 1950 Rashomon that was set in the Heian period).

    Find this resource:

  • Ragone, August. Eiji Tsuburaya: Master of Monsters; Defending the Earth with Ultraman, Godzilla, and Friends in the Golden Age of Japanese Science Fiction Film. San Francisco: Chronicle, 2007.

    Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

    Comprehensive biography of Tsuburaya, Godzilla film technician, dubbed the Tokusatsu-no-Kami-sama (god of special visual effects), creator of both Godzilla and Ultraman’s visual style. Features short articles by other Godzilla specialists, including Godziszewski on the crews who made the special effects so amazing and John Paul Cassidy on the Japanese monster boom beginning in the 1960s, but primarily focuses on Tsuburaya’s life, history, interests, early work inside and outside the film industry, and development of Tsuburaya Productions, the television studio of Ultraman.

    Find this resource:

  • Ryfle, Steve, and Godziszewski, Ed. Ishiro Honda: A Life in Film, from Godzilla to Kurosawa. Middletown, CT: Wesleyan University Press, 2017.

    Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

    Steve Ryfle and Ed Godziszewski are known as kaiju eiga scholars, but they present the historical, economic, political, and industrial context and analysis of Honda’s entire body of work, including his non-Godzilla films. The authors make connections between his private life and recurring themes in his work, without arguing that one is determined entirely by the other. Interesting overview of the Japanese film industry history, as Honda began working on films in the 1930s and retired in the 1990s.

    Find this resource:

  • Shen, Sigmund. “‘Was It Me? Did I Kill Them?’ The Monsters and the Women in King Kong (1933), Gojira (1954), Monster Zero (1965), Destroy All Monsters (1968), and Gamera III: Revenge of Iris (1999).” In Giant Creatures in Our World: Essays on Kaiju and American Popular Culture. Edited by Camille Mustachio and Jason Barr, 92–108. Jefferson, NC: McFarland, 2017.

    Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

    Discusses women’s roles in monster films, argues “metaphors of misogyny” repeatedly appear. These include King Kong as a hypermasculine black male kidnapping and raping white women, the white woman who can call forth the nobility out of excess sexual desire, and Godzilla’s Emiko Yamane as representing liberated women who make their own romantic choices, but who are also punished for those choices by being forced to watch Serizawa’s scientific experiments and betray him to save others.

    Find this resource:

Transformations of Godzilla over Time

As one of the longest-running film franchises, spanning sixty years and thirty-one films, Godzilla has undergone a number of changes, from radioactive terror to defender of Japan, from terrifying monster to a new dad in the 1970s trying to pass on skills to his son. Blondi 1995 is a fan work that articulates the changes in the Godzilla suit itself, whereas Ryfle 2005 reviews the differences between the 1954 Japanese film and the American release in 1956. Jones 2015 explores the erasures of antinuclear messages and the trivialization of what was once a frightening monster. A host of non-film Godzilla materials, including manga (a style of Japanese comic books), anime, cartoons, and novels, intersect with the issues raised by the 1954 film in a variety of ways, as seen in Anisfield 1995 and Gerow 2006. Napier 2006 suggests that the depiction of Godzilla has been replaced with manga and anime in the early 2000s. Others, such as Pike 2009 and Susina 2009, consider the long development of the franchise and its relationship to other forms of popular culture. Tsutsui 2012 situates the franchise within the globalization of Japanese popular culture more broadly.

  • Anisfield, Nancy. “Godzilla/Gojiro: Evolution of the Nuclear Metaphor.” Journal of Popular Culture 29.3 (Winter 1995): 53–62.

    DOI: 10.1111/j.0022-3840.1995.00053.xSave Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

    Comparison of the evolution of Godzilla from nuclear terror to children’s hero with Mark Jacobson’s novel Gojiro (New York: Grove Press, 1991). Argues Jacobson’s thoroughly Americanized Godzilla comes the closest to recreating the ambiguity of the 1954 Japanese film monster. Very good articulation of Godzilla’s progression of an “anthropomorphic personality.” Available online by subscription.

    Find this resource:

  • Blondi, Robert. “The Evolution of Godzilla.” G-Fan 16 (July/August 1995): 24–33.

    Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

    A nice survey of changes in the Godzilla suits over time.

    Find this resource:

  • Gerow, Aaron. “Wrestling with Godzilla: Intertextuality, Childish Spectatorship, and the National Body.” In In Godzilla’s Footsteps: Japanese Pop Culture Icons on the Global Stage. Edited by William Tsutsui and Michiko Itō, 63–82. New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2006.

    Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

    Investigation into the physicality of lighter and more “juvenile” Godzilla films from the 1960s and 1970s. Gerow takes seriously spectatorship and viewer engagement, rethinking some of the ways in which the franchise has been categorized, periodized, and dismissed. Presents manga artist Shigeru Sugiura’s adaptations of the two initial films that used elements from star wrestler Rikidōzan’s pro-wrestling craze to transform Godzilla and inspire later films and iterations.

    Find this resource:

  • Jones, Jason. “Japan Removed: Godzilla Adaptations and Erasure of the Politics of Nuclear Experience.” In The Atomic Bomb in Japanese Cinema: Critical Essays. Edited by Matthew Edwards, 34–55. Jefferson, NC: McFarland, 2015.

    Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

    Jones suggests Godzilla has become more meticulously rendered as he has been transformed from destructive monster to pop culture icon and simultaneously stripped of his ability to represent fears of nuclear destruction, moral condemnation of the use of technology, and the terror of an “inescapable past.” Godzilla has been made “safe for international consumption” by removing mention of the specificity of his Japanese origins. As Japan is displaced, Godzilla loses critical specificity in his globalization.

    Find this resource:

  • Napier, Susan. “When Godzilla Speaks.” In In Godzilla’s Footsteps: Japanese Pop Culture Icons on the Global Stage. Edited by William Tsutsui and Michiko Itō, 9–20. New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2006.

    Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

    Suggests that in the 1950s America’s concept of Japan was feminized and often constructed as silent, and Godzilla’s voicelessness contributed to this. Also traces emergence of anime and manga—in particular, science fiction anime and manga—as facets of Japanese popular culture as a global product and suggests this is a time when Japanese “voices” were being explored due partly to the deployment of orientalist tropes in 1980s cyberpunk science fiction that displaces the global fascination with Godzilla.

    Find this resource:

  • Pike, Dale. “Godzilla, the Evolving Monster.” In The Japanification of Children’s Popular Culture: From Godzilla to Miyazaki. Edited by Mark West, 1–6. Lanham, MD: Scarecrow, 2009.

    Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

    Theorizes American children’s evolving relationship to Godzilla and with Godzilla films, merchandise, and Saturday afternoon television is so rich because Godzilla provides a “sense of untamed wildness.”

    Find this resource:

  • Ryfle, Steve. “Godzilla’s Footprint.” Virginia Quarterly Review 81 (Winter 2005): 44–63.

    Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

    Compares the 1954 film with the American “version” because of the 2004 release of the 1954 Japanese film in the United States. Condensed discussion of the 1954 film’s historical context, special effects, and reception, arguing it is “important because it attempted to address a global issue that still resonates” (p. 54). Details the history of changes made (and why) for the release of Godzilla to the US market. Includes a short summary of its reception in both the United States and Japan.

    Find this resource:

  • Susina, Jan. “Reptar: The Rugrats Meet Godzilla.” In The Japanification of Children’s Popular Culture: From Godzilla to Miyazaki. Edited by Mark West, 7–16. Lanham, MD: Scarecrow, 2009.

    Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

    Argues “Reptar,” a recurring secondary character in Nickelodeon’s Rugrats, is based on children’s culture Godzilla because he has become a “romantic and mythical” creature representing the penetration of Japanese cultural icons into children’s culture worldwide.

    Find this resource:

  • Tsutsui, William M. “Soft Power and the Globalization of Japanese Popular Culture.” In Japan in the Age of Globalization. Edited by Carin Holroyd and Ken Coates, 136–147. London: Routledge, 2012.

    Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

    Considers the globalization of Japanese pop culture’s theoretical and marketing roots and includes discussion of commercial reasons for the export of Japanese serials to the United States. Advocates for avant-pop artist Murakami Takashi’s theory that contemporary Japanese culture is still coming to terms with its defeat in World War II. Also suggests Timothy Craig’s idea that this emphasis on human relationships, workplace, and cooperation is compelling. Ends with a discussion of the complications of “soft power.”

    Find this resource:

Nuclear Trauma as Monstrosity

Almost every scholarly work and most post-1980 fan productions address the relationship of Godzilla to the historical conditions of Japan in the 1950s. The references in this section have been chosen for their particular focus on articulating Godzilla as the nuclear threat and recovery from nuclear trauma. Tanaka 2005 and Brothers 2001 detail Godzilla’s appearances as recalling the B-52 bombers that rained destruction on Tokyo and the creature’s nuclear origins that directly address the Bikini Atoll testing and the Lucky Dragon No. 5 radiation poisoning that brought nuclear fears back into public discourse in Japan. Blouin 2013 and Brougher 2013 consider the persistence of monstrosity to embody nuclear terror and at times make it more comfortable. Igarashi 2000 suggests the ideological and physical ruptures of the war, including nuclear trauma, are negotiated via bodily expression in the postwar era. Vohlidka 2015 pursues the changing relationship of Americans to nuclear fears via the development of different iterations of the franchise.

  • Blouin, Michael. “Nuclear Criticism and a Deferred Reading of the Toho Terror.” In Japan and the Cosmopolitan Gothic: Specters of Modernity. By Michael Blouin, 85–102. Basingstoke, UK: Palgrave Macmillan, 2013.

    Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

    Surveys the critical perspectives of nuclear critics alongside those reading what the author describes as “Toho terror” or the horror films of Toho Studios. Blouin contends that Godzilla has a critical purpose—his existence helps to sustain discussions surrounding atomic anxiety without allowing a singular reading.

    Find this resource:

  • Brothers, Peter H. “Japan’s Nuclear Nightmare: How the Bomb Became a Beast Called Godzilla.” Cineaste 36.3 (Summer 2001): 36–40.

    Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

    Short article demonstrating in detail the historical conditions, one by one, that gave rise to the conflicts in the 1954 film and a short discussion of the editing of the American adaptation. Could be used in a high school or “introduction to film” class.

    Find this resource:

  • Brougher, Kerry. “Art and Nuclear Culture.” Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists 69.6 (2013): 11–18.

    DOI: 10.1177/0096340213508697Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

    Extract from Damage Control: Art and Destruction since 1950 by Brougher, et al. (Washington, DC: Hirshhorn Museum, 2013) that suggests it is easier to face 20th-century “nuclear culture” through imagined creations (including the Godzilla franchise) rather than direct depictions. Compares Godzilla with more realistic journalism, atomic-bomb survivor narratives, and “atomic ring” prizes in cereal boxes. The public’s initial fear of radiation in everyday life faded by the 1940s, to be reimagined later in science fiction and disaster films that contained the fear and made it safe. Available online by subscription.

    Find this resource:

  • Igarashi, Yoshikuni. Bodies of Memory: Narratives of War in Postwar Japanese Culture, 1945–1970. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 2000.

    Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

    Igarashi argues that Japan’s nationhood survived the war’s destruction, in part, through popular culture that expressed memories of loss and devastation more readily than political discourse. The desire to erase or hide the rupture with history produced by the war led to a focus on the body as the central site for Japan’s production of the past. The argument moves from hygiene policies, to the monstrous body of Godzilla, from the first Western professional wrestling matches in Japan, to the transformation of Tokyo and its athletic body for the 1964 Tokyo Olympics.

    Find this resource:

  • Stevens, Shannon. “The Rhetorical Significance of Gojira; Equipment for Living through Trauma.” In The Atomic Bomb in Japanese Cinema: Critical Essays. Edited by Matthew Edwards, 17–33. Jefferson, NC: McFarland, 2015.

    Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

    Jungian psychoanalytic analysis of Godzilla and the film’s ability to satisfy or address trauma in post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) patients. Argues that because so many of the elements of experiencing and enduring a nuclear attack are incorporated into the film, it is a “creative narrative that ultimately restores Japan’s honor” (p. 18).

    Find this resource:

  • Tanaka, Yuki. “Godzilla and the Bravo Shot: Who Created and Killed the Monster?.” The Asia-Pacific Journal: Japan Focus 3.6 (10 June 2005): 159–170.

    Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

    First discusses Godzilla’s presence in the film as a mirror of the American B-52 bombings over the country during World War II, then articulates Godzilla’s antinuclear message that does not really consider his radioactivity a threat, but occasionally describes Godzilla as a victim of the same A-bombs that “still haunts many of us Japanese” (p. 6). Presents a section on the editorial additions and changes in the American Godzilla: King of the Monsters! film, arguing those changes primarily erase much of the antinuclear message and the moral dilemmas presented in the Japanese version.

    Find this resource:

  • Vohlidka, John. “Atomic Reaction: Godzilla as Metaphor for Generational Attitudes toward the United States and the Bomb.” In The Atomic Bomb in Japanese Cinema: Critical Essays. Edited by Matthew Edwards, 56–68. Jefferson, NC: McFarland, 2015.

    Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

    Vohlidka claims Godzilla represented changing Japanese attitudes toward atomic bombs related to economic changes, international relations, and new generations’ interaction with history. Godzilla in the 1950s was viewed both as the atomic bomb and as the danger of the United States. Japanese optimism in the 1960s resulted in a friendlier monster. Global tensions in the 1980s marked a return of violence, the generation in the 1990s investigated the wartime past from a distance, and the Godzilla of the early 21st century has a lack of direction, reflecting lost decades and shifting social and political tensions.

    Find this resource:

Militarized Godzilla in the Pacific Ocean

The 1954 film has a number of scenes of military forces attempting to do battle with Godzilla as he rampaged through Japan on both land and sea. Some have considered these scenes a fantasy recuperation of Japanese military might in the postwar demilitarized Japan (see General Overviews). The chapter “Understanding the Monster” (pp. 81–112) in Tsutsui 2004 (cited under General Overviews) suggests the reason battle scenes are “forbidden pleasures for filmmakers and audiences alike” is because they get around constitutional restrictions against using the Japanese military, suggesting this might even be a kind of “military pornography.” Inouye 1979 explores these scenes as military failures. Schnellbächer 2002 articulates the relationship of the ocean in Godzilla to Japanese national identity via a discussion of the ocean in Japanese science fiction, whereas Igarashi 2006 historicizes the series’ later movement to a South Pacific locale. Hall 2017 more directly considers the public relationship of the Japanese Self-Defense Force (JSDF) with its appearance in the franchise.

  • Hall, Jeffrey. “Japan’s Anti-Kaiju Fighting Force: Normalizing Japan’s Self-Defense Forces through Postwar Monster Films.” In Giant Creatures in Our World: Essays on Kaiju and American Popular Culture. Edited by Camille Mustachio and Jason Barr, 138–160. Jefferson, NC: McFarland, 2017.

    Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

    Suggests that postwar Japanese welcomed or accommodated the American-imposed antimilitarism of the Occupation and also established Japan’s Self-Defense Forces (JSDF), although the JSDF often eschewed media attention. Although the Japanese were not always depicted as effective monster fighters in the Godzilla franchise, the films that were more popular at the box office tended to depict the JSDF competently battling against fictional entities to protect the Japanese people, including the 2016 Shin Godzilla.

    Find this resource:

  • Igarashi, Yoshikuni. “Mothra’s Gigantic Egg: Consuming the South Pacific in 1960s Japan.” In In Godzilla’s Footsteps: Japanese Pop Culture Icons on the Global Stage. Edited by William Tsutsui and Michiko Itō, 83–102. New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2006.

    Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

    Contextualizes Japanese attitudes in Mothra (1961) and Mothra vs. Godzilla (1964) and the representations of people in the South Pacific Islands, including changes based on Japanese World War II history.

    Find this resource:

  • Inouye, Jon. “Godzilla and Postwar Japan.” The Japanese Fantasy Film Journal 12 (1979): 35–37.

    Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

    Argues the mood of postwar Japan—including disappointment in Japanese military effectiveness, fears of the sea and atomic radiation, and inability of electricity to solve problems—is most starkly captured in the first film in the Godzilla film series, and this is its contribution to the genre. Inouye suggests the sacrifice of Dr. Serizawa parallels the death of Godzilla via technology, and both mark the “end of an era in Japanese history: the final termination of dark, destructive and corrupting fears in a defeated country” (p. 37) that needed to be exorcised before progressing into the future.

    Find this resource:

  • Schnellbächer, Thomas. “Has the Empire Sunk Yet? The Pacific in Japanese Science Fiction.” Science Fiction Studies 29.3 (2002): 382–396.

    Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

    Argues the ocean was a particular topos that haunted Japanese science fiction, from literature such as Komatsu Sakyo’s Japan Sinks to Godzilla. By including this topos, the authors are also exploring modern Japanese national identity by representing a nostalgia for the prewar empire of Japan. Even though director Ishirō Honda celebrates “pacifist nationalism” by mobilizing the navy to protect everyday Japanese from monster threats, they “salvage the myth of Japanese technological prowess” (p. 386). Available online by subscription.

    Find this resource:

Negotiating Technology as Peril and Power

Gojira presents a complex picture that both celebrates its technological advancement and complicates its deployment. Godzilla was created from the combination of atomic technology and unexplored natural spaces on the ocean’s floor. McCorkle 2012 considers this tension via sound design, whereas Shen 2013 suggests this is embodied, not in the body of Godzilla, but in the character of Dr. Serizawa, the former soldier scientist who developed the deux ex machina “Oxygen Destroyer” that eventually destroys Godzilla when the efforts of the Japanese military have failed. Anderson 2006 connects Gojira to wartime debates over Japanese attitudes toward scientific discovery and progress.

  • Anderson, Mark. “Mobilizing Gojira: Mourning Modernity as Monstrosity.” In In Godzilla’s Footsteps: Japanese Pop Culture Icons on the Global Stage. Edited by William Tsutsui and Michiko Itō, 21–40. New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2006.

    Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

    The use of science and concerns over the ethics of technology suggests that Gojira is not an outgrowth of nuclear concerns, but rather reflects the concerns of the wartime “overcoming modernity” debate. This debate was concerned with Japan’s appropriate relationship with tradition and science as part of worldwide progress. Includes a great discussion of the use of media (television, news reports, screens, projections, reporters, radio announcers, and photographers) in the film.

    Find this resource:

  • McCorkle, Brooke. “Nature, Technology and Sound Design in Gojira (1954).” Horror Studies 3.1 (2012): 21–37.

    DOI: 10.1386/host.3.1.21_1Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

    Specifically focuses on the meaning created by the use of sound, including Godzilla’s iconic roar. McCorkle argues the sound of the film articulates a struggle between nature and technology. Particularly useful for those interested in sound and cinematic special effects. Available online by subscription.

    Find this resource:

  • Shen, Sigmund. “Monster of Mourning, Ritual of Remembering: Ishirō Honda’s Gojira.” Reconstruction 13.3–4 (2013): 12.

    Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

    Argues that Serizawa’s ambivalent attitude about his own discoveries is not simply representative of fears of nuclear development, but rather also recalls regret over Westernization from the Meiji era and regrets over wartime biological research and human testing.

    Find this resource:

Postwar History and the Atomic Bomb in Literature and Cinema

Monsters are a product of their place and time, and Godzilla is no exception. The books in this section provide a cultural context for situating Gojira and the larger Godzilla franchise within the postwar period, known as the Cold War. Guthrie-Shimizu 2006 and Sherif 2009 discuss the atmosphere in the United States, and Gordon 1993, Dower 2000, and Orr 2001 cover the effects in Japan. The essential context for the film is the account of the radiation of the Lucky Dragon fishing vessel in Lapp 1958 and the subsequent resurgence of Japanese fears of radiation and the increase in tension of Japan’s relationship with the United States. In the case of the Japanese film industry, Broderick 1996 considers the film as part of a genre attempting to address the experience of atomic bomb survivors (hibakusha), whereas Galbraith 1994 contextualizes it with other fantasy and science fiction films, and Newman 2000 situates it as part of global fascinations with an apocalypse. Richie 1991 is particularly useful as an introductory text that provides a preliminary sense of the Japanese film industry as a whole, whereas Richie 2001 is more helpful as a reference work. Petty 2011 links Gojira to other types of fantastic cinema and earlier Japanese aesthetics.

  • Broderick, Mick, ed. Hibakusha Cinema: Hiroshima, Nagasaki and the Nuclear Image in Japanese Film. London and New York: Kegan Paul, 1996.

    Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

    This anthology assembling ten essays on the negotiation of the nuclear bombings of Japan in cinema and is a helpful contextual resource. Much of the focus is on Akira Kurosawa’s Rhapsody in August and Shohei Imamura’s Black Rain. Includes reprints of often-cited works, such as Susan Sontag’s “The Imagination of Disaster” (pp. 38–53) and Chon Noriega’s “Godzilla and the Japanese Nightmare: When Them! Is U.S.” (pp. 54–74), Abé Mark Nornes’s discussion of the origins of hibakusha cinema through a suppressed documentary is particularly helpful to contextualize disaster images in film. See pp. 120–159.

    Find this resource:

  • Dower, John. Embracing Defeat: Japan in the Wake of World War II. New York: Norton, 2000.

    Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

    Richly sourced and detailed, Dower’s study has become the primary source for understanding postwar Japan from the ground up. Rather than focusing on a history of military and governmental action (although these are included), Dower uses a vast array of primary sources to articulate the experience of everyday Japanese, the trauma of the war and the loss to American forces, and the subsequent nationwide negotiations with that trauma.

    Find this resource:

  • Galbraith, Stuart, IV. Japanese Science Fiction, Fantasy and Horror Films. Jefferson, NC: McFarland, 1994.

    Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

    Details separate filmographies for 103 Japanese films released in the United States from 1950 through 1992, including plot synopses, production details, comparison between the US and Japanese versions, and critiques.

    Find this resource:

  • Gordon, Andrew. Postwar Japan as History. Berkeley: University of California Press, 1993.

    Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

    Sixteen essays considering a particular facet of postwar Japanese reaction to both national and international issues. Postwar Japanese governmental and economic policy was constructed out of a variety of needs and interests, including those of US policymakers, bureaucrats, business leaders, and politicians. Marilyn Ivy’s “Formations of Mass Culture” (pp. 239–258) is particularly useful for articulating the relationship between film, television, print media, and consumer identity both pre- and postwar.

    Find this resource:

  • Guthrie-Shimizu, Sayuri. “Lost in Translation and Morphed in Transit: Godzilla in Cold War America.” In In Godzilla’s Footsteps: Japanese Pop Culture Icons on the Global Stage. Edited by William Tsutsui and Michiko Itō, 51–62. New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2006.

    Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

    Guthrie-Shimizu contends American cultural history from the 1950s to the 1970s primed the release of Godzilla: King of the Monsters! to be a hit even though it was critical of American wartime activities. Argues the atmosphere was combination of consumer enthusiasm and Cold War paranoia. Very informal and engaging style.

    Find this resource:

  • Lapp, Ralph. The Voyage of the Lucky Dragon. New York: Harper & Brothers, 1958.

    Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

    Discusses geopolitical responses, including inadequate American reparations to Japan for the loss of life, illness, and loss of fishing catches. A detailed English-language history and accounting of the Lucky Dragon incident itself. Out of print.

    Find this resource:

  • Newman, Kim. Apocalypse Movies: End of the World Cinema. New York: St. Martin’s Griffin, 2000.

    Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

    Film critic’s survey of disaster, post-nuclear, and other end-of-the-world films.

    Find this resource:

  • Orr, James. The Victim as Hero: Ideologies of Peace and National Identity in Postwar Japan. Honolulu: University of Hawai‘i Press, 2001.

    Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

    Historical investigation of “victim consciousness” (higaisha ishiki) as critical to pacifist construction of Japanese national identity after World War II. Chapter 4, “Educating a Peace-Loving People: Narratives of War in Postwar Textbooks,” (pp. 71–105) contextualizes education efforts to eradicate ultranationalism and inculcate democratic and peaceful citizens. Chapter 5 “‘Sentimental Humanism’: The Victim in Novels and Film,” (pp. 106–136) uses three novels and their film adaptations as case studies of victim consciousness in popular culture.

    Find this resource:

  • Petty, John E. “Stage and Scream: The Influence of Traditional Japanese Theater, Culture, and Aesthetics on Japan’s Cinema of the Fantastic.” PhD diss., University of North Texas, 2011.

    Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

    Suggests Japanese cinema’s core is informed by fundamentally different forms of aesthetics that are linked to more traditional performance arts and other classical aesthetic concepts from literature, religion, and philosophy. Petty argues that Ishirō Honda constructed scenes of destruction to show large swaths of the city but also to evoke the aesthetic of yūgen, a “dark, hidden, subtle beauty” originally popularized by the famous Nō theatre playwright Zeami Motokiyo.

    Find this resource:

  • Richie, Donald. Japanese Cinema: An Introduction. New York: Oxford University Press, 1991.

    Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

    Approachable introductory text combining Richie’s extensive research and personal familiarity with the industry and production of Japanese films.

    Find this resource:

  • Richie, Donald. A Hundred Years of Japanese Film. Tokyo: Kodansha International, 2001.

    Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

    Formal overview of Japanese cinema from silent era to contemporary works, broadly split into early era, Taisho production, Occupation film, reaction to television, and short sections on audiences and anime.

    Find this resource:

  • Sherif, Ann. Japan’s Cold War: Media, Literature, and the Law. New York: Columbia University Press, 2009.

    DOI: 10.7312/sher14662Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

    Although Sherif suggests Godzilla is one of the most important products of Cold War culture, the author’s careful discussion of postwar Japanese culture as it relates to the Cold War focuses on other media as objects of analysis. Well known in Japan, not internationally, the subjects include the censorship trials over the Japanese translation of Lady Chatterley’s Lover, atomic bomb survivor Hara Tamiki’s writings, the fears represented by Kamei Fumio’s nuclear films, and Ishihara Shintaro’s youth novel Season of the Sun.

    Find this resource:

Monster Theories

Godzilla’s monstrosity emerges out of a modern fear of the dangers of technology and the mobilization of monsters drawn from Japanese traditional art and literature. Although classical Japanese monsters were neither entirely good nor entirely evil, they were often understood as part of the natural world and as naturalized disasters, and Figal 1999 argues they were an essential component of modern Japanese identity. Godzilla is compared to both a natural disaster and a constantly mutating human-made threat whose targets are not other humans, but other technologies (Brophy 2000). The theorization of monstrosity more broadly is discussed by Cohen 1996 and Gilmore 2003, whereas Cohen explores permutations of Self/Other in Godzilla in both Japan and the United States. Sontag 1965 is one of the most-cited theoretical works used by scholars when considering Godzilla. Bernardi 2006 offers methodologies for teaching these theoretical readings in the college classroom.

  • Bernardi, Joanne. “Teaching Godzilla: Classroom Encounters with a Cultural Icon.” In In Godzilla’s Footsteps: Japanese Pop Culture Icons on the Global Stage. Edited by William Tsutsui and Michiko Itō, 111–126. New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2006.

    Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

    Methodological essay presenting ideas on how to teach the 1954 Gojira in film classes, articulating a constellation of issues and suggestions for college-level materials and themes to consider.

    Find this resource:

  • Brophy, Philip. “Monster Island: Godzilla and Japanese Sci-Fi/Horror/Fantasy.” Postcolonial Studies: Culture, Politics, Economy 3.1 (2000): 39–42.

    DOI: 10.1080/13688790050001336Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

    Brophy’s short article raises a number of theoretical and symbolic readings, from the continual invasion of Tokyo Bay as unease about Japan’s island status to the physicality of the special effects celebrating human innovation and earlier theatre forms. Particularly interesting analysis of Godzilla as human in a monster suit compared to American monster-suit threats. Available online by subscription.

    Find this resource:

  • Cohen, Jeffrey Jerome. “Monster Culture (Seven Theses).” In Monster Theory: Reading Culture. Edited by Jeffrey Jerome Cohen, 3–35. Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 1996.

    DOI: 10.5749/j.ctttsq4d.4Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

    Proposes monsters allow us unprecedented ways to understand cultures from their existence. Although this is a collection of essays on different literary and cinematic monsters, Cohen’s introduction sets forth seven ways in which to understand methodologically (Japanese) culture through (Godzilla’s) monstrosity.

    Find this resource:

  • Figal, Gerald. Civilization and Monsters: Spirits of Modernity in Meiji Japan. Durham, NC: Duke University Press, 1999.

    Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

    Argues the persistence of the fascination with the fantastic (including monsters like bakemono) in the Meiji period was an essential foundation to the construction of modernity that influenced the national perspective into the contemporary moment.

    Find this resource:

  • Gilmore, David D. Monsters: Evil Beings, Mythical Beasts, and All Manner of Imaginary Terrors. Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 2003.

    DOI: 10.9783/9780812203226Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

    Anthropologist Gilmore considers the role of monsters in both individual psychology and in larger sociohistorical context and situates Godzilla with other filmic monsters as hostile to humans, as unnatural animals, and particularly as giants that dominate the screen.

    Find this resource:

  • Mustachio, Camille, and Jason Barr, eds. Giant Creatures in Our World: Essays on Kaiju and American Popular Culture. Jefferson, NC: McFarland, 2017.

    Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

    Collection of essays on the Japanese monster genre as a whole, reflecting on the tension between movies and their historical and screening context, including gender, military, government, and nationality.

    Find this resource:

  • Noriega, Chon. “Godzilla and the Japanese Nightmare: When Them! Is U.S.” In Hibakusha Cinema: Hiroshima, Nagasaki and the Nuclear Image in Japanese Film. Edited by Mick Broderick, 54–74. London: Kegan Paul, 1996.

    Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

    Psychoanalytic look at the relationship between American foreign policy constructions of Self and the Other and Godzilla. Japan created Godzilla films to articulate the return of the repressed fear of nuclear destruction, and the United States uncritically consumed them because of how those fears fit into US monster films of the 1950s that constantly articulated monsters as Other and victors as Self. Japanese are sympathetic to Godzilla because there is a less pronounced articulation of Self versus Other.

    Find this resource:

  • Sontag, Susan. “The Imagination of Disaster.” Commentary 40.4 (1 October 1965): 42–48.

    Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

    Landmark essay addressing the fascination with destruction in 1950s science fiction films as a serious subject of study. Sontag was one of the first to suggest the popularity of these films was that they visualized the absolute worst of people’s nightmares and presented victories over those fears, often in symbolic form.

    Find this resource:

Japanese-Language Sources

Like English-language scholarship, the works in Japanese vary widely in aim and expectation of audience. Toho Studios produced an official Complete History of Toho Special Effects Movies (Tōhō tokusatsu eiga daizenshu 2012) that includes detailed information for the avid fan, although nonofficial encyclopedias, such as Tanaka 1993, Godzilla Pictorial (Gojira gahō: Tōhō gensō eiga hanseiki no ayumi 1993–1999), and Masayuki 2014 serve as references with production information, posters, and short articles on the film franchise. Ono, et al. 1994 is a collection of forty years of magazine articles about Godzilla in one volume. For specific information about director Ishirō Honda and his life, refer to Higuchi 1992 and Honda 1994, Honda’s autobiography. Fumio 1993 is a similar treatment about the life and times of producer Tanaka Tomoyuki. Hikawa, et al. 2016, an encyclopedia of Japanese special effects techniques, is a close look at these techniques in the franchise and beyond. More cerebral are Nagayama 2002, written by a fan studies scholar who connects Godzilla and other monsters to earlier mythologies, and Kobayashi 1992, which considers Godzilla’s meaning in Japanese self-definition over the last forty years.

  • Fumio Tanaka. Kami (Gojira) o hanatta otoko: Eiga seisakusha Tanaka Tomoyuki to sono jidai. Tokyo: Kinama Junpōsha, 1993.

    Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

    English title: The Man Who Let the God (Godzilla) Loose: The Life and Times of Film Producer Tomoyuki Tanaka. History of postwar Japanese cinema as seen through producer Tanaka Tomoyuki’s eyes.

    Find this resource:

  • Gojira gahō: Tōhō gensō eiga hanseiki no ayumi. Tokyo: Take Shobō, 1993–1999.

    Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

    English title: Godzilla Pictorial: History of a Half Century of Tōhō Fantastic Films. Fanzine-like pocket book featuring articles about Toho fantasy films, first and foremost of the Godzilla franchise, but including other fantastic properties as well. Although most photos are in monochrome, it has some color photos. The first edition was published in December 1993, the second in July 1998, and the third in December 1999.

    Find this resource:

  • Higuchi Naofumai. Guddo mōningu, Gojira: Kantoku Honda Ishirō to satsueijo no jidai. Tokyo: Chikuma Shobō, 1992.

    Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

    English title: Good Morning Godzilla: The Golden Age of the Movie Studio and Director Ishirō Honda. Biography that focuses on Honda’s relationship with Toho Studios.

    Find this resource:

  • Hikawa Ryūsuke, et al., eds. Nihon tokusatsu gijutsu daizen. Tokyo: Gakken, 2016.

    Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

    English title: Techniques of Japanese Tokusatsu Films: Film Making, History, Film Criticism, Behind the Scenes; Encyclopedia of Japanese Special Effects Techniques. Essays and short articles about the techniques, use, and development of special effects in Japanese films. Includes discussion of lighting, monster design, art works, interviews with special effects directors and engineers, and some shootings scripts in the appendix.

    Find this resource:

  • Honda Ishirō. Gojira to waga eiga jinsei. Tokyo: Jitsugyō no Nihonsha, 1994.

    Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

    English title: Godzilla and My Movie Life. Collection of Honda’s writings on his own life, from how he started in film to the first time he oversaw special effects. Includes discussion of his philosophy of film production and memories and evaluations of all of his work.

    Find this resource:

  • Kobayashi Toyomasa. Gojira no ronri: Kaishagaku no kisai ga toku (Gojira no jidai kenkyū josetsu). Tokyo: Chūkei Shuppan, 1992.

    Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

    English title: Godzilla Logics: Advocating the Genius of Hermeneutics (A Study Guide of the Godzilla Era). Philosophical consideration of the ways in which Godzilla has dominated Japanese concepts of self and exploration of the ways in which Japanese spirituality has incorporated the ideas of monstrosity in the forty years since the film’s premiere.

    Find this resource:

  • Masayuki Yamato. Gojira no jidai. Tokyo: Seikyūsha, 2014.

    Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

    English title: The Age of Godzilla. History that spans the sixty years of Godzilla films. Includes coverage of Godzilla films and other special effects films from Toho Studios.

    Find this resource:

  • Nagayama Yasuo. Kaijū wa naze nihon o osonoka? Tokyo: Chikuma Shobō, 2002.

    Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

    English title: Why Does the Monster Assault Japan? Analysis of monster films, classical science fiction, manga, anime, and contemporary literature to suggest that there is a historical and culturally specific fascination with destructive monstrosity that connects to much older mythologies and traditions of fantastic imagination.

    Find this resource:

  • Ono Kōichirō, Iwabana Hisaaki, and Akaboshi Masano, eds. Terebi magajin tokubetsu henshū: Gojira daizenshū: tanjou yonjyunen kinan. Tokyo: Kodansha, 1994.

    Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

    English title: TV and Magazine Special Collection: Godzilla Encyclopedia Commemorating the 40th Anniversary. Collection of features on the Godzilla series and Toho special effects movies published in the early 1990s by television magazines, with a good mix of photographs. Available online.

    Find this resource:

  • Tanaka Tomoyuki. Gojira Daizu: Gojira eiga yonjunen kuronikuru 1954–1998. Tokyo: Kabushiki Gaisha Shūeisha, 1993.

    Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

    English title: Godzilla Days: A Chronicle of 40 Years of Godzilla Movies 1954–1998. Published to celebrate the fortieth anniversary of Godzilla, mainly has interviews with three of the special effects directors: Kawakita Kōichi, Nakano Teruyoshi, and Arikawa Sadamasa.

    Find this resource:

  • Tōhō tokusatsu eiga daizenshu. Tokyo: Toho Kabushiki Kaisha Vireiji Bukkusu, 2012.

    Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

    English title: Complete History of Toho Special Effects Movies. Official Toho Studios’ coverage of its fifty-year history making special effects films, produced for fans of Toho’s special effects films. Includes behind-the-scenes stories, production stills, posters, etc.

    Find this resource:

back to top

Article

Up

Down