Cthulhu Mythos and Monster Movies

7.1.2023

ゴジラ解読
Decoding Godzilla

クトゥルフ神話と怪獣映画
Cthulhu Mythos and Monster Movies

アメリカ発祥のクトゥルフ神話はいまや日本でも小説・アニメ・コミック・ゲームなどにまたがるジャンルとして定着した。東宝怪獣映画でも『ゴジラ FINAL WARS』で佐野史郎演じる神父姿の男が神話ゆかりの「古きもの」という語を使っている。また、クトゥルフ神話には、『ネクロノミコン』など魔道書がつきものだが『ゴジラ・モスラ・キングギドラ大怪獣総攻撃』の「護国聖獣伝記」もそのひとつとみなせるだろう。

The Cthulhu Mythos, which originated in America, has now become established in Japan as a genre spanning novels, anime, comics, and games. In the Toho monster movie, Shiro Sano’s role as a priest in Godzilla FINAL WARS uses the word ‘old thing,’ which is related to mythology. In addition, the Cthulhu Mythos is accompanied by magic books such as “Necronomicon,” but “Gokoku Seiju Biography” of “Godzilla GMK” can be regarded as one of them.

The Necronomicon, also referred to as the Book of the Dead, or under a purported original Arabic title of Kitab al-Azif, is a fictional grimoire appearing in stories by the horror writer H. P. Lovecraft and his followers. Wikipedia

クトゥルフ神話の原点、H・P・ラヴクラフト(1890~1937年)の作品には怪獣映画に通じるものがある。たとえば『ダンウィッチの怪』(2年)のクライマックスで、怪物が建物を押しつぶしながら進む描写などだ。海底のルルイエ神殿で夢見続けるクトゥルフと、核の光に起こされるまで海底で眠っていたゴジラの類似も見逃せない。

The origin of the Cthulhu mythos, the works of H. P. Lovecraft (1890-1937) have something in common with monster movies. For example, at the climax of “The Dunwich Horror” (2nd year), there is a depiction of a monster advancing while crushing buildings. The resemblance between Cthulhu, who continues to dream in the temple of R’lyeh under the sea, and Godzilla, who was asleep on the sea floor until being awakened by the nuclear light, cannot be overlooked.

The Dunwich Horror is a horror novella by American writer H. P. Lovecraft. Written in 1928, it was first published in the April 1929 issue of Weird Tales. It takes place in Dunwich, a fictional town in Massachusetts. It is considered one of the core stories of the Cthulhu Mythos. Wikipedia

R’lyeh is a fictional lost city that first appeared in the H. P. Lovecraft short story The Call of Cthulhu, first published in Weird Tales in 1928. (Source: Jisho.org)

また、クトゥルフ神話の旧支配者は人類(あるいはそれ以外の種族)に信者を持つ邪神でもあるが、東宝怪獣も呉爾羅(『ゴジラ』)、モスラ、マンダ、メガロ、キングシーサーなど、作中で神として崇められている存在は多い。

In addition, the old ruler of the Cthulhu myth is also an evil god who has followers among humans (or other races), but Toho monsters such as Gojira (“Godzilla”), Mothra, Manda, Megalon, King Shisa, etc. There are many beings who are worshiped as gods.

日本のクトゥルフ神話の歴史を見ると、70年代までごく少数の作例しかなかったのが80年代に一気に増加し、現在の隆盛へとつながっている。怪獣映画を見て育った世代の想像力が日本におけるクトゥルフ神話の受け皿になったということかもしれない。

Looking at the history of the Cthulhu mythos in Japan, there were only a few examples until the 1980s, but they increased rapidly in the 1990s, leading to the current prosperity. It may be that the imagination of the generation that grew up watching monster movies became the receiver of the Cthulhu myth in Japan.

(文/原田実)
(Composition/Minoru Harada)

Cthulhu is a cosmic entity created by writer H. P. Lovecraft. It was first introduced in his short story “The Call of Cthulhu”, published by the American pulp magazine Weird Tales in 1928. (Source: Wikipedia)

Source: ゴジラ売全解読, p 92