Godzilla and the Five Hundred Arhats


江戸時代の絵師、狩野一信が描いた「五百羅漢図六道 • 地獄」を見ると、天空から地獄に堕ちた一亡者を救う羅漢に混じって、竜や大蛇、巨鳥が画面に描かれている。絵コンテにある唐獅子型ゴジラ(頁右)と同じ顔の竜(頁左模写)の顔であることが興味深い。

If you look at “Five Hundred Arhats • Hell” drawn by Kano Kazunobu, a painter from the Edo period, there are dragons, snakes, and giant birds are drawn on the screen, mixed with Arhats who saves the dead who fell from the sky to hell. It is interesting that it is the face of a dragon (copy on the left of the page) with the same face as the Karashishi-shaped Godzilla (on the right of the page) in the storyboard.

Source: 初代ゴジラ研究読本 (洋社泉, p 32)

Kano Kazunobu, Scroll 22 (“The Six Realms: Hell”), Five Hundred Arhats, End of Edo period Ink and color on silk 172.3 × 85.3 cm, Collection: Zojoji Temple, Tokyo (Source: Mori Art Museum)

[Kano Kazunobu was a Japanese painter of the Kanō school. Kazunobu produced mainly Buddhist paintings and he is best known for his highly acclaimed Five Hundred Arhats. Some of his other surviving works are housed at the Senso-ji temple in Asakusa and the Shinshō-ji temple in Narita. A second set of 50 scrolls of Five Hundred Arhats (五百羅漢図) is owned by the Tokyo National Museum. Perhaps a test for the final version, each scroll is about a quarter of the size of the Zōjō-ji version, and it includes two scenes instead of one. The work was exhibited in its entirety in 2006. Source: Wikipedia]