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Godzilla Showa Memories

3.3.2024

Have you seen this video yet? It’s been going around social media since tokusatsubts posted it on Instagram. Godzilla and Hedorah battle atop a department store roof to entertain children. The narrator says, “Ah, they’re doing it, they’re doing it. Everyone looks like they’re having fun. This is a promotional campaign for Godzilla vs. Hedorah (released July 24, 1971) on the rooftop of the department store. I wonder which one is stronger. Oh my. It’s called the new monster, Hedorah. Do you guys know it? I wonder if I like Godzilla too. It’s so popular, isn’t it? Everyone gets along so well.” It also appears that the late suit actor Haruo Nakajima is inside Godzilla. Check the video out below!

“This week’s highlights Godzilla and Hedorah” (Sponichi Creates Video)

When and where did this happen? From what I can determine this video is from the campaign event Monster Bang Bang Tournament (怪獣バンバン大会) held on the 11th floor of the Shinjuku West Gate Odakyu Department Store (小田急) in the Culture Event Hall (11階文化大催物場) held from Friday, August 6 through Tuesday, August 24, 1971. Toho Showa monsters were well represented in addition to Godzilla and Hedorah. There was Minya, King Ghidorah, Varan, Anguirus, Mothra, Gaira, Kumonga, Kamakiras, Gabara and more. Children had plenty to do from shaking hands with Godzilla to exploring Hedorah’s body and his death ray. The cost was 200 yen for adults and 100 yen for children.

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Godzilla vs Hedorah Odakyu Event Ads (Sources: Hedorah 公害怪獣の映像世界・最終版 (pp 76-77) and Hedorah Complete Records Doujinshi (ゴジラ対ヘドラ完全記録集 同人誌 (昭和57年, 1982, pp 232-234)

The Odakyu Department Store was a famous location for events. Designed by famous architect Junzo Sakakura, it was built and opened in 1967 and became a symbol of the West Exit. The 11th floor and the Cultural Exhibition Hall were host to many exhibitions for many decades. However, it closed in 2001.1 During many trips to Japan I had the pleasure of seeing Odakyu but I never realized the extent of its cultural significance and its place in Godzilla history. Odakyu hosted the Great Godzilla Expo (大ゴジラ博) during Godzilla’s 25th Anniversary celebration in July 1979.

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Shinjuku West Gate Odakyu Department Store history

This wonderful video of Godzilla Showa history is 56 seconds of a longer clip. The entire video can be found on the Godzilla vs Hedorah 4K Remastered UltraHD as a special features called「今週のハイライト ゴジラとヘドラ」(スポニチクリエイツ映像) “This week’s highlights Godzilla and Hedorah” (Sponichi Creates Video). The remaining clip features child actor Hiroyuki Kawase, who plays Ken Yano.