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Pages from 1954

4.20.2021

I have been in pursuit of a collection of Godzilla movie tickets that would be representative of each Japanese film released from 1954 to 2016. I’m very close but I realized some tickets would be impossible to obtain. However, I decided to search for representative promotional paper items that would sit well in the collection. Tickets from the Toho Champion Festival filled in most of the Showa movies. But I have no tickets for Gojira (1954), Godzilla Raids Again (1955), Son of Godzilla (1967), and Destroy All Monsters (1968). But advertisements would work perfectly. So over the last few months, I was about to find ads for several. And now, I have a promotional commentary for Gojira (1954) from an old rare magazine cutout, roughly called Japanese Movie Release Collection Magazine 「何處へ 誌上封[切] 日本映[画]集」(Note: Some Kanji characters in the magazine title couldn’t be found because they are no longer in use. Brackets indicate substituted kanji.) Below is the article from pages 246 and 247 along with the translation.

Godzilla 1954 in Japanese Movie Release Collection Magazine

⟪かいせつ⟫ 日本映画初めて以来の試みである特殊撮影をふんだんに使った一大スペクタクル空想科学映画で科学冒険小説の権威、香山滋原作。殆ど同時に封切られるアメリカ映画「怪獣現わる」と比較されるのも興味深く、東宝が伝統を誇る特殊撮影を総動し、半力年の準備をととのえて万全の自信をもって当ったその成果は、大いなる期待をかけられている。

⟪Commentary⟫ A major spectacle science fiction movie that uses abundant special photography, which has been an attempt since the first Japanese movie, and is based on an author of a science adventure novel, Shigeru Kayama. It is also interesting to compare it with the American movie “Kaiju Appears”, which will be released almost at the same time. Expectations are high.

配役 Cast

山根恭平‥‥志村喬
〞恵美子‥‥河内桃子
尾形秀人‥‥宝田明
芹沢大助‥‥平田昭彦
萩原‥‥堺左千夫
田畑博士‥‥村上冬樹
政次‥‥山本廉
新吉‥‥鈴木豊明
その母‥‥馬野都留子

Kyohei Yamane ‥‥ Takashi Shimura
〞Emiko ‥‥‥ Momoko Kochi
Hideto Ogata … Akira Takarada
Dr. Serizawa … Akihiko Hirata
Hagiwara … Sachio Sakai
Dr. Tabata ‥‥ Fuyuki Murakami
Masatsugu … Ren Yamamoto
Shinkichi: Toyoaki Suzuki
That mother … Tsuruko Mano

脚本 • 村田武雄 本多猪四郎
Screenplay • Takeo Murata
Ishiro Honda

東宝映画
Toho Movie

全身から放射能を放つ怪獣日本に現る‼︎
A monster that emits radioactivity from the whole body appears in Japan! ︎

尾形 秀人 (宝田明)と恵美子 (河内桃子)
Hideto Ogata (Akira Takarada) and Emiko (Momoko Kochi)

浮浪機雷か? 海底火山脈の噴出か?太平洋上、原因不明の沈没事件続出——生存者、絶望視さる——そうしたラジオニュースや大見出しの新聞記事が、日本全国民を不安に陥し入れた。海上保安庁詰の新聞記社萩原は、遭難地点に最も近い大戸島へ、ヘリコプターで急行した。

Is it a wandering mine? Is it an eruption of the submarine fire mountains? A series of unexplained sinking incidents on the Pacific Ocean—survivors, despair—such radio news and headline newspaper articles have plagued the entire Japanese population. Hagiwara, a newspaper journalist of the Japan Coast Guard, rushed to Odo Island, which is the closest to the disaster site, by helicopter.

島では沈没した巨船の唯一人の生存者が、火を吐く巨大な怪物にやられたと語っており、老漁夫もまた、昔から言い伝えられているゴジラに違いないと断言した。近頃の不漁もそのせいで、魚を食い尽くすと陸へ上がって家畜や人間を食う、というその言葉を裏書するように、その夜嵐と共に島を襲った怪物が島を荒らした。

The only survivor of the sunken giant ship on the island said he had been killed by a giant fire-breathing monster, and the old fisherman also asserted that it must have been Godzilla, a long-standing tradition. Due to the recent poor fishing, the monster that attacked the island with the storm that night devastated the island, because of the recent poor catch, when the fish are eaten up, they go up to the land and eat livestock and humans, validating his words.

かくて国会公聴会における萩原の証言にもとづき、古生物学者の山根博士を団長とする調査団が、大戸島へ向け派遣された。一行は博士の娘で助手役の恵美子、一行の乗船したかもめ丸の船長で東京湾水難救済会の若き所長での尾形秀人、原子物理学の田畑博士、萩原等。結果は怪物の実在を証明するばかり。怪物の足跡と思われる窪みからは、強烈な放射能が検出された。そして調査団は、遂に全身から奇怪な白熱光を発する世紀の巨獣ゴジラを目のあたり見たのである。国会専門委員会において、山根博士はこう報告した。「これは、恐竜やブロントサウル等の巨獣が棲息していた二百万年前頃稀にいた海棲爬虫類がら陸上獣類に進化中の生物、海底洞窟にひそんで今日まで生存していたのが、水爆実験で生活環境を破壊されたものと思われ、あの白熱光は、水爆の影響で放射能因子を帯びたものにちがいない」

Thus, based on Hagiwara’s testimony at the Diet hearing, a research team headed by paleontologist Dr. Yamane was dispatched to Odo Island. The group is Emiko, the daughter of the doctor and an assistant, Hideto Ogata, the captain of the Kamome Maru who was on board and the young director of the Marine Rescue Japan, Dr. Tabata of atomic physics, Hagiwara, etc. The result only proves the existence of the monster. Intense radioactivity was detected in a depression, which seems to be the footprint of a monster. Finally, the research team witnessed Godzilla, the beast of the century, which emits a strange incandescent light from its entire body. At the Diet Committee, Dr. Yamane reported: “This is a creature that was evolving from marine reptiles, which were rare around 2 million years ago when giant beasts such as dinosaurs and Brontosaurus lived, to land beasts, and survived to this day in submarine caves. It seems that the living environment was destroyed in the hydrogen bomb experiment, and that incandescent light must have been tinged with a radioactive factor due to the influence of the hydrogen bomb.”

この発表により、国民は不安のどん底に陥入った。政府はゴジラ対策として先ず爆撃攻撃を行ったが、水爆を受けながらなお生命を保っているゴジラには何の効力もなかった。

With this announcement, the public fell into the depths of anxiety. The government first launched a bombing attack as a countermeasure against Godzilla, but it had no effect on Godzilla who was still alive despite being bombed.

各国からの調査団が続続到着するここに、命がけで秘密の研究を続けている若い薬物化学者がいる。芹沢大助がそれで、彼は恩師山根博士に愛され、人知れず恵美子を念っているが、戦争で顔半面に醜い傷をうけている。尾形とは級友だった。萩原は芹沢の研究がゴジラ対策に何らかの打開策を見出せるのではないかとの情報を耳にして恵美子と共に彼の研究所を訪ねたが、芹沢はにべもなく打ち消し、そのあと、恵美子にだけ絶対秘密を誓われて研究中のものを見せた。

Here, a series of research teams from all over the world arrive, and there is a young drug chemist who is doing secret research at the risk of his life. Dr. Serizawa is so loved by his teacher, Dr. Yamane, who is secretly thinking of Emiko, but has suffered an ugly wound on her face in the war. He was a classmate with Ogata. Hagiwara visited his laboratory with Emiko when he heard that Serizawa’s research could find some sort of breakthrough in Godzilla countermeasures, but Serizawa canceled it out of the blue, and then only Emiko absolutely. She swore a secret and was showed what he was studying.

芹沢大助 (平田昭彦)と恵美子 (河内桃子)
Dr. Serizawa (Akihiko Hirata) and Emiko (Momoko Kochi)

恵美子が緊張と驚愕に蒼ざめて研究所を後にした頃、突如、警戒警報が発令され、品川沖にゴジラが姿に現わした。丸ビルほどの巨体をもって放射能を吐き散らし、数百名の武装警官が撃ち出す機銃弾もものかわ、白熱光を吐きながら上陸し、品川駅を押し倒し列車をひきちぎり、五万ボルトの鉄条網を寸断し、議事堂を破壊し、テレビ塔をへし折り、勝鬨橋を叩き落として海へ去っていった。放射能による火災で大東京は地獄さながら、防衛隊の総出動による野戦重砲隊、車輌隊、高射包隊は全滅し、ジェット戦闘機の体当たりも無駄だった。たまりかねた恵美子は、芹沢との誓いを破り彼の秘密研究を発表した。それは、水中の酸素を一瞬に破壊しつくし、凡ゆる生物を窒息死させ液化する恐るべきもので名はオキシジェンデストロイヤー。もしこれが兵器として使用されれば、水爆以上の破壊兵器となる。尾形と恵美子は芹沢にその使用を懇願した。芹沢は必死にこばんだ。

When Emiko left the laboratory with tension and astonishment, a warning was suddenly issued and Godzilla appeared off the coast of Shinagawa. With a huge body about the size of the Maru Building, it spews out radioactivity, and he even dodged the machine bullets shot by hundreds of armed police officers, landing while spitting incandescent light, pushing down Shinagawa Station, tearing off the train, and cutting the wire fence of 50,000 volts. Then, he destroyed the Capitol, broke the TV tower, knocked down the Katsushika Bridge, and left for the sea. Just like hell in Tokyo due to the fire caused by radiation, the field heavy artillery corps, vehicle corps, and anti-aircraft corps were wiped out by the total dispatch of the defense corps, and the ramming of the jet fighter was useless. Emiko, who was irresistible, broke her vow with Serizawa and told his secret research. It is a terrifying thing that destroys oxygen in water in an instant, suffocates and liquefies all living things, and its name is Oxygen Destroyer. If used as a weapon, it would be a more destructive weapon than a hydrogen bomb. Ogata and Emiko begged Serizawa to use it. Serizawa frenetically refused.

「一旦これを使ったら、世界の為政者が黙って見ているはずがない、この恐怖の武器を人類の上に加えることは、科学者として、いや人間として許すわけにいかないのだ!」

“Once used, the world’s politicians cannot be silently watching, adding this weapon of horror to humanity cannot be forgiven as a scientist, or even a human being!”

そうした芹沢の苦悩も、目前の不幸にはかえられなかった。遂に決心した芹沢は研究資料の一切を焼却し、いまはこの世にただ一個だけ存在するオキシジェンデストロイヤーを抱えて、ゴジラのひそむ海へ向かった。そして彼は、なぜか自らの命も断ってしまった。ゴジラの断末魔に狂喜する人人は、人を信じきれぬために発明を自分だけのものとして死んでいった芹沢に、心からの黙禱を捧げるのであった。

Serizawa’s anguish could not be replaced by the misfortune at hand. Serizawa finally decided to incinerate all of his research materials, and headed for Godzilla hidden in the sea with the only Oxygen Destroyer in the world now. And for some reason he also refused his own life. Those who were delighted with the death of the devil Godzilla offered a heartfelt silence to Serizawa, who died of his invention because he could not believe in others.

I verified the 1954 publication date from the master release schedule (名者封切予定表) at the bottom of this page verifies. Gojira (ゴジラ) is listed as a Toho (東宝) release for the first week in November (11月1週). Gojira was released on November 3, 1954.