Piece of the Past


Growing up here in Philadelphia, I didn’t have an opportunity to see Godzilla in the movie theater. There was that one time I clipped a small ad for Godzilla vs MechaGodzilla showing at a popular neighborhood theater, The Capital, located only 52nd Street. But seeing the movie was no option. And I wish I still had that newspaper clipping. Newspaper movie ads were the close thing I had to owning a movie poster. When the first Star Wars trilogy (1977-1983) was released I actively clipped and collected the newspaper ads. Back then Godzilla was not readily available. Today, I really love collecting Godzilla paper items because they connect me to Godzilla’s history during my childhood years from the 1960s through the 80s. During those years, I had a small collection of magazines, maybe two posters, and only a few small paper items. But last week, while searching Buyee Japan, I found an inexpensive newspaper advertisement cutout of the Son of Godzilla (1967) at the time of first release (初公開時 新聞広告切り抜き). Beside it is an ad for Sentimental Boy (君に幸福をセンチメンタル・ボーイ) directed by Seiji Maruyama. This black-and-white ad is sizable at 15.25″ x 6.875″ (about 17.4cm × 38.6cm). In its footer are notifications for early morning box office. Below is a rough translation.

Son of Godzilla newspaper advertisement

The first New Year’s movie released by Toho! 16th public release

The second generation (junior) is born in Godzilla!
For the new monster, the name combination of parent and child Godzilla!

怪獣島の決戦 ゴジラの息子
The Decisive Battle of Monster Island Son of Godzilla

監督 福田純 Director Jun Fukuda
特撮監督 有川貞昌 Special Effects Director Sadamasa Arikawa
特技監修 円谷英二 Special Effects Supervision Eiji Tsuburaya

高島忠夫 Tadao Takashima
前田美波里 Bibari Maeda
久保明 Akira Kubo
平田昭彦 Akihiko Hirata
佐原健二 Kenji Sahara
黒部進 Susumu Kurobe
土屋嘉男 Yoshio Tsuchiya

ゴジラ Godzilla
ゴジラの赤ちゃん ミニラ君 Godzilla’s son Minya
新怪獣 No1 カマキラス New Monster No 1 Kamakiras
新怪獣 No2 クモンガ New Monster No 2 Kumonga
カラー作品 Color Production

福岡東宝劇場 Fukuoka Toho Theater

“In the 1960’s and 70’s, newspapers in Japan developed dramatically. In the midst of the Japanese Post-War Economic Miracle, people sought and craved a better lifestyle. For this reason, newspapers soon became a major part of people’s daily life. The competition among national papers was brisk. The 1960’s was also called cinema’s golden era; the culture of film advertisement in newspapers came into full bloom as an effect of this era” (Source: “Film Advertisements in Newspapers: Extremely Rare and Ephemeral,” January 25, 2016 (February 16, 2016) by Miki Masuda). Today, I have a precious piece of Japan past as well as Godzilla history in my hands. These are worth collecting while some are still available. We must preserve and appreciate them.