Come aboard the Love Boat


In Godzilla vs MechaGodzilla (1974), Interpol agent Nanbara, says to our heroes Keisuke Shimizu and Saeko Kanagusuku, “It’s a good night to talk about love,”1 during their boat trip to Okinawa. But their ride aboard the Queen Coral (クイーンコーラル) was anything but the Love Boat with “life’s sweet reward” and “an open smile on a friendly shore.”2 They departed on the Sunflower only abruptly to board the Queen Coral in order to keep the enemy off their trail. But onboard an Alien from the Third Planet of the Black Hole attacked them in an attempt to steal the King Shisa statue. In the end, the Queen Coral proved to be a safe haven transporting our heroes still intact with the statue securely stashed away by the ship’s captain until they arrive at Naha Port in Okinawa.

The Queen Coral in Godzilla vs MechaGodzilla 1974

As the result of some shopping fortune, I can now “set a course for adventure and [my] mind on a new romance”3 with this authentic Queen Coral boarding card. I found this awesome piece of Japanese ferry history on Buyee Japan with all its connections to my favorite Showa Godzilla movie. This Coral ticket stub is from 1974, the same year Godzilla vs MechaGodzilla was released. On the card, the ferry is pictured at the bottom with the logo of the ship-owner Terukoku below. This is a second class card stamped with the date of 49.4.10 (April 10, 1974 [昭和49]) and the name of the Kagoshima agency, where transfers to Coral could be made.

FRONT: 第2等 2nd Class | 茶花 Chabana [seasonal flowers arranged for a tea ceremony; flowers in a tea room​] | 乗船整理券 Boardng Card | クイーンコーラル (6,430トン) Queen Coral (6,430 tons) | 49.4.10 (April 4, 1974) | 鹿児島代理店 Kagoshima agency | 本券は乗船中は乗船券と同じ交力を持ちます This ticket has the same exchange power as the boarding ticket while on board. | 照国郵船株式会社 Terukoku Yusen Co., Ltd. BACK: ダイハツ Daihatsu | 鹿児島ダイハツ販 Kagoshima Daihatsu sales | 鹿児島市樋之口 Tenokuchi, Kagoshima City | 軽乗用車 Light passenger car | フェローMAX Fellow MAX | 小型乗用車 Small passenger car | ニューコンソレテ New Consolete

As I was researching for this post, I came about wonderful reflects written by Tetsuji Nakagawara, a Toho Video member, who rode the Sunflower and Queen Coral during the shooting of Godzilla vs MechaGodzilla. He recalls, in 1973, a group of nearly 100 that included staff and cast along with their equipment road the Sunflower to Kogshima where they boarded the Coral headed to Naha. Nakagawara-san writes that he can be see with an extra on the back of the ship in the movie.3 If I had this ticket back in 1974 I would have been there too (lol).

1「恋を話るにはふされしい夜ですな」translated “It’s a good night to talk about love” from Godzilla vs MechaGodzilla (1974; 44:44 mark)

2 The Love Boat is an American romantic comedy/drama television series that aired on ABC from 1977 to 1986. Its theme and lyrics was written by Fox Charles and Williams Paul H and performed by Jack Jones.

3 Ibid.

4 「作品展とフェリー・・・。1974年 ゴジラとさんふらわあの思い出 南編③」 布有(ふう)通信 by Tetsuji Nakagawara