The DVD and Blu-ray Shin Godzilla has been released and with that we are getting a look at unused scenes. But there is unused scene (未作用テイクS105) that is quite sad and moving. It was cut from Shin Godzilla but included in a collection of bonus footage. There is a family photo shown in the debris left in the wake of Shin Godzilla.

It is the same family used in the「シンゴジラなる」ad of the SNS campaign. Comparing the two photos is quite sad and a powerful reminder of the fragility and uncertainty of life. Life is short and can turn on a moment’s notice. It is evocative and emotional and there is no mistaking it for anything other than an explicit reference and flashback to the 3/11 tragedy.

The tsunami waves swept into the east Japan shores taking thousands of lives, destroying countless homes and buildings, and scattering cherished personal items of so many people. The Shin Godzilla scene strikes a personal cord. In the year following 3/11, I volunteered to help the families of Sendai who were still living in shelters. I walked the beach where the tsunami came ashore and walked along the remains of collapsed homes awaiting demolition. And there among the debris was this.

Prayers for this child. Prayers for the victims. Prayers for their families and Japan who still live with the scars of that awful day.