The business of Godzilla-related publishing

6.30.2023 (Rev 3.14.2024)

The business of Godzilla-related publishing


The history of Godzilla books is surprisingly deep. Notable works such as the novel “The Monster Godzilla” (1954) by the original author, Shigeru Kayama, and “Science Adventure Picture Story Godzilla” (1954) by manga artist Wassuke Abe, who worked on the initial design, have been released since the first release. However, what I would like to pay attention to is monster books that drag innocent children into the endless hell of monster mania in the midst of the monster boom.


First, Akita Shoten’s Monster Pictorial Book “Kaiju Pictorial” (1966), Asahi Sonorama’s “Monster Encyclopedia” (1966), Nobel Shobo “The Complete Collection of Monsters 1 Tsuburaya Monster’s Secret” (1967) are the source of encyclopedia mania books.


Children who were addicted to such encyclopedias became adults and jumped at the fantastic collection “Godzilla, the giant of special effects video” published by Asahi Sonorama in 1978. The fact that Godzilla, which had been treated as a ghastly monster, is being talked about as a “Japanese movie” based on a wealth of materials and criticism, was truly good news for shady tokusatsu fans who had grown up without ever forgetting monsters. This trend led to the publication of Mook’s “The World of Wonderful Tokusatsu Eiga” (1979) and the launch of the specialized magazine “Uchusen” the following year, infecting many readers with incurable Godzilla fever and Rikan Tokusatsu fever. At the beginning, I wrote about the history of Godzilla books, but that is a mistake. What is surprisingly deep is the “karma​.”1

1 Thank you so much Makuta-san for providing the correction and clarification of the meaning of the word「業」which I had incorrectly translated as “work.”

(Composition / Keita Makuta)

Source: ゴジラ売全解読, p 144