The Cultural History of Godzilla – Pt 24

12.31.2022

「ゴジラの精神史」The Cultural History of Godzilla 1954 by Shuntaro Ono (2014)
「ゴジラの精神史」The Cultural History of Godzilla 1954 by Shuntaro Ono (2014)

P 56

「ゴジラ」と「潮騒」
“Godzilla” and “The “Roar of the Sea

『ゴジラ』に海と関連するイメージがたくさん潜んだのは、原作者の香山の南洋志向ばかりでなく、監督の本多猪四郎も海への強いこだわりをもっていたせいである。とりわけ『伊勢志摩』(一九四九年)という記録映画を撮影したことで、このあたりの海への土地勘が生まれたし、商業映画として監督した第一作が海女物の『青い真珠』(一九五一年)だった。「女版ゴジラ」(切通理作)という評価もあるが、山田克郎の直木賞受賞作である中編小説の『海の廃園』を原作にしている。山田は戦前から海洋小説家として知られてきたが、のちにテレビドラマの『快傑ハリマオ』の原作者として有名になった。

The reason why many images related to the sea were hidden in “Godzilla” is not only the original author Kayama’s preference for the South Seas, but also the director Honda Ishiro’s strong commitment to the sea. In particular, shooting the documentary film Ise-Shima (1949) gave birth to a familiarity with the sea around here, and the first commercial film he directed was “Blue Pearl” (1951), a female diver story. Although it has been evaluated as a “woman version of Godzilla” (written by Osamu Kiritsugu), it is based on Katsuro Yamada’s novella “Ruins of the Sea,” which won the Naoki Prize. Yamada has been known as a maritime novelist since before the war, but later became famous as the author of the TV drama “Kaiketsu Harimao.”

この作品の映画化を望んだのは本多自身で、シナリオを書いて提出して認められた。山田の「海の廃園』は海女の物語で「海の季節は早い」と始まる。千葉の白浜の海女たちによる漁と、野島崎の灯台がモデルになっている。「ゴジラ』では海女ではなくて潜水夫が活躍するわけだが、伊勢志摩のんだ海が撮影にふさわしいというので、大戸島の場面の撮影がおこなわれた。鳥羽市石鏡がロケ地に選ばれたのは、他ならない本多監督たち撮影陣に多少の土地勘があったせいである。映画のなかでは小笠原のあたりに存在するとされる大戸島は、じつは伊勢志摩の風景だった。

It was Honda himself who wanted to make this work into a movie, and he wrote a script and submitted it, which was accepted. Yamada’s “Ruins of the Sea” is a story of an ama diver, and begins with the phrase “the sea season comes early.” It is modeled after fishing by Ama divers in Shirahama, Chiba, and the lighthouse at Nojimazaki. In “Godzilla,” divers play an active role instead of female divers, and the sea near Ise-Shima was said to be suitable for filming, so scenes on Odo Island were shot. The reason for this is that none other than Director Honda and the film crew had some familiarity with the area. In the film, Odo Island, which is said to exist near Ogasawara, was actually the scenery of Ise-Shima.

Ama (海女, “sea women”) are Japanese divers famous for collecting pearls, though traditionally their main catch is seafood. The vast majority of ama are women. (Source: Wikipedia)

The Ise-Shima (伊勢志摩) region of Japan, also called the Shima Peninsula (志摩半島, Shima-hantō), refers to the areas of eastern Mie Prefecture in or around Ise-Shima National Park, which include the cities Ise, Toba, Shima, and parts of the town of Minami-Ise. (Source: Wikipedia)

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もちろんこれは映画の約束事である。『海底二万里』の海中シーンがたとえカリブ海のバハマ諸島の海で撮影されたものであっても、それが南太平洋の出来事だとされれば、映画の物語のなかでは納得させられる。ジェイムズ・キャメロン監督の『タイタニック』が、メキシコで撮影されても大西洋上の話だと納得するようなものだ。

Of course, this is the promise of the movie. Even if the underwater scene in 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea was filmed in the waters of the Bahamas in the Caribbean Sea, it would make sense in the film’s narrative if it were an event in the South Pacific. It’s like James Cameron’s “Titanic” being filmed in Mexico and being convinced it’s set in the Atlantic Ocean.

海の物語として作られた「ゴジラ」を称賛した数少ない文化人に三島由紀夫がいた。もっとも、三島が褒めたのは、『ゴジラ』と同時期に自分自身の『潮騒』が谷口千吉監督によって映画化されていた恩義のためでもあった。『潮騒』は十月二十日に一足先に公開されている。撮影中止となったインドネシアとの合作映画の担当だった谷口監督が、そのまま「ゴジラ」を担当する可能性もあったわけだ。また、「青い真珠』の延長で海女物というジャンルから「潮騒」を本多監督が演出していたら、まったく別な作品になりえたのかもしれない。少なくとも、本多・円谷のコンビによる東宝怪獣映画という一大ジャンルが出現しなかったか、ひょっとするともっと遅れたのかもしれないのだ。

Yukio Mishima was one of the few cultural figures who praised “Godzilla” as a story of the sea. However, Mishima’s praise was also due to the fact that his own “The Sound of Waves” was made into a movie by director Senkichi Taniguchi at the same time as “Godzilla.” “The Sound of Waves” was released one step ahead on October 20th. There was a possibility that Director Taniguchi, who was in charge of the canceled co-production with Indonesia, would be in charge of “Godzilla.” Also, if Director Honda directed “The Sound of Waves” from the genre of divers as an extension of “Blue Pearl,” it might have become a completely different work. At the very least, the big genre of Toho monster movies by the Honda/Tsuraya duo didn’t appear, or maybe it was delayed.

The Sound of Waves is a 1954 novel by the Japanese author Yukio Mishima. It is a coming-of-age story of the protagonist Shinji and his romance with Hatsue, the beautiful daughter of the wealthy ship owner Terukichi. For this book, Mishima was awarded the Shincho Prize from Shinchosha Publishing in 1954. (Source: Wikipedia)

谷口版の『潮騒』は『ゴジラ』と同時期に撮影がおこなわれていた。『潮騒』の舞台となる歌島のモデルになったのは三重県の神島で、伊勢湾口に位置している。ちなみに『潮騒』とは万葉集に出て神島を歌った柿本人麻呂の和歌に出てくる枕詞である。この『潮騒』でシナリオを担当したのが中村真一郎で、その縁でのちに『モスラ』の原作を執筆した(こうした経緯は拙著『モスラの精神史』で触れた)。

Taniguchi’s version of “The Sound of Waves” was filmed at the same time as “Godzilla.” The model for Utashima, the stage of The Sound of Waves, is Kamishima in Mie Prefecture, located at the mouth of Ise Bay. By the way, “The Sound of Waves” is a pillow (decorative) word that appears in a waka poem by Kakinomoto Hitomaro, who sang about Kamishima in Manyoshu. Shinichiro Nakamura was in charge of the scenario for “The Sound of Waves,” and it was through this connection that he later wrote the original work for “Mothra” (I touched on this process in my book “The Spiritual History of Mothra”).

Waka is a type of poetry in classical Japanese literature. Although waka in modern Japanese is written as 和歌, in the past it was also written as 倭歌, and a variant name is yamato-uta. (Source: Wikipedia)

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身びいきを割り引いても、三島が『ゴジラ』に反応したのは、外部に汚染されていない無垢な場所として探し出した神島を揺さぶる放射能の雨のような外部の力が、まさにゴジラと見えたからだろう。ゴジラが襲う東京とは、『潮騒』のなかでは、主人公がなけなしのお金をはたいて修学旅行に行かせ弟が、映画館で友だちと西部劇を観る場所であった。音楽を担当した黛敏郎は、時にはハリウッド映画やフランス音楽のような響きを使いながらも、修学旅行のために連絡船が出港するときには軍艦マーチを流す。その同じ連絡船で東京の大学から帰ってきたのが、灯台長の娘だった。彼女が田舎を嫌悪し同化できないのは、母親が東京で教師をしていたという出自とも関係する。そうした都会的なあり方と対極にいるのがヒロインなのだ。

Even if you discount his favoritism, Mishima’s reaction to “Godzilla” must have been because he saw Godzilla as an outside force, like the radioactive rain that rocked Kamishima, which he had searched for as an innocent place unpolluted from the outside. Tokyo, where Godzilla attacks, is the place in “The Sound of Waves” where the main character spends what little money he has to send him on a school trip, and where his younger brother watches western movies with his friends at the cinema. Toshiro Mayuzumi, who was in charge of the music, sometimes uses the sound of Hollywood movies and French music, but when the ferry departs for a school trip, the warship march is played. Returning from the university in Tokyo on the same ferry was the daughter of the head of the lighthouse. Her aversion to the countryside and her inability to assimilate is related to her mother’s background as a teacher in Tokyo. She is the heroine who is at the opposite end of the city.

『潮騒』は海女の島の話であるとともに、世代交代の物語でもある。ほぼ忠実に小説をなぞって、しかも神島の名前を踏襲して現地ロケをしていた。クライマックスのスペクタクルは、荒れ狂う沖縄が舞台となった。神島丸を係留する綱が切れたのを、主人公が飛びこんで新しい綱を結びつけるところだ。巨大プールを使った嵐の場面の特撮は、「ゴジラ」の嵐の場面とはまた違った迫力がある。当たり前だが、怪獣映画にだけ特撮場面があるのではない。もともと映画の一部として機能しているのだ。最後に神島灯台の灯りのもとで、婚約が整った恋人たちが並ぶ場面で終わる。

“The Sound of Waves” is a story about the island of Ama, and also a story of generational change. It followed the novel almost faithfully, and also followed the name of Kamijima and did a local location. The climactic spectacle was set in raging Okinawa. The rope mooring the Kamishima Maru has broken, and the protagonist jumps in and ties up a new rope. The special effects of the storm scene using a huge pool have a different power than the storm scene of “Godzilla.” Of course, monster movies aren’t the only ones with special effects scenes. It works as part of the movie. Finally, the scene ends with the betrothed lovers lined up under the light of the Kamishima lighthouse.

『ゴジラ』と「潮騒』は平和の海に対して、対照的な結末をもっている。ある意味補完しているともいえるのだ。「潮騒」は海の光景よりも、太陽や島の明かりや灯台の光に伝統や希望を見出そうとしている。それに対して「ゴジラ」は、平和に見えて不穏な海で終わる。そこには単なる題材の違いを超えた本多猪四郎監督の海へのこだわりがある。

“Godzilla” and “The Sound of Waves” have a contrasting ending to the sea of peace. In a way, it can be said that they are complementary. “The Sound of Waves” is more about the sun, the lights of the island, and the lighthouse than the scenery of the sea. I am trying to find tradition and hope in the light of “Godzilla,” on the other hand, ends in a seemingly peaceful but disturbing sea. There is director Ishiro Honda’s commitment to the sea that goes beyond the mere difference in subject matter.