The Cultural History of Godzilla – Pt 26


「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)

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Chapter 3 Confrontation between final weapons of destruction

Godzilla landed on mainland


In this movie, it seems that Godzilla, a natural creature, has been transformed and immortalized by an artificial thing called a hydrogen bomb, so Godzilla himself can be regarded as a kind of ultimate destructive weapon. However, the ultimate destructive weapon “Oxygen Destroyer” that surpasses it appears. The climax of the movie is the confrontation between the weapons of ultimate destruction, and in this chapter, I would like to trace the path leading up to it.


Chapter 3 Confrontation between final weapons of destruction


Godzilla, which continued northward, rises from the sea to the land. The highlight of the second half of this movie is a series of spectacle scenes in which Godzilla destroys buildings on the coast of Tokyo Bay and inland areas. There is a striking promotional still photograph that uses the first landing on the mainland, showing Godzilla holding two train cars in his left front leg and holding the third car in his mouth ( See the illustration on page 7). From that, you can imagine the size to some extent, but even though it is an old-fashioned train with two doors, considering the length of a suburban train car is about 20 meters, it seems that Godzilla is over 100 meters in size. And it turns out to be a lot of exaggeration.


In addition, some magazine advertisements have adopted a scene where he grabs a person with his right front leg and breathes out radioactive flames. There is also a catchphrase, “A 150 shaku monster that emits tremendous destructive power and deadly radiation.” Godzilla’s anger can no longer be quelled by sacrificing a maiden, and once the “savage god” goes out of control, there is no choice but to watch over its destruction.

Shaku is unit of distance approximately equal to 30.3 cm

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Godzilla’s attack didn’t happen all at once. Continues like a wave attack. After landing on Odo Island, a frigate was attacked by the Security Forces toward Godzilla hiding in the sea. Seventeen ships were damaged, and a disaster countermeasures headquarters was set up. The estimated location where Godzilla is hiding is west of Odo Island, which is “the sea connecting 7 minutes from 138 degrees east longitude and 8 minutes from 33 degrees 4 minutes north latitude.” At this point, Godzilla became a target, or “enemy,” for military forces to deliberately attack. Typhoons and tsunamis cannot attack, but Godzilla can.


However, according to Dr. Yamane’s criticism, “What are you going to use to kill Godzilla, who has withstood the hydrogen bomb?” Then, the first short-term landing attacked the Shinagawa station premises. Godzilla after landing for the second time destroys buildings that can be called Merkmal in Tokyo, such as the National Diet Building, Matsuzakaya Department Store, and Japanese Theater. After landing at the Shibaura quay, proceed from Tamachi to Shimbashi, through Ginza, from Sukiyabashi to the National Diet Building, and then to Ueno and Asakusa to Kachidokibashi, which spans the Sumida River.


Since then, the government has been searching for the location of Godzilla, which disappeared into the sea, using a Geiger counter. It’s like a nuclear submarine dripping radiation. Attacks by frigates also resulted in Godzilla being forced into Tokyo Bay rather than driven out of Japanese waters. It can be said that the mutual exchange between Godzilla and the Japanese government expanded the subsequent damage. I don’t know if Godzilla was aiming to land in Tokyo from the beginning, but it became an act of pouring oil on the fire.

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The attacking Godzilla is not a “virtual enemy country” army for the defense force, so it can attack as much as it likes on the fiction of the movie. Godzilla investigation teams should have come from various countries, but there is no sign of foreigners being active anywhere. As is often said, the shadow of the US military in Japan has been erased. If it were a real-world event, the 7th Fleet in Yokosuka and the headquarters of the U.S. Forces in Japan at Yokota Air Base would not have let it go unnoticed. A scramble will be issued.


In the absence of the United States, the fact that the Japanese army is fighting alone is not just a replay of the memory of its defeat, such as the air raids, but the fact that the Pacific War is not perceived as a defeat and continues in a fictional way. Takeshi Sato’s point is persuasive. Moreover, Sato concludes that the fact that Godzilla’s discovery and battle is set after August 13th is also a “phantom battle on the mainland” that has passed after August 15th (“Godzilla and Yamato and Our Democracy”). At that time, what Godzilla represents is the Allied Forces, including the United States Army.