The Cultural History of Godzilla – Pt 64


「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 173


Even though he talks about his anguish about having his invention used as a weapon, in the end he decided to use the Oxygen Destroyer, saying, “You guys win.” In addition, the power of the female chorus singing from the TV and radio adds to his heart. The role of Emiko as a post-war generation in exterminating Godzilla, which was set by the novelist Shigeru Kayama, the original author, is filmically expressed by director Ishiro Honda. He graduated from the original and scenario.


Emiko betrays Dr. Serizawa and wants to protect it. The confrontation between Dr. Serizawa and Godzilla who die due to her betrayal – such a composition is not drawn in the original “King Kong” and “The Beast from 20,000 Fathoms.” In Hollywood movies, romance is nothing more than a love triangle between an actress and a sailor with a giant gorilla in between, or a love between a nuclear scientist and a paleontologist that sprouts in the midst of a disaster. The importance of the existence of a family is not touched upon. And in Emiko’s case, the homely and personal thing of protecting her own family is directly linked to the political and social thing of uncovering the secret weapon to defeat Godzilla.


Formed on Odo Island, this pseudo-family of four appears all the way from the end of the second attack, when Godzilla attacks Kachidoki Bridge, all the way up to the patrol ship Shikine, which finally kills Godzilla. Dr. Serizawa’s message to Ogata, “Live happily ever after,” is linked to the settlement of the triangular relationship by cutting the tube that blows the air. It was necessary for the pseudo-family to become a real family. Shinkichi was also the one who helped Dr. Serizawa lower the tube as he descended to the ocean floor and pulled it up in a hurry, so I can understand that this word was directed at all of them, in other words, at us who survived.

P 174


Even if Ogata and Emiko become husband and wife after this, they will surely mourn Dr. Serizawa’s death for the rest of their lives. This is because they have a “debt” that they have obtained their own “happiness” by forcing Dr. Serizawa to use the Oxygen Destroyer, asking if they will ignore the “misfortune” in front of them. The “fuku” of this happiness is connected to the “fuku” of the Daigo Fukuryu Maru. “Fukuryu” is translated as “lucky dragon” in English, but since it means happiness, not luck, it feels a little strange from the Japanese sense. After the death of Godzilla (Dr. Serizawa), it would not be surprising if Godzilla turned around and became a guardian deity who scorns foreign enemies, and is regarded as “Ebisu-sama” like a whale or catfish that brings good fortune and wealth. It would be like Sugawara no Michizane becoming Tenjin, or Sutokuin becoming the guardian deity of Shikoku. In other words, screenwriter Shinichi Sekizawa in “Godzilla, Minya, Gabaraor Monster Attack” (1969)
He called it “Minya Daimyojin [Deity with extraordinary spiritual powers]”, so this movie itself can be said to be “Godzilla Daimyojin Engi Emaki” [“Omen God Godzilla Picture].

Sugawara no Michizane​, also known as Kan Shōjō (菅 丞相), a grandson of Sugawara no Kiyotomo (770–842) (known as Owari no suke and Daigaku-no kami), was a scholar, poet, and politician of the Heian Period of Japan. He is regarded as an excellent poet, particularly in Chinese poetry. (Source:


However, as Dr. Yamane fears, if instead of this Godzilla, another new Godzilla appears as a result of hydrogen bomb testing, Dr. Serizawa will no longer be able to create the Oxygen Destroyer, so there is no way to defeat him. In that sense, Dr. Serizawa’s death-defying attack was a one-time effort to protect the mainland of Japan. Therefore, permitting future hydrogen bomb tests means that Japan may turn from being a victim to being a perpetrator. That logic goes beyond the story in the film and approaches us, the audience. And since the hydrogen bomb test continued after that, Godzilla will return proudly.


The word “end” at the end of the movie seems ironic. Even after 60 years, it teaches us the obvious fact that stories can end, but reality can’t.

P 175


And so that forgetting the deaths of Godzilla and Dr. Serizawa would be a crime for those who survived, what modern Japan did to other countries after the opening of the country with the Japan-U.S. Treaty of Peace and Amity, and also to Japan. It is necessary to remind ourselves again and again so that we do not forget what both countries have done. In that sense, the original “Godzilla” is a movie that still poses sharp questions to Japanese people. And Godzilla has been revived many times since then with a strong message of “don’t forget” all the past.