The Story of Godzilla’s Birth – Pt 19


The Story of Godzilla's Birth
「ゴジラ誕生語」The Story of Godzilla's Birth by Osamu Yamaguchi

P 42



Completed Godzilla costume

背丈は2メートル。 重さは150キロにもなり、かたくて動きにくいため、 作り直すことになった。

2 meters tall. It weighed 150 kilograms and was hard and difficult to move, so it was decided to rebuild it.

P 43


The staff who came out from inside is gasping. It weighs well over 150kg. No wonder. Godzilla No. 1, which took a month to make in this way, was unfortunately NG [no good].


For half a month after that, the modeling staff immersed themselves in the production of the second issue. It is said that Kaimai never went home during this time.


The improved Godzilla costume was finally completed. Taking advantage of the failure of the first one, they tried using plastic, which was still in the prototype stage.


The second model was completed in this way, but it was still not soft enough and it was difficult to move. At that time, there was no soft material called latex that would appear later. It still weighs close to 100kg. Even the armor and helmets worn in period dramas weigh about 20 kilograms, so you can see how heavy they were.


“Is it really possible for a human to enter inside this and move it?”


Even though it was improved, Kaimai and Toshimitsu were, to be honest, uneasy.


Chosen as Godzilla’s “contents” were Haruo Nakajima, a young 25-year-old big room actor at the time, and Katsumi Tezuka, a former private baseball player. Tezuka was 41 years old, but he was hired because of his physical strength and courage.


Godzilla was in the third studio of Toho studio. When Nakajima and Tezuka arrived, they were lying on their backs on the back of the cart.


“Is this Godzilla?”


The two looked at each other involuntarily.

P 44


“It’s kind of like a lizard with a hangover.”


It’s true that he’s slovenly showing his belly and looking sloppy. It was natural to say that it was natural because the contents were empty, but there was also a somewhat pathetic feeling.


Toshimitsu and the others immediately unloaded Godzilla from the cart, hung it from a thick wooden tower, and propped it up. Three or four other people are gathering sweat on his forehead.

テストがはじまった。まずは手塚が入る。当時のゴジラの足は「ゲタ」[traditional Japanese wooden sandal​] だった。大きな板の上にゲタをはりつけて作った。スリッパみたいなものじゃ、足に力が入らないだろう、という発想だ。つまり、足の中に鼻緒があって、それに指を突っこむのだ。

The test has started. Tezuka enters first. Godzilla’s legs at that time were “geta.” It was made by pasting geta onto a large board. The idea was that wearing slippers wouldn’t put a lot of effort into your feet. In other words, there is a thong in the foot, and you stick your toe in it.


When the legs are in, the body and head are pushed in order. “Okay, let’s close.”


Hooks on the back were closed and tied with extremities. He didn’t shut his back back then. Godzilla with Tezuka finally stands straight.


“Yes, move!”


A signal flew. But Godzilla doesn’t move at all. I’m standing still.


“What’s wrong, Te-chan. You can move.”


It moves as if dragging its feet.


“Oh, it moved, it moved.”


The staff at the scene raised their voices. However, Tanaka, Honda, Tsuburaya and others were staring at the moving Godzilla with a difficult face.

P 45


After moving about three meters, Godzilla suddenly collapsed with a bang. Staff approaching. Opening Godzilla’s back reveals a sweaty Tezuka with a bright red face.


“I’m not kidding. I couldn’t walk like this.”


Tsuburaya and Honda looked at each other.


“Thank you for your hard work. Now, Mr. Nakajima, come in.”


He says the staff. Tezuka’s body temperature made it very hot inside the costume. Put your toes through the thong of the geta. It’s heavy. It’s Hard. When I put my foot forward with all my strength, sweat burst out from my whole body. The thong is digging into my leg and the pain is unbearable. Even if he intended to move, he hardly moved. Even if you turn your neck, it just spins around.


“Okay, that’s enough.”


Nakajima stopped at that voice.


“After all, it’s too heavy and too hard.”


Eizo Kaimai, who was in charge of Godzilla’s skin, was heartbroken by someone’s words.


“I know, but I don’t have good material.”


It’s heavy and hard, and the inside of the costume can reach 60 degrees Celsius. The “under the hood” actor was justifiably tempted to complain. Godzilla actors are always dressed in shorts and round neck shirts. Even so, when one cut was over, Godzilla’s feet were always a sea of sweat, making a squeaky sound.


“Would you please do your best with this guy?”