The Story of Godzilla’s Birth – Pt 8


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

P 18


In the past, special techniques were thought to be sloppy behind-the-scenes jobs that were only taken at the director’s request for very short scenes, such as explosion scenes. In other words, the evaluation was very low.


“With this work, I’m going to look back at people who have been making fun of special technology until now. Not only that, it’s a great opportunity to show the great potential of special technology.”


No wonder Tsuburaya’s dreams spread. In the world of movies, special effects were treated as one rank lower than the main part (normal shooting using actors). Even when I walked around the studio, I would say, “It’s nice to be able to make models, break them down, and play around with them.” “It’s nice to get paid to play around,” he said. That special technology may finally be in the spotlight.


“Let’s make the monster a big octopus.”


“Let’s not eat octopuses. This is a movie with a warning against nuclear weapons. You have to express a chilling sense of dread. “Hugeness” is an important key to that. First of all, the octopus does not show height. “


Tsuburaya is not defeated either.


“There will be a raw grotesque feeling. And the height, just make the octopus stupid. “Oh, no, it’s not good for something ordinary like an octopus. A huge, overwhelmingly intimidating thing that no one has ever seen. Dinosaurs for example. I have an image of a monster that made that even bigger. “

P 19


There was power in those words.


“With this film, I want to convey the horror and foolishness of nuclear weapons. A man-made nuclear weapon, a terrifying instrument of murder. Awakened by this, the giant monster destroys the human-made metropolis of Tokyo. In other words, humans get revenge for what humans have created. That’s why I don’t want to make a movie that sells only the creepiness and power of monsters. It must be a work in which the shadow of a nuclear weapon can be seen behind the monster. “


When he saw Tanaka’s serious eyes, Tsuburaya replied quietly, “Understood.” It didn’t take long for those who wanted to challenge the unknown world and those who wished for peace to communicate with each other.


Once you get Tsuburaya’s consent, you’ll need a scenario. Tanaka decided to ask Shigeru Kayama, a writer who is good at or not good at bizarre and fantastic stories, to write the original work. Kayama was originally a writer of detective stories, but because he writes solid stories, Tanaka himself was a big fan. Around the middle of May, Matsushita Tanaka and Tadashi Matsushita from the literary club immediately went to visit Kayama.


“Mr. Kayama. I don’t want to make a horrific movie that relies solely on the power of visuals, even though it’s a monster movie that focuses on special technology. I want to convey the terror and cruelty of the hydrogen bomb.”


Tanaka spit out the same words he appealed to Tsuburaya. Kayama thought for a moment. Even for Kayama, who specializes in bizarre and fantasy stories, it was a setting that was difficult to imagine immediately. Tanaka groaned at Kayama, who was deep in thought.

P 20


“Kayama-san, I really need your help.”


Having said this, I can’t back down. Kayama silently nodded at Tanaka’s passionate appearance.


Kayama looked back on this time as follows, saying that he was enthusiastic at the end.


“However, as I listened to him more and more, I became indescribably pleasant. At that time, our “Mr. Godzilla” was already born in the Toho Literature Department. How exhilarating it is to make this Mr. Godzilla carry all the usual pent-up feelings on his back and smash the Great Imperial City from one to the other!


In composing this work, I did not intentionally lower the degree or take an attitude of aiming for popular acceptance. On the contrary, I focused on throwing my own resistance to atomic weapons as hard as I could.”


As Kayama writes, the name of the main character’s monster was decided to be “Godzilla.” There is a well-known episode about the naming.


At that time, there was a man nicknamed “Gujira” at the Toho head office. Shiro Amikura. The man, who later became head of the Toho Entertainment Department, has a big body like a gorilla and loves whale meat. So he combined the two and called him “Gujira.”


“Gorilla and whale huh… Gojira. Yeah, Gojira!”