Godzilla is honored in Tokyo Godzilla's head is unveiled as the irradiated monster was appointed special resident and tourism ambassador for Tokyo's Shinjuku ward during its awards ceremony in Tokyo (AP photo / Getty Images)
Godzilla is honored in Tokyo
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Over the years, Godzilla has stomped on many buildings in Japan. Now the movie monster has been appointed special resident and tourism ambassador for Tokyo's Shinjuku ward.

A Godzilla-size head towering 171 feet above ground level has been unveiled. It is at an office of Toho. That's the Japanese film studio behind the 1954 original movie. Toho is shooting a comeback film this year.

Godzilla's standing as an icon has had its ups and downs. Recently its stature has been reinstated. That came after the Hollywood "Godzilla." The movie, directed by Gareth Edwards, became a global hit last year.

Japan is hoping the biggest star in the nation's movie history will help lure tourists. A market-opening strategy was launched by the prime minister.

At an awards ceremony next to the giant Godzilla head, an actor in a rubber suit waddled to Shinjuku Mayor Kenichi Yoshizumi. However, Toho executive Minami Ichikawa had to accept the residency certificate in Godzilla's place. The suit's claws aren't designed to grab anything.

The longtime belief is that any place Godzilla destructs in the movies is sure to prosper in real life, Yoshizumi said.

"Godzilla is a character that is the pride of Japan," he said.

Hiroshi Ohnishi is the chief executive of the Isetan-Mitsukoshi department store chain. He heads the area's tourism promotion. Ohnishi kept referring to Godzilla with the very polite honorific "sama." It is used at the end of a name. It underlines respect for the creature as a business-drawing landmark for the region.

The fire-breathing monster is called "gojira." In Japanese, the word combines "gorilla" and "kujira," or "whale." Godzilla was born a genetic aberration. The fictional monster was caused by nuclear testing in the Pacific Ocean.

The reptilian mutation also symbolized a national trauma over the atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. They occurred at the end of World War II.

The first Godzilla was directed by Ishiro Honda. It includes both an unforgettable musical score and bestial screech. The film is revered as a classic.

In 2004, Toho announced it had made its last Godzilla. It was the 28th in the series.

Toho's reboot is set for release next year. That's ahead of Edwards' sequel for Legendary Pictures and Warner Brothers. It is planned for 2018.

In the films over the years, Godzilla has done a lot of damage. It demolished Tokyo Tower, Rainbow Bridge, the Parliament building and several castles in Japan. It also tore down the Golden Gate Bridge and other chunks of San Francisco in the Hollywood version. Of course, this was only in the films. No damage actually happened.

Shinjuku is known for its down-home bars and noodle restaurants. In the films, the area has not been spared. It was flattened in three Toho movies.

If Godzilla chooses to return, it can now stomp on its own giant head. However, Ichikawa told reporters where it will show up was still undecided.

Critical thinking challenge: Why was Godzilla born in the Pacific Ocean?

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COMMENTS (32)
  • emrar-boo
    4/16/2015 - 11:42 a.m.

    Godzilla was born in the Pacific Ocean because the creature was created by nuclear testing in the Pacific Ocean.

  • caitlynnk-Hyl
    4/20/2015 - 12:03 p.m.

    Cool article even though i have never herd or seen Godzilla. I wonder why it is making a big comeback soon. Some people are relay Sirius about Godzilla. I wonder in the movies if Godzilla is an actor or a prop. I also wonder were Godzilla is going to dis troy next.

    • camdens-Pay
      5/20/2015 - 10:41 a.m.

      What you never herd of Godzilla it is so awesome.

  • Tiffany0307-yyca
    4/21/2015 - 09:06 p.m.

    I'll say, that Godzilla monster looks pretty terrifying, and it looks obviously very dangerous. It has been my first time seeing Godzilla in a picture, and the picture looks really scary to me. I think it's weird that when Godzilla had destroyed buildings and other precious things in Tokyo, I don't think that it should be really appreciated, even though it was just in the films. Not because it's really scary, because it is destructive to Tokyo. I can't believe that Godzilla was born in the Pacific Ocean. It is more weird that way.
    Critical Thinking Challenge: Why was Godzilla born in the Pacific Ocean?
    Answer: It might have been born in the Pacific Ocean because maybe they want the film to go from a spooky story and then to the action and all the fun part, or maybe it is because Godzilla is terrifying and they want to match the personalities of the spooky character.

  • william1108-yyca
    4/22/2015 - 09:53 p.m.

    I think Godzilla looks sort of fake in the picture. But I still wonder why he destroys them. I mean he was born in the Pacific ocean and how did he come to Tokyo.But I'm sure It took a long time to get to Tokyo.But if Godzilla destroyed my house then he would be scary. compared to the movie and the story Godzilla looks less real it looks like there just saying that he destroyed houses but I thing he is just made out of plastic and they just move him so they think that he is actually destroying things. But how come the place doesn't look destroyed. But I still wonder if Godzilla is actually real so I will try to find if he Is real.

  • kaylal-Hyl
    4/27/2015 - 12:08 p.m.

    I like this article because I love the movie Godzilla. I Love the movie Godzilla because because I love big scary things like Godzilla. I also think that more people should like Godzilla instead of hating Godzilla. I also thing that cresting a statue of Godzilla is creepy but cool. That is what I think.

  • AdolfoG-Saw
    4/27/2015 - 01:55 p.m.

    The dinosaur is big and scary. But it's not that scary because the dinosaur is fake and then toy is so fake because it has a spoke coming out it is scary.

  • NoahS-Dis
    4/27/2015 - 01:58 p.m.

    Look at that giant Godzilla head, that looks amazing! I watched a little bit of Godzilla the movie. I have the newest one.

  • KayleeF
    4/28/2015 - 01:40 p.m.

    It helps me understand the story is because it has a big 171 ground level head.

  • KayleeF
    4/28/2015 - 01:49 p.m.

    Maybe its because hes mom was dead and pooped out a baby Godzilla. So cute the baby!!

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