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
Lexile

Godzilla has stomped so many buildings in Japan that the movie monster was appointed special resident and tourism ambassador for Tokyo's Shinjuku ward.

A Godzilla-size head towering 171 feet above ground level has been unveiled at an office of Toho, the Japanese studio behind the 1954 original movie. Toho is shooting a comeback film this year after a decade-long hiatus.

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

Japan is hoping the biggest star in this nation's movie history will help lure tourists during a market-opening strategy 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, since 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, chief executive of the Isetan-Mitsukoshi department store chain, who heads the area's tourism promotion, kept referring to Godzilla with the very polite honorific "sama" used at the end of a name underlining respect for the creature as a business-drawing landmark for the region.

The fire-breathing "gojira" as it is pronounced in Japanese, combining "gorilla" and "kujira," or "whale" was born a genetic aberration, caused by nuclear testing in the Pacific Ocean.

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

The first Godzilla, directed by Ishiro Honda, with both an unforgettable score and bestial screech, is revered as a classic.

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

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

Over the years, Godzilla has demolished Tokyo Tower, Rainbow Bridge, the Parliament building and several castles in Japan, as well as Golden Gate Bridge and other chunks of San Francisco in the Hollywood version.

Shinjuku, known for its down-home bars and noodle restaurants, has not been spared, flattened in three Toho movies. If Godzilla chooses to return, it can now stomp on its own giant head. But Ichikawa told reporters where it will show up was still undecided.

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

Filed Under:  
Assigned 20 times


COMMENTS (26)
  • NW2000Bball
    4/16/2015 - 08:40 a.m.

    I think it was cool that Tokyo honored godzilla. They now have something to admire and make out to their history. I don't really know anything about godzilla but it must be an important thing to them if they honored it in their own capital.

  • jarreds-Koc
    4/16/2015 - 09:45 a.m.

    Godzilla was born in the pacific ocean because of the bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, when the radiation drained into the sea and mutated a creature into the 100 foot high monster everyone in the world can recognize. The idea of Godzilla was probably created when some one thought about what it would be like if dinosaurs were still alive today and tried going on a rampage through a major city, such as Tokyo.

  • brianp-Che
    4/16/2015 - 11:41 a.m.

    Godzilla was born in the pacific ocean because that's where the nuclear testing was being conducted. Godzilla was a genetic aberration from this, and was the result of so. Im glad to hear a reboot is in the progress for the debut in 2018, i cant wait to see it! I didnt know that godzilla was thought of as a national symbol for japan caused by the trauma from the nuclear bombings in WWII.

  • Alliyahv-Fre
    4/16/2015 - 12:54 p.m.

    Godzilla was born in the Pacific Ocean because of three reasons. One: The name means "gorilla whale" pretty much. And sense whales live in the ocean....yeah. Two: The story happened because some scientists were doing some genealogical experiments, and they went wrong, creating the monster. And Three: The last reason is probably because Japan is surrounded by the Pacific Ocean, seeming it takes place in Japan, this only makes sense.

  • Micaelaia-Fre
    4/16/2015 - 12:54 p.m.

    Based on the passage, a new tourism attraction was put up in Japan. The attraction was made because of the Godzilla movies that were made in Tokyo. As of right now, they are making another Godzilla movie. After the one in 1954, the producers made 28 series!

  • NashMcComsey-Ste
    4/16/2015 - 01:03 p.m.

    Godzilla is an honorable figure in the japanese culture, so it is not a surprise to see him honored in this way. He has become a centerpeice in japanse culture through his movies, so learning that Godzilla is being set apart like this is good to see.

    • AustinE-Ver
      4/17/2015 - 09:04 a.m.

      Godzilla is known by all the Japanese people that seen the movie Godzilla. The movie was made in 2000. So for them its not a surprise to be honoring him. And he became famous for that movie he was in.

  • im2001moobys
    4/16/2015 - 01:10 p.m.

    Godzilla was born in the Pacific Ocean because it's ancestors of sorts were there and then they kind of mutated into Gozilla. Or at least thats what im gathering from this article. Thus Godzilla was bornnin the Pacific ocean,

  • NickB-2
    4/16/2015 - 06:53 p.m.

    This article is about Godzilla. Because of his fame and legacy, Tokyo made a large statue of his head erected behind Toho Studios. Toho produced the origional Godzilla. Tokyo is hoping that this will help tourism. I think that this is really cool.

  • DD2001basketball
    4/17/2015 - 08:49 a.m.

    Godzilla was born in the pacific ocean because godzilla is a cobination of a whale and a gorilla. So thats why godzilla is born in the pacific ocean.

Take the Quiz Leave a comment
ADVERTISEMENT