Godzilla is honored in Tokyo
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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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?

Source URL: https://www.tweentribune.com/article/teen/godzilla-honored-tokyo/

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COMMENTS (26)
  • AlexV-Ver
    4/17/2015 - 09:00 a.m.

    I find it strange that the Japanese would honor a monster meant to destroy Tokyo, build a nest, and basically take over. But it has been considered a non hostile in other movies if not messed with. But again very strange

  • XanderB-Ver
    4/17/2015 - 10:11 a.m.

    Why do they worship a animal that destryes theirs city. Most people are scared of that thing.
    Why do they do this. But this was a good article

  • JasonT-Ver
    4/17/2015 - 10:14 a.m.

    Why would they let a building of a Godzilla on a building that Godzilla statue is pretty big but if one day It falls it will destroy a bunch of stuff and why would they be touring it for Tokyo

  • conner.mills50
    4/17/2015 - 12:55 p.m.

    I find it unusual that they use real restaurants for Godzilla movies and it must be extraordinary to have your restaurant on film. I have also found out that Godzilla could be use as a character word, For example "Don't let Dr.Godzilla catch you", meaning it would be horrible. It also could mean a extremely large structure or thing. for example "A Godzilla of a tower". Also this movie was created by Ishir? Honda, He was drafted into the Imperial Japanese Army during WW2.

  • pp2000boa
    4/17/2015 - 01:06 p.m.

    This is to celebrate a movie character? I wonder how successful the movie was to make the idea part of culture. I think this might be as popular as mochi.

  • alberts-Eic
    4/17/2015 - 01:28 p.m.

    i sure would like to visit Godzilla's head and he is a big part of japans cutler just like how King-con is to america

  • KiraWvA-4
    4/20/2015 - 10:32 p.m.

    In 1954, Toho the Japanese studio made the first Godzilla. In 2004, they announced they were going to stop making them, after 28 movies. Godzilla is a revered figure in Japan, whom people call -sama, a gesture of respect, and any place decimated by the giant gorilla/whale is said to prosper. A giant Godzilla head, 171 feet above ground level, was revealed at an office of Toho's and awarded the titles "special resident" and "tourism ambassador for the Tokyo's Shinjuku ward." I thought this was an interesting example of how a movie icon can transform into a global phenomenon and people will become really proud of it.

  • rositap-Che
    4/21/2015 - 01:50 p.m.

    I think Godzilla is a good movie to watch. Also Godzilla is really popular in japan and where it was made cause of the nuke bomb that dropped. That's how they came up with the idea of Godzilla.

  • JoeP1-Ste
    4/22/2015 - 12:18 p.m.

    i think Godzilla was born in the ocean because that's the only place big enough for him to stay and his mom is not just gonna go in the middle of town to have a baby

  • oliviav-Koc
    4/26/2015 - 06:59 p.m.

    I think that is is cool that Japan actually honors Godzilla. And I didn't know that any building in the movie that Godzilla destroys is one that will prosper in real life.

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