“Why do you wanna fight?” Comet TV, Charge! and Attack from Planet B can’t sing or dance, so we are gonna give one randomly chosen person the strength to win Space 1999, Godzilla and Rocky merchandise instead. “You’re gonna eat lightnin’ and you’re gonna crap thunder!”
“As I watched the World Trade towers collapse on September 11, I felt guilty. The scene looked similar to those that had entertained me in many Godzilla films. But it wasn’t a fantasy, the people were real, and their fear and suffering were heartbreaking.”
Over the years Godzilla has changed roles significantly from once being the ultimate threat to Japan, to now being Japan’s protector. One could believe that this change was made to make the monster appeal to a broader audience resulting in much larger profits for the studio or perhaps it is the result of the fears Japan once had post-war becoming less and less significant?
Is the fascination in Japanese culture for science fiction Kaiju films and its symbolism born from the fears of nuclear war?
William Tsutsui is an Associate Professor of History at the University of Kansas, an author of many books on Japanese history and a life-long fan of the mutant lizard having authored “Godzilla on My Mind: Fifty Years of the King of Monsters” (First published by Palgrave Macmillan in 2004).
Published to coincide with the 50th anniversary of Godzilla “Godzilla on My Mind: Fifty Years of the King of Monsters” discusses how it grew into a global phenomenon thus exploring the monster’s lasting cultural impact on Japan, the United States and the rest of the world whilst a video entitled “Godzilla and Post-War Japan” uploaded onto the web for UCTV (University of California Television) presented Professor William Tsutsui arguing that the evolution of Godzilla, throughout it’s many films, reflects the social and political changes of post-war Japan and Godzilla’s lasting cultural impact on the world.