Gojira, Godzilla in the eyes of Japanese atomic era survivors

Godzilla can be hero or villain, protector or destroyer, but he is always the ultimate force of nature upon the face of the Earth. Watch a BBC documentary to place Godzilla in the rightful context.

“Godzilla represents the complicity of mankind in its own destruction.”

Godzilla does not feel emotion…Godzilla is emotion
~ Jun Fukuda, director

Godzilla could not be defeated by the weapons that had brought the Japanese to their knees in WWII.
~Akira Ifukube, composer

Source: BBC documentary

There are more fantastic statements to quote but do please watch instead at the end of the post.  Many may, like I did, already know what Godzilla represents. But there is more, especially if one is Japanese.  It is different, and most profound, to hear it in detail from Japanese atomic era survivor.

But first…a taste of “the rage Godzilla carried within”, the best rendition of Godzilla and atomic breath I’ve ever seen to date: (this is not BBC documentary)

I imagine that you find this ridiculous. Far from it. This documentary from the BBC begins with the birth of the Godzilla phenomenon as an embodiment of the collective anxiety, helplessness and rage of the Japanese people after WWII. From the times they fell prey to the American atomic program in Hiroshima, Nagasaki, and the subsequent atomic tests in the Pacific rim.

Here are Japanese adults and older people speaking with quiet gravitas about Godzilla. It is an important piece of history from a bizarre perspective and culturally quite significant.

Many may, like I did, already know what about Godzilla represents. It is different, and most profound, to hear it from the Japanese atomic era survivors.  I dislike the BBC Godzilla London intro.


Also published on Medium.

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