5 Amazing Facts about Godzilla

With the runaway success of the Academy Award winning film Godzilla Minus One, and the box office smash hit Godzilla vs. Kong: The New Empire, the green giant has arguably never been more popular on a global scale.

From every corner of this small planet, tiny humans everywhere know the name of the kaiju which has attacked major cities from Tokyo to New York. As you get together with friends to scream your way through a monster mash, here are some factoids for your post-flick banter to keep the excitement up even once the curtains fall.

1. A Beast by Any Other Name Would Smell as Sweet?

Think the “God” in “Godzilla” is about his status as a “demigod”? Think again. As you might have guessed, the name originated in Japanese, or should we say Japanese-English. Confused? Well, here’s the evolution: the English word “Gorilla” was imported into Japanese as “gorira,” then this was combined with “kujira,” meaning “whale” in Japanese. Together, “Gojira” summed up the size and strength of this amazing being. The transliteration of the name became today’s “Godzilla” when the first films opened in America!

2. Making It Big in America

Besides their fancy footwork, what do Michael Jackson, Marilyn Monroe and Godzilla have in common? They all have a star on Hollywood’s most famous boulevard. On Godzilla’s 50th birthday in 2004, the loved and feared kaiju was given a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame as Hollywood’s honorary mayor, Johnny Grant, declared the day Nov. 29 “Godzilla Day.” To accept the award, Actor Tsutomu Kitagawa once again wore the rubber suit used to portray Godzilla in the time before CG. The Walk of Fame award is another accolade among many others, including the MTV Movie Lifetime Achievement Award.

3. Japan Becomes More Diverse

Many may have asked, if Godzilla is so destructive, why not just have him deported? Well, that’s because on April 9th, 2015, Godzilla was declared an official Japanese Resident. Does that mean it could possibly become Prime Minister? Well, strictly speaking, no. Although an official resident of Shinjuku, like many other immigrants, he is still struggling to achieve full citizenship status. We hope he can pass the background check. Japan is known for being quite crowded already, so how do others feel about their new compatriot who might take up more space on the commuter train? Tweeted one kind soul: “Welcome to Tokyo! We forgive you for destroying our city previously.”

4. “Life-size” and Ready to Swallow You Whole!

There is a “life-size” Godzilla on Awaji Island, and you can ride a zipline straight into its fearsome maw. In the anime theme park Nijigen no Mori, Toho has created a colossal attraction of Godzilla rising out of the earth. Zipliners can choose between zooming into the monster’s open jaws, or alongside the outside of its body. With never before seen films, a museum, restaurant and café, this one-of-a-kind attraction is getting a lot of attention as successful Godzilla films are released one after another, bringing a Godzilla renaissance to a recently war-torn world.

5. The Monster, the Myth, the Meaning

If there was any doubt about Godzilla’s symbolism as a living embodiment of the horrors of nuclear war, one need only look at the skin of the beast. Famously rough and scaly, Godzilla’s skin looks burned and scarred. This is no coincidence. The patterns were directly inspired by the keloid scars of survivors of the Hiroshima and Nagasaki atomic bombings just 9 years before the first Godzilla movie in 1954. As Godzilla Minus One Director Yamazaki says, “the sentiment that “I don’t like war” … ends up landing in Japan in the form of a nightmare called a kaiju.” Godzilla is at once a metaphor of war’s destruction, and a monument to the victims of violence.


So, there you have it. Even at 70, Godzilla is still full of surprises. Today, the globe struggles with colossal crises from geopolitical conflict to natural disasters and extreme weather. As the anxiety of humanity ticks up a notch, we are all in need of a giant monster to channel our modern angst into the radioactive roar of a beast that may threaten civilization again and again, but in the end, provides unshakeable proof of our ability to overcome even the most terrible of situations. 


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Address 2425-2 Kusumoto, Awaji City, Hyogo Pref. 656-2301
TEL 0799-64-7061
Website https://nijigennomori.com/
Reservations https://ticket.nijigennomori.com/en/
Operation Hours Everyday10:00-22:00
*Each attraction has a different last reception time and closing time.

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