Musings / June 3, 2019

The Yomiuri ShimbunSome might mock it as “only a monster movie for children,” but there are probably a variety of reasons why it has many fans. Recently, I watched the latest Hollywood film version of Godzilla called “Godzilla: King of the Monsters.”

Nostalgic theme songs of past Godzilla and Mothra productions are used with new arrangements. I’m genuinely pleased that the monster from Japan has become a popular character around the world.

As is often said, movies reflect the times. The first Godzilla movie premiered in Japan in 1954, the same year the Self-Defense Forces were established. The defense unit tank flattened by Godzilla in the film is said to have been modeled after one provided by the U.S. military to the SDF’s predecessor. Among the 29 Japanese film versions of Godzilla, the SDF name began being used in the 1980s.

The 2016 film “Shin Godzilla” depicted a joint operation by the SDF and U.S. forces based on the Japan-U.S. alliance. In the latest Hollywood version, the Osprey transport aircraft plays an active role. The interception of a fictitious opponent with real-life equipment and defense arrangements gives me a thrill.

With video streaming services spreading, the situation surrounding movie theaters is becoming severe. I hope they strive to differentiate themselves with distinctive features such as large screens and sound systems.

(This is a translation of the Henshu Techo column from The Yomiuri Shimbun’s June 3 issue.) Speech

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