• 地域の活性化をめざす「B-1グランプリ」

    [From January Issue 2012]

    On November 12 and 13, 2011 the annual B-1 Grand Prix was held at Himeji Castle in Himeji City, Hyogo Prefecture. The B-1 Grand Prix is a festival of B-kyuu local cuisine. “B-kyuu” or “B-grade” denotes things that are reasonably priced and “gotouchi” means “uniquely local.” In short, this festival promotes localities by showcasing inexpensive and delicious dishes that are loved by the locals.

    This was the sixth time the event had been held, but this time it had a unique twist: rather than featuring professional eateries, the exhibitors were local groups who wished to boost their local economy. Participants in the event were not only aiming to introduce popular local cuisine, but also to deepen knowledge of, and thereby excite interest in, their town at a nationwide level.

    Winning the B-1 Grand Prix is said to be an effective way to boost the local economy; along with popularizing local cuisine, that region also comes to the attention of the nation. Winners of the Grand Prix are widely featured in the media, resulting in an increase in the number of tourists to their region and a rise in the sale of related ingredients. Tie up instant meal and snack products sold in convenience stores and the like are also attracting a lot of attention.

    The first ever festival was held in Hachinohe and attracted ten exhibitors and 17,000 visitors. Exhibitors and visitors gradually increased with each event and the last Grand Prix was the most popular ever with 63 exhibitors and 515,000 visitors. The event was blessed with sunny weather and Himeji Station was bustling with people from the morning onwards. “It was the first time I saw so many people filling the main street in front of the station,” a surprised local exclaimed.

    With so many people gathered together, visitors must wait in a long line to taste their desired dish. After only a few minutes staff holding “20 minute wait” and “30 minute wait” signs start to appear, despite this visitors continue to join the queue as if that kind of a wait was not such a bad thing.

    The wait is not necessarily tedious. This is because food is not the only element of the “B-1 Grand Prix” competition. Exhibitors walk around the venue dressed as local mascots, play musical instruments, perform skits, and promote their own community as they entertain the visitors waiting in line.

    When deciding a winner, voters must take into account the hospitality and overall performance of the exhibitors, as well as the quality of the food. Various ingenious services are provided, such as staff dressed up in maid costumes sprinkling furikake (seasoning for rice made from dried food), and people who can keep a place in the queue for visitors who need to go to the toilet.

    Providing so much food along with a variety of other services to so many people makes it tough to manage finances. That is why this event uses a preordered ticket system for payment rather than cash. Unused tickets from the event can also be used in shops around the Himeji Castle area.

    The voting process is unique. Disposable chopsticks used to eat at the festival are collected inside the ballot boxes and the weight of each box determines the winner. Each person is allowed to vote with only one pair of chopsticks. But since chopsticks come in pairs, voters can also choose to place a stick in different boxes. Voters cannot choose three or more winners.

    Some lines are noticeably longer than others. These are seen at the booths of past Grand Prix winners, winners such as Fujinomiya Yakisoba (fried noodles) Society, Atsugi Shirokoro Horumone (grilled pork intestines) Explorers, Yokote Yakisoba (fried noodles) Merchant Association and Kofu Tori Motsu-ni de Minasama-no en-wo Torimotsu (stewed chicken intestines) Group. These champion groups enter the Hall of Fame and are exempted from the event ranking list. As expected, the waiting lines for these former champions are quite long, and a sign that read “240-minute wait” was seen during the event.

    This year’s Gold Grand Prix (Champion) was awarded to Hiruzen Yakisoba Lovers. The thick miso-based salty-sweet sauce flavor of this Hiruzen Yakisoba (fried noodles) captured the hearts of visitors this year. The winner received a pair of golden chopsticks at the awards ceremony. ISHIGA Mikihiro, the chairman of the group said, “I am overjoyed that our fantastic team won at this fantastic venue. This is just the beginning of our work to boost our local economy.”

    The runner up was Tsuyama Horumone Udon Study Group. They introduced their horumon udon which is a local favorite that goes perfectly with beer. Horumone (cow intestines) are abundant in vitamins and minerals. Third place was awarded to Hachinohe Senbei-jiru (rice cake soup) Research Institute. It is a unique soup with a type of rice cake called nanbu senbei added to it. It has won five awards in past competitions.

    A dish called Namie, Yakisoba Taikoku which came in fourth, also attracted attention. This group was from Namie Town, Fukushima Prefecture, where many citizens have been forced to abandon their homes because of the Fukushima Nuclear Power Plant accident caused by the Great East Japan Earthquake. YASHIMA Sadayuki who received the award said, “We lost our homes because of the earthquake and my friends are now scattered far and wide. We have come this far thanks you all of you. We will strive to recover our homes.” His words started up a chant of “Namie” from the crowd.

    After the festivities, TAWARA Shinichi of the B-1 Grand Prix organizer, Ai-B League secretariat, said, “B-1 Grand Prix is not a place to compete; it is rather a place where towns from all over Japan come together to promote their own town. The ranking is simply one of its attractions. We are getting bigger every year, and this year was the largest event yet. I am happy that we were able to finish up successfully and safely without incident. Putting safety first, we’d like to continue to develop this exciting event.”

    Even without a win, the promotional impact of simply participating in the event is enough. Another advantage is that participating in the event strengthens ties between regions. The next Grand Prix is scheduled on October 20~21, 2012 in Kitakyushu City, Fukuoka Prefecture. “Gotouchi B-kyu Gourmet” is no longer a fad, it has the potential to become an integral part of Japan’s diverse culture.

    B-1 Gran Prix
    Ai B League Association

    Text: IWABUCHI Manabi



















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  • ゲームセンターに集まる高齢者たち

    [From January Issue 2012]

    Up until about ten years ago, recreation for the Japanese elderly comprised mainly of quiet and leisurely activities such as gateball (a game that resembles croquet) and bonsai. But now, the amount of people in their 60s to 80s enjoying games in arcades – traditionally a hangout for the young – has increased.

    Some people come alone, and others come in groups of three or four. There are even senior citizens who come during the afternoon hours with their grandchildren. One of the most popular games in the arcade are the coin pusher games, and some people can get caught up in them for hours on end. The game is simple; money is exchanged for medals, which are then inserted into the machine. The medal falls onto a moving platform and, if you’re lucky, forces other medals to fall, which can then be picked up by the player.

    For 1,000 yen you can receive 100~200 medals and, depending on the machine, you are able to play with as little as one 100 yen medal. Unlike pachinko and slot games, the law states that medals used in these games cannot be redeemed for cash. “Dino King,” a game themed around dinosaurs is one of the most popular coin pusher games. When you insert a medal, the roulette wheel turns, and the numbers turn on a screen above the medals, just like in pachinko.

    KAWAKUSU Tetsuya of Yubis, Co., Ltd., a company responsible for the sale, design and manufacture of game machines, located in Higashi Osaka City, says, “Games where you hit characters with a hammer, such as whack-a-mole and whack-a-gator games, are also popular. They are simple and straightforward, and since you use your reflexes, they are also an effective form of physical therapy, and help prevent the onset of senility.”

    Recently game machines have been installed in some nursing homes. “Game machines are expensive, so we cannot afford to develop new games for seniors at this time. But in the future, we hope to alter machines by lowering their height or adjusting them so that people in wheelchairs can also play,” he adds.

    From January 2011, the largest company in the game industry, Taito Corporation (Shibuya Ward, Tokyo) placed tatami mat benches in some of the arcades they manage. These include “Hello Taito Kameari” in Katsushika Ward and “Exer” in Tama City. Both arcades are located in Tokyo and have high numbers of elderly clientele. Popular with visitors, the number of arcades to install tatami benches has now reached 18.

    “As we aim to run clean, well lit and safe facilities, this has resulted in an increase in senior visitors. It seems that everyone enjoys games. Many others also visit the arcade to make friends, or to enjoy conversing with staff,” says Taito’s PR representative.

    TANAKA Yoshiaki and Rinko who lives in Neyagawa City, Osaka often visits the arcade with his grandson, Kamui. “I try my hand at the crane games to get stuffed dolls for my grandson, or we enjoy simple games together. Unlike the old days, arcades are now very accessible for elderly people like me,” he says. According data compiled in 2010 by the Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications, the percentage of the population over 65 years of age is 23.1%, and the number is increasing year by year.

    Yubis Co., Ltd.
    Taito Corporation

    Text: MUKAI Natsuko












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  • かわいい写真をみんなで共有するスマホアプリ

    [From January Issue 2012]

    Mind Palette Co., Ltd.

    The numbers of smartphone users is rapidly increasing. Currently, it is said that there are over 200,000 apps for these smartphones, including maps and games. One such free app, “Snapeee,” used to create cute digital photos is gaining huge popularity in Asian countries, with the younger generation.

    The Snapeee app allows the user to decorate photos you’ve taken, or pictures you like, with stamps in a variety of shapes, including stars and hearts. You can also give pictures flowery frames and so forth. Its simple operation allows you to easily adjust angles and sizes to create a one-of-a-kind photo. The biggest feature of this app is that these processed photos can be shared with friends and acquaintances.

    KOBAYASHI Yuji, the president of Mind Palette Co., Ltd. located in Shinjuku Ward, Tokyo reflects back on the developmental phase of Snapeee, “Photography can directly covey emotions without the use of words. By adapting this element into an app, we thought people worldwide would be able to communicate easily with each other.”

    Snapeee recorded 500,000 downloads within the first two months after its launch. Eighty-five percent of these downloads were from overseas. The majority of those who download the app are fashion-conscious young women in their teens and 20’s from countries including Japan, Hong Kong, Taiwan, China and Singapore; there seems to be a large concentration of users living in major Asian cities.

    Customer reviews say things like, “It’s fun to be able to arrange my pictures in any cute way that I like,” “I love that people around the world can see my pictures and react or comment on them.”

    Snapeee was developed with the concept of “transmitting Japanese ‘kawaii’ culture to the world.” Kobayashi adds. “Since we receive many requests from users who want ‘more cute material,’ and others want who prefer something ‘simple and natural,’ we sometimes stop to wonder what the unique Japanese culture of ‘kawaii’ represents, and this lets us further pursue our research.”

    With the help of the Snapeee boom, Mind Palette broke into the big leagues within one year of being founded in November 2010. Mind Palette is a small firm with only a staff of ten, but when hiring, they value character over experience and education. One of the employees, ITOH Tetsuya says he identified with the company philosophy, and practically begged to be hired at the company.

    “The feeling that I am an integral part of this company in its growth period motivates me a great deal. I want to use my English skills to support the development of this company in the global market,” he says. The driving force behind this company is the energy of each and every one of these young individuals.

    Mind Palette Co., Ltd. 

    Text: MUKAI Natsuko













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  • 世界遺産と渓谷美を眺める――平泉と一関

    [From January Issue 2012]

    Located in the southwestern part of Iwate Prefecture, Hiraizumi-cho thrived as the second largest city after Heian-kyou (Kyoto) in the late Heian period (12th century). A group of five historical assets located in Hiraizumi, including Chuson-ji Temple, were designated as World Heritage sites in June 2011, making Iwate the first to have such assets in the northern part of Japan (Touhoku and Hokkaido). Each of these sites represents the image of the Joudo (Pure Land) school of Buddhist thought on earth and many people visit in order to experience the splendor of Joudo and the beauty of nature in Hiraizumi-cho.

    Joudo is a branch of Buddhism also known in Japan as Bukkoku-do (the land of Buddhism). Followers believe that one can reach the pure Buddhist land after death and rest in peace, and that one can attain enlightenment in this world as well.

    The Hiraizumi Cultural Heritage Center is a facility designed to briefly explain the cultural heritage of Hiraizumi in a way that even beginners can easily understand. In addition to exhibiting numerous archaeological finds unearthed during excavations, the facility also serves as the town’s tourist information center. With audio guides available in English, Korean and Chinese, this is a good starting point for your trip around Hiraizumi.

    Without further ado, let’s head right to Chuson-ji Temple, a World Heritage Site. Chuson-ji Temple retains a number of important national cultural assets, many of which are national treasures. Sankou-zou, the temple’s museum, could be described as a treasure house of art works from the Heian period. It contains many noteworthy things, including the “Santai no Jourokubutsu” – the three statues of the Buddha which the temple is dedicated to – and the Chuson-ji Sutra, which is written in gold on dark blue paper.

    Konjiki-dou (the Golden Hall) stands close to Sankou-zou. Built about 900 years ago, this gorgeous hall dedicated to Amida Buddha is entirely covered with thin layers of gold both inside and out. A mother-of-pearl inlay (a pattern created by cutting gleaming shells called yakou-gai) decorates the four pillars and the altar inside the hall. Ornamental metal fretwork, and makie – a traditional Japanese technique for making a pattern by sprinkling gold or mother-of-pearl inlay on a surface using lacquer as glue – all contribute to the artistic beauty of the entire hall.

    After admiring these cultural art works from the Heian period, you can drop by Motsu-ji Temple, a World Heritage Site which depicts the Pure Land in the form of a garden. It goes without saying that the highlight of a visit to this temple is its Pure Land Garden. Reflecting the changes in season and the colors of the setting sun in its mirror-like surface, Oizumi-ga Pond is incredibly beautiful. The garden has been nationally recognized as a spot of historic interest and incredible beauty.

    Motsu-ji Temple also holds festivals, including the “Haru no Fujiwara Matsuri” (Spring Fujiwara Festival), where nearly 100 participants parade from Motsu-ji Temple to Chuson-ji Temple to recreate scenes from a Heian period emaki (picture scroll). There’s also the Gokusui no Utage ceremony, where poets clad in Heian period imperial costumes write waka poetry and the Ayame Matsuri (Iris Festival), a festival that allows visitors to fully enjoy the beauty of the temple, featuring 30,000 bunches of irises blooming around Oizumi-ga Pond.

    If you go west from Motsu-ji Temple for about ten minutes by car, a dynamic Buddhist statue, which has been carved into a huge rock wall, comes into view. Takkoku no Iwaya is a nationally designated historic site and is the northernmost spot in Japan where you can find a Buddhist statue carved into a rock face. The statue is said to have been built by SAKANOUE no Tamuramaro, a Seii-Taishogun (a shogun responsible for conquering barbarian areas), to celebrate a military victory. Standing in front of the statue is Bishamon-do Hall, which is believed to have been built to enshrine more than 100 Bishamonten gods and to serve as a refuge in which people could pray for the end of the upheavals.

    Another five minutes’ drive westward from Takkoku no Iwaya will take you to Genbikei Gorge, a nationally designated site of scenic beauty and a national monument. It is a beautiful gorge of unusual and strangely-shaped rocks, that stretches for two kilometers. Delivered as if they were flying over the gorge are “kakkou dango” (dumplings), a specialty of Genbikei Gorge. For obvious reasons, these are also known as “flying dumplings.” Available in three flavors, the dumplings are delivered on wire ropes from a dumpling shop on the opposite bank.

    Crossing a bridge over Genbikei Gorge and walking for two minutes, you come to Sahara Glass Park, a glass art shop that displays and sells over 100,000 glass products from around the world. There you can buy souvenirs or take a break at the restaurant and café inside the shop. Also, at a craft workshop in the building, you can experience glass blowing or making tombo-dama (a glass ball with a hole).

    A 40-minute drive to east from Genbikei Gorge is Geibikei Gorge, where is one of Japan’s 100 scenic places. A nationally designated site of scenic beauty and a national monument, the gorge comprises of two kilometers of cliffs about 100 meters high. A popular activity there is taking a boat ride down the river while listening to the boatman’s traditional songs and tales. Here, you can gaze at the abundance of nature: the greenery covering the mountains, wisteria blossoms, golden-rayed lilies, and ayu (sweetfish) that can be glimpsed from the surface of the water.

    If you ride down the river through Geibikei Gorge when the snows come in winter, you’ll find kotatsu (a table with a heater underneath) aboard your yakatabune pleasure boat. Those who make a reservation can choose to enjoy a pot of kinagashi-nabe (a dish in which vegetables, chicken and pork are cooked in a miso-based soup), while keeping warm under the kotatsu. This dish has been long been popular in this region for its warming properties. The kotatsu boat operates from December 1 through to the end of February.

    Road Station Genbikei is the place to enjoy the gourmet food of Hiraizumi. There is a restaurant here that specializes in rice cakes, a specialty of the southern part of Iwate Prefecture, and you can enjoy such dishes as mochi-zen, a tray of rice cakes with eight different toppings including sweet bean paste, sesame, ginger and shrimp, or zaru-soba set, a set meal of cold soba noodles and rice cakes. There is also a corner at which you’ll find an arrangement of fresh fruit and vegetables direct from farms, giving you an opportunity to enjoy the area’s food culture.

    There are tour guides who speak English, Chinese, Korean and German in Hiraizumi-cho, allowing non-Japanese to freely enjoy the town’s World Heritage sites. It takes two hours and ten minutes from Tokyo Station to Ichinoseki Station on the Tohoku Shinkansen. From there, transfer to the JR Tohoku Line; it takes another eight minutes to get to Hiraizumi Station. There is a sightseeing bus called “Lun Lun” from Hiraizumi Station; a one-day pass costs 400 yen for adults.

    Hiraizumi Tourist Association
    Iwate Hiraizumi Interpreters & Guides Association
    Sahara Glass Park
    Ichinoseki Sightseeing Guide
    Geibi Sightseeing Group

    Text: KONNO Kazumi


















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  • 日本映画と私

    [From January Issue 2012]

    I first became interested in Japanese films in 1971 when I was living in Ann Arbor, Michigan, USA. I had the good luck to see KUROSAWA Akira’s “Shichinin no Samurai (Seven Samurai)” and OZU Yasujiro’s “Tokyo Monogatari (Tokyo Story),” which made me aware that Japan made extraordinary films with extraordinary directors and actors.

    MIFUNE Toshiro, SHIMURA Takashi, HARA Setsuko and RYU Chishu so perfectly embodied certain human ideals in their performances (Mifune’s boldness, Shimura’s wisdom, Hara’s selflessness, Ryu’s tolerance) that, from this limited acquaintance, I started to idealize the nation that had produced them.

    When I came to Japan in 1975 I was still a great fan of Kurosawa and Ozu, but I soon realized that Shimura’s samurai leader and Hara’s war widow, who so nobly sacrificed themselves for others, were creations of another era. The young Japanese I met had more in common with their individualistic American counterparts. Many wanted to taste the pleasures of the big city or to see something of the world beyond Japan. They were willing (or resigned) to becoming the students or salarymen or housewives that society expected, but they also wanted to live for themselves, in ways an older generation might have considered selfish.

    I studied Japanese for five years, but understanding Japanese films without subtitles, especially those set in earlier eras, was hard. I studied the script of Kurosawa’s “Kagemusha” with my teacher, looking up unfamiliar words, but when I saw it in the theater its feudal-era language placed a veil between me and the characters.

    The film that finally tore away that veil was ITAMI Juzo’s “Ososhiki” (The Funeral, 1984). This smartly observed but gentle-spirited black comedy was in a Japanese I could understand, about the sort of people I saw around me, who were humanly fallible creatures of modern society, with all its temptations and freedoms. Watching the middle-aged hero anxiously study an instructional video on proper funeral etiquette or the mourners twitch in pain from sitting too long in seiza, I not only laughed but sympathized. They were not ideals, but instead true to the Japan I had come to know.

    After that I watched not only every new Itami film, but those by other directors who were saying something interestingly real (or surreal) about contemporary Japanese life, such as MORITA Yoshimitsu (“Kazoku Ge-mu/The Family Game,” 1983), OBAYASHI Nobuhiko (“Pekin Teki Suika/Beijing Watermelon,” 1989), SOMAI Shinji (“Taifu Kurabu/Typhoon Club,” 1985), TSUKAMOTO Shinya (“Tetsuo/The Iron Man,” 1989) and TAKITA Yojiro (“Kimurake no Hitobito/The Yen Family,” 1988). Kurosawa and Ozu made me fall in love with Japanese films; Itami and his contemporaries made me think they still might be worth seeing.

    That was not a common view among writers about Japanese films in the English-language media in the 1980s. The consensus of these critics was that Japanese cinema was in sharp decline. Reactions to new films usually ranged from anger to mockery. I could understand the bad reviews for the latest idol film, but I also thought these critics were blinkered by their nostalgia for a Golden Age. In my opinion Kurosawa was a better director than Itami, but Itami’s better films had more to say about the realities – and absurdities – of the bubble era. That was worth celebrating.

    So when I was finally given a chance to review Japanese films by “The Japan Times,” my first choice was “Bakayaro! 2: Shiawase ni Naritai/Damn! 2 I Want to be Happy” (1989), a three-part comedy anthology supervised by MORITA Yoshimitsu. Though not a great film, it had something funny and true to say about present-day Japanese, especially their frustrations, loudly expressed by the characters with the title epithet.

    And by this time I better understood what they were saying and feeling, thanks to Itami and company. Classic Japanese films were my timeless inspiration, but contemporary films were – and continue to be – my education about Japan in the here-and-now.

    Text: Mark SCHILLING









    そこで、「ジャパン・タイムズ」で日本映画の批評をするチャンスをようやく手に入れたとき、最初に選んだのは「バカヤロー!2 幸せになりたい」(1989年)という、森田芳光監督の3部作のコメディーでした。大作ではありませんが、現代日本人について、真実をおもしろく表していました。特に登場人物がストレスからタイトルの言葉を大声で叫ぶシーンです。



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  • ビジネス文化は思いもかけないことがある

    [From January Issue 2012]

    Alessandro ALLEGRANZI

    Although Alessandro ALLEGRANZI, holds dual American and Italian citizenship, Japan has fascinated him ever since reading the samurai novel Musashi in junior high school. “It was great fun, and really opened my mind to a completely different culture and world,” he says.

    “I’ve had an interest in Japan since that time, but unfortunately didn’t get to study the language until college, when I attended Vanderbilt University in Nashville, Tenessee, USA. I studied the language for four years.”

    The big change for his Japanese came, however, during his semester abroad at Rikkyo University in Tokyo. “I remember for the first few weeks people kept giggling at my Japanese, and when I asked why, they said it was because I spoke like an old woman. Thankfully, after a few yakuza and samurai period movies, the problem solved itself.” He goes on, “I learned more during those four months in Japan than during the four years in the US combined.”

    He now works for a freight forwarding (shipping services) company in Tokyo. “I focus on the USA-Japan lane, and sell the company’s services, organize rates and customer support, etc.” More specifically, “On a typical day, I actually spend most of the time outside the office, making sales calls, visiting clients and prospects. I usually get back to the office around four or five, and stay there until seven or eight glued to the computer doing correspondence and clerical stuff.”

    “I am the only foreigner in the office. The vast majority of my sales calls are in Japanese.” He continues, “Business Japanese is a totally different beast. Just in terms of vocabulary I felt like I had to learn a whole new language. ‘Bonded warehouse,’ ‘customs inspection,’ etc., were all terms I had to learn from scratch. Additionally, in school I had learned keigo (formal Japanese) towards the end of my studies as a sort of afterthought.”

    The culture also presented some surprises. For example, “One of the guys who works under me in exports leaves every day at 6pm sharp.” As a result, everyone criticizes the man: “He is lazy; he doesn’t care about the job, the list goes on.” Yet, according to Allegranzi, this is the most efficient man in the office. “To me, as an American, the whole phenomenon is ridiculous. However, in Japan, in a lot of cases, how long you work equals how well you work.”

    According to Allegranzi, this is because, “In Japan, generally the company is the focus, and the individual is a cog in the machine.” But actually, he has come to appreciate one effect of this. “The sense of unity and togetherness also has its positive side. It takes a while to break in and be accepted, but once you’re part of the group, you’re in.”

    Text: Gregory FLYNN











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  • 核実験の恐ろしさと人間のおろかさを描く

    [From January Issue 2012]

    DVD cover. 97 minutes. 4,725 yen
    DVD発売中 ¥4,725(税込) 発売・販売元:東宝


    Godzilla (Directed by HONDA Ishiro)

    Produced and released in 1954, “Godzilla” is now the most well-known monster movie in the world. When it was released in the U.S.A., France, Italy and other countries, it became a huge hit. Up until now 30 Godzilla movies have been produced. In 1988 a Hollywood remake of “Godzilla” was made and another U.S. version is currently being made.

    The year the movie was released is also known as the fateful year in which U.S. forces carried out nuclear testing on Bikini Atoll; during that time the crew of a Japanese fishing boat was exposed to radiation. With this news in the public consciousness, the movie contained a strong message against H-bomb testing. One of the other notable features of the movie is the hand-made feel of the pre-CGI production techniques which utilized an actor wearing a Godzilla suit, model buildings and vehicles.

    The movie begins by showing ships sinking one after another out on the open sea in the Pacific. At first the cause of these incidents is unknown. A survivor, who manages to return home to his island, speaks of being exposed to flames from a gigantic fire-breathing monster. Except for an old man who feels that this might be the legendary sea monster Godzilla, people do not believe the survivor’s story. The old man warns that the monster sometimes comes on shore to feed on livestock and people.

    Just after this, Godzilla, standing more than 50 meters tall, arrives on the shores of the island and begins destroying homes and attacking people. The government promptly sends a team to the island to investigate. Right after biologist YAMANE Kyouhei and his staff detect radiation coming from a giant footprint, Godzilla again rises out of the sea. When the press corps, which has accompanied the team to the island, report back on these events, people are terrified to hear of the existence of Godzilla.

    Yamane speculates that this is a monster from the age of dinosaurs that has been living at the bottom of the sea and that the repeated H-bomb tests have expelled it from its lair. He insists that they should study the monster without killing it. Just then, Godzilla arrives in Tokyo. When the giant beast walks, the earth rumbles. Buildings and railroads are stomped on and crushed. Many human lives are lost. Godzilla swings his tail and continues his path of destruction. He breathes fire and reduces large areas to burnt out ruins.

    While depth charges and guns are no match for Godzilla, the final weapon they try is the “oxygen destroyer.” This was accidentally invented by SERIZAWA Daisuke, Yamane’s assistant. The weapon releases a chemical in the water which de-oxidizes the water, thus killing marine life. Serizawa, who is worried about the weapon being misused in the same way as nuclear power, burns the blueprints. To make sure he kills Godzilla, he dons a diving suit and goes underwater with the chemical weapon himself.

    Affected by the chemical, Godzilla howls and sinks to the bottom of the sea. In order to erase the blueprints from his mind, Serizawa cuts the umbilical cord and the oxygen tube of his diving suit. Though they’ve seen the last of Godzilla, people can’t rejoice. They say a silent prayer for Serizawa, who sacrificed his life. 


    DVD発売中 ¥4,725(税込) 発売・販売元:東宝


    ゴジラ(本多猪四郎 監督)








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