Godzilla is the monstrous dinosaur awakened from his deep slumber in the depths of the sea and started raising havoc in Tokyo, Japan. Godzilla is a movie set during 1954 with a baggage of controversies, issues, appreciations and critics. Godzilla is more than just the rubber monster destroying toy trains and buildings. He is more than the flames he breathes to the human population in the film He is more than just mutated dinosaur. Godzilla is a symbol of fear for something bigger. He is a shadow of the nuclear weapons.
Godzilla is a film that mirrors the historical event of Japan at the advent of its popularity. He is a product of a vibrant political period in post war Japan exposed in the most artistic way. Japan’s history and the film Godzilla strikes stark parallelism done in a subtle and creative way. Godzilla is some way the voice of fear that Japan can’t give utterance publicly (McCarthy).
The movie is set with the historical background of Japan. Last March 1954, a nuclear bomb was being tested in one of the atolls in South Pacific Sea while an unnoticed Japanese fishing vessel is in the vicinity. This bomb was believed to be 1,000 times more powerful than that of the Hiroshima bombing (BBC). This bombing had killed the people in the vessel from radiation burns while some survived traumatized with what they had witnessed. This patch of history is the introductory scene in the film Godzilla. A blast from the history marks a deep significance of Japan being moved by such scientific exploration by the US. The film served as Japan’s expression of their feelings against what happened to them. They didn’t literally bang the doors of Uncle Sam for the deafening and disturbing acts they did. Instead, they let the roars of Godzilla be heard all over the world. Their side of their story was heard out loud.
There is so much relevance of Godzilla and the nuclear weapon. Godzilla, coming from Godzillasaurus, is originally a dinosaur from the Lagos Island. He is a product of radioactive mutation caused by human exploration of the nuclear weapons. Accordingly, a nuclear submarine crashed in the sea of Bering. The radioactive materials of the submarine then caused the barely living dinosaur in the cold ocean depths to be activated. He has mutated into a monster with immense proportions, power and strength. Along time, Godzilla travelled underwater finally reaching the Pacific Ocean near Tokyo, Japan. And when he surfaced to the land, he brought havoc that humanity can’t contain (“Godzilla”).
Godzilla is a beast awakened by the deafening blast of the nuclear weapon. He was disturbed by recent explorations of hydrogen bombs done in the Pacific (“Godzilla(1954)”). He was not only awakened by the bomb, “He would be twisted and mutated by it, into a rampaging uncontainable force; the A-bomb made flesh” (Roberto).
Godzilla, in its original Japanese version, is stark and uncompromising though with low budget. It is set with a serious tone whooping rather solemnly and soberly. It is a complete metaphor of a nuclear bomb. A monster made out of radioactive nightmare (Lambie). He is the visual representation of the horrific effect of a nuclear weapon. “Godzilla can vaporize an entire building” (Roberto). His appearance is very much likened to a nuclear weapon detonated. When a nuclear bomb is detonated, it instantly releases extraordinary amount of energy initially characterized with a very intense light. Light is then absorbed by the air, thereby superheating the air creating a large ball of fire (Eden). It then produces a mushroom of cloud, as the rest of the effects then follows. In the same manner, Godzilla enters dangerously like a nuclear weapon detonated. He breaths his “nuclear breath” as he surfaced from the ocean (Roberto). He stormed into the land with strong electro-magnetic force due to his enormous bulk swaying into the city disrupting the serenity of the atmosphere (“Godzilla (Heisei)”). His roar is deafening, his heat is unearthly (Roberto), and his feet are terribly huge (Sterngold) thundering throughout the city sounding like the American bombs explosion (Roberto).
Japan was indeed deeply scarred by the World War II. They suffered terribly right after the series of atomic bombings in Hiroshima and Nagasaki. They have still a long process for healing, and yet, the Bikini Atoll nuclear bomb exploration further kindled their angst (Sterngold). They wanted to voice out and lashed their anger but they don’t have the voice yet to speak. Japan was totally devastated politically, physically, and financially (Roberto). They were homeless and depressed after the bombing, thus, their voices can’t reverberate justice. Their tongue-tied deep emotions were all effected by Godzilla. What Godzilla represents is a deep mark from the soul of Japan.
Godzilla is the United States bomb. It devastated Tokyo. It reduced the city into a radioactive cinder turned into dust in one night (Roberto). Japan is threatened by the appearance of Godzilla in the same way as the bombings evoked fear upon the Japanese civilization. The way Godzilla entered the scene in the film is directly in parallel with how the nuclear bomb had shattered Japan.
In the film, Tokyo’s military system responded by taking their numerous military ships into action. Again, the merchant ships that disappeared are mirrors of the events that took place in the Second World war events. “Many such merchant vessels were literally wiped from the face of the sea by American submarines” (Roberto). It is also amazing to note that many of the films about Godzilla that followed, Japan had instituted America as the menace. In the movie, the American troops that are in Japan offered no assistance to ward of the giant monster Godzilla and protect the nation from external threats (Sterngold). This expresses Japan’s feelings against the source of the bombings, which is the United States.
Japan expresses their hostility towards United States very subtly, but still comprehensible for the global viewers. The trauma held by Japan upon their bosom was directly pinpointed to the United States being the source of the bombings, two of which intentionally dropped in them, while the last one as victims of circumstances.
The first Godzilla movie appeared right after the Bikini Atoll incident. This was when Japan was still having a great turmoil. The movie represents Japan’s fear and trauma towards nuclear weapons. The various incidents in their history haunted them alive as they were savoring the after effects of radiation caused by the bombing. Godzilla was birthed as an emotional outlet for the Bikini Atoll nuclear weapon experimentation. Survivors from the nuclear exploration suffered health related effects. Many of them died of radiation burns (“Japan”) while some survived physically but forever psychologically scarred due to the trauma of what they witnessed with the explosion.
Godzilla, being a product of nuclear radioactivity mutation, awakened from its deep slumber with another nuclear explosion thereby absorbing most of its radioactivity, is prominently nuclear in nature. That is, he stood by his existence as a nuclear radioactivity by-product revealing radioactive effects. His presence in Tokyo Japan did not just make him a giant to be feared, but also, a true monster having some electromagnetic effects to the atmosphere. The havoc that he carried was intense such that human population can’t make him be somber. He is an epitome of a nuclear mutated organism.
The response of the people in the movie mirrors the exact feelings of the Japanese people. The terror in their eyes was so real. They pictured the people in such a way that their capacity to fight against the monster is all in vain. This is paralleled with the hopelessness of the Japanese people during the various bomb explosions. Their military forces were not enough to stand by their guard to protect them from the massive destruction of the bombs.
Japan declared war with Godzilla. They built up their military forces doing all they can to destroy the giant monster. In the movie, there is a certain scientist who found a way to capture Godzilla. Dr. Yamane is torn between his desire to kill Godzilla before Tokyo can be wiped out from the world, and his interest to know the ability of the monster to survive radiation. This internal conflict by the Japanese scientist is in some way a reflection of the hearts of the Japanese people (Roberto). Japan was not totally innocent during the World War II. In fact, Japan has inflicted greater havoc to the nations that they attempted to conquer. At that time, their military system was so strong that they rule out most of the Asian countries. Japan has a strong militaristic form of government. However, not all Japanese agree with the terms of their governance.
Japan was silenced by the United States through the series of bombings at Nagasaki and Hiroshima. They learned the hardest way. They were crumbled into defeat. They lost the battle. The allies of the US made them raise their white flag, as they succumbed to the peace treatise for the sake of world peace. They have withdrawn their military forces from various countries that they conquered.
The bombs had indeed silenced Japan. However, it also scarred them deeply. The remnants of the bombings in Japan were so grave. Millions of people died instantly at the bombs. Survivors are incomprehensibly helpless. They were not prepared for the intense effects of the bombs. Further, the other nuclear bombing along their neighboring territory added to the pent-up fear they had against the bombs. The nuclear weapons set by the United States to Japan had made them close their doors towards other nations and maintained their hostility for quite some time.
The pent up emotions of Japan towards the bombings of US made Godzilla roar loudly. His roar is intended to be heard not just by the Japanese people but also by the other side of the world. Its roar is strikingly deafening. It shouts incomprehensible words that come from its soul. Godzilla pierces the pain felt by Japan. It resounds to the rest of the world the wrongs done upon them. Godzilla, in all its form, its history and creation, is no doubt a nuclear weapon transformed into a monster. It moved through the Japanese grounds bringing recollection of the sounds of the bombs dropped upon their place. Godzilla is a footprint of Japan’s mourning stage as they struggled after the nuke wars. He reminds the color of fear felt by Japan at that time.
The years have passed by, and history has changed. However, Godzilla still exists. He reigns not just in Japan but also in foreign lands as he is adapted into global scenic view. Today, Godzilla is just a monster. A reptile lost in his time, displaced through natural Earth movement. Many of the people don’t know what Godzilla originally represents. Godzilla, is a monster with a dark past. His shadow lurks upon him all the way. Godzilla, is after all, a true metaphor of nuclear weapon.
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