The man who dressed in a rubber suit to play the original Godzilla, crashing through Japanese cities and destroying them with swipes of his massive tail, has died at the age of 88, film company Toho said on Tuesday.
Haruo Nakajima, who donned the cumbersome suit to play the monster who rose from the depths after a hydrogen bomb test in the original 1954 “Godzilla”, died on Monday of pneumonia, a Toho spokesman said.
The first suit weighed 100 kg (220 lb) and was so hard to breathe in that an oxygen tube was attached, Nakajima reminisced in later years. He played the monster in a dozen films in total, running through to 1972.
The first “Godzilla” – his name a combination of “gorira,” the Japanese word for gorilla, and the Japanese word for whale, “kujira” – crashed ashore as a symbol of atomic weapons less than a decade after the Hiroshima and Nagasaki bombings, as well as of frustrations with the United States, which had just held a hydrogen bomb test at Bikini atoll that irradiated a boat full of Japanese fishermen (something my history lesson seemed to have missed).
The most recent film in the franchise, which has included both Japanese and U.S.-made films, came out from Toho in 2016. (Original report here)
It took the best part of 30 years to find the ending for this. So belated thanks to Jonathon Clifford and Spike Milligan – who knew anyway.
Out beyond the last horizon
Girdled by Greeks’ Ocean stream
Lies the Heartland
Shining through the darkest dreams.
Words of fire carved on mountains
Incantations on its’ winds
Bitter red run all its’ rivers
With the blood that ransomed sin.
Its’ hearths and halls through nights of Winter
Bear the weight of Heaven’s tears
Raining grief that lasts forever
Down uncounted lonely years.
Out beyond the last horizon or lost within
It’s all the same
Every night the Heartland calls me
But I shall not go there again.
In retrospect Janesh was lucky that the governments “improved literacy” programme coincided with the WWF’s efforts to enhance the relationship between the local population and the few remaining elephants living wild in the bush. In fact the savings from his salary for teaching what he described as “the indigenous illiterate population” and the stipend from the WWF, for what he called “cultural assimilation,” allowed him to buy-up the local land which he turned into a mall with extensive parking and the first in a global chain of “Jumboburger” fast-food franchises. This is the last known photograph of Janesh and one of his students sharing extracts from “The Art of the Deal” before the herd disappeared.
Looking back at the Trump Presidency it became clear that his refusal to believe in or act upon the effects of climate change directly resulted in the failure of his “Trump Wall of the Americas” to keep out large numbers of migrant workers; who simply floated over the border and became a permanent feature of the new Trump Spa centres and Trump Water Sports parks that replaced most of what had once been known as Texas.
A truly superb explanation for something we have all experienced at some point.
Amazing art and an interesting view of the world.