Godzilla’s Godparents

By Ray Shortridge

Godzilla is the iconic Japanese dinosaur, having starred in several movies since Ishiro Honda brought him to life and international acclaim in the 1954 film, Godzilla.

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To no great surprise, this lovable (to the Japanese and the world-wide multitude in the Godzilla cult) monster has been further monetized beyond movie tickets, toys, and stuffed animals. In revving  up to the 2020 Olympics, Japanese entrepreneurs have written “the Godzilla experience” into destination tourist attractions, including a hotel and specialty foods. (For a sampling, navigate to this link.)

Brenda took this evening picture of the hotel with Godzilla peering over the McDonald’s golden arches at the passersby.

While wandering through the gift shop after making soba noodles for lunch, I came across dinosaur junk food products.

My initial thought was that these products were derived from the Godzilla craze. However, that wasn’t so. A Google search revealed that important real dinosaur fossils had been unearthed in the Fukui Prefecture and elsewhere in Japan. The Fukui Prefectural Dinosaur Museum in Katsuyama is a leading dinosaur museum in Asia and houses many of the Japanese fossils. The gift shop was in Fukui Prefecture and was celebrating the dinosaur discoveries that were found more or less in their back yard.

As with Godzilla, entrepreneurs have found a way to profit from the dinosaurs. In Tokyo, where else?, the Henn na (Weird) Hotel is staffed largely by robots, many of which were designed to be dinosaurs.

 

 

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