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Godzilla - MoPOP Science Fiction and Fantasy Hall of Fame

Named King of Monsters, Godzilla, or, in the original Japanese, ゴジラ (Gojira), first appeared on film in 1954. As one of the kaiju (怪獣), meaning “strange creature” and used to describe a genre of entertainment featuring large-scale monsters, Godzilla provided a much-needed metaphor for Japanese audiences to process the recent horrors of Hiroshima, Nagasaka, and the nuclear fallout from American tests on Bikini Atoll.

Godzilla was the first kaiju on film and despite having numerous origin stories; from being a mutated, prehistoric monster to an ancient evil possessed by the souls of those killed in World War II and inhabiting Godzilla's corpse, most agree the monster existed in the ocean off Japan and was transformed through a violent human act.

With its trademark oversize reptilian-like visage and atomic, blue breath, Godzilla was created by Murata Takeo and Honda Ishirō, who also directed the original film for Tōhō Film and was a close associate of filmmaker Kurosawa Akira. The first actor to play the monster was Nakajima Haru, who wore a suit weighing over 200 pounds (90 kilograms) during filming. There have been 36 Godzilla films to date, three of which are American productions.



Kaiju Gojira (1954)
Kodansha's Godzilla, King of the Monsters, Hisashi Yasui and Hiroshi Kawamoto (1992-1993)
Godzilla on My Mind: Fifty Years of the King of Monsters, William Tsutsui (2004)


Godzilla (1954)
King Kong vs. Godzilla (1962)
Godzilla vs Megalon (1973)
Godzilla (1998)
Godzilla: Final Wars (2004)
Godzilla: The Planet Eater (2018)
Godzilla vs. Kong (2021)