BBC NEWS Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific
BBCi NEWS   SPORT   WEATHER   WORLD SERVICE   A-Z INDEX     

BBC News World Edition
 You are in: Entertainment  
News Front Page
Africa
Americas
Asia-Pacific
Europe
Middle East
South Asia
UK
Business
Entertainment
Science/Nature
Technology
Health
-------------
Talking Point
-------------
Country Profiles
In Depth
-------------
Programmes
-------------
BBC Sport
BBC Weather
SERVICES
-------------
EDITIONS
Friday, 7 June, 2002, 14:09 GMT 15:09 UK
Japanese flock to 'highbrow' Godzilla
Godzilla became the star of a Hollywood film in 1998
Godzilla became the star of a Hollywood film in 1998
Mutant film monster Godzilla is drawing the crowds with a new exhibition that portrays him as a cultural phenomenon, rather than a trivial and trashy character.

Up to 1,000 people per day are flocking to see the Since Godzilla exhibition - double the number that usually go to the Japanese museum where it is being held.


This is a part of Japanese culture and history

Hiroshi Ohsugi
Curator
Godzilla started life in a 1954 film as a lizard who mutated after a hydrogen bomb test, and has since been the subject of more than 30 epics, including a Hollywood blockbuster.

"There are people who look at Godzilla and laugh," according to the exhibition's creator Hiroshi Ohsugi.

"But really this is a part of Japanese culture and history."

Since Godzilla includes green Godzilla suits used in several movies, model buildings, props, photos and film clips.

'Social issues'

It is intended to provide a window to Japanese society over the last 50 years.

"I didn't know there were so many social issues at play," said one visitor, Reiko Watabe, 27. "This is the first time I heard the whole Godzilla story."

But another said they found it "a little embarrassing".


Whether Godzilla is true art or not, I don't know

Shogo Tomiyama
Toho Co
Movie house Toho Co now puts out one new Godzilla film per year, and the releases have become a Japanese New Year tradition.

Modern artist Taro Okamoto compared the films to the country's woodblock prints, which were mass-produced and dismissed as tourist trinkets during the feudal era - but which are now priceless.

"In 100 years, maybe this, too, will be highly esteemed as art. But I just couldn't wait that long," Mr Ohsugi said.

Film producer Shogo Tomiyama said he was "extremely proud" of the character.

"But whether Godzilla is true art or not, I don't know," he said. "Everybody has a different definition of that."

The exhibition is being staged at Tokyo's Taro Okamoto Museum of Art until 28 July.

See also:

20 Feb 01 | Entertainment
17 Jul 99 | Asia-Pacific
13 Jul 98 | Entertainment
Internet links:


The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites

Links to more Entertainment stories are at the foot of the page.


E-mail this story to a friend

Links to more Entertainment stories

© BBC ^^ Back to top

News Front Page | Africa | Americas | Asia-Pacific | Europe | Middle East |
South Asia | UK | Business | Entertainment | Science/Nature |
Technology | Health | Talking Point | Country Profiles | In Depth |
Programmes