S01E44 Godzilla

Ep 44a: Godzilla’s Hidden History

Godzilla is – and always has been — more than a monster movie. April 27th will be the 60th anniversary of Godzilla’s release in the U.S. Join us as we geek out about our favorite guardian monster, and explore:

  • how an 8 year old Frank fell in love with Godzilla
  • what really happened when the atomic bombs dropped
  • the aftermath of Hiroshima and Nagasaki atomic bombs — emotionally, economically, and socially.
  • how a visa issue nearly derailed the Japanese film industry
  • the connection between Godzilla and Batman
  • how Godzilla helped Japan process the effects of the war and radiation poisoning
  • what modern businesses can learn from the men who created Godzilla

Bonus! You’ll also get to hear Meredith and Frank recommend their favorite monster movies. We have opinions on this subject, folks. OPINIONS.

Be sure to check out Part B of this episode  — a minicast about the 11 Leadership Lesson from Godzilla.

Additional Links & Resources

First off, take a look at the awesome original 1954 Japanese movie poster for Godzilla:

342px-Gojira_1954_Japanese_poster

We here at Me2 Solutions love Godzilla with a passion usually reserved for our children and rich chocolate desserts (Emily is drooling). So it makes sense that we have written about Godzilla several times:

Read our original blog post, 11 Leadership Lessons from Godzilla for a brief overview of some valuable insights like this:

When Godzilla wants to play, you have to play with what you’ve got.
When it hits the fan, you don’t have the time to plan, buy supplies, build new systems, or even run for cover.  You are it.  So, what do you do?  Well, I hope you really understand what you have in people, materials and other resources because you will have to respond or be the one stomped on.
The fact is that many of the unexpected problems can be responded to or, at least, reduced the consequences of, with actions or procedures that would work for problems we were expecting.  When Godzilla appears, having a plan to evacuate your neighborhood in case of an industrial accident – say a rail car full of chlorine gas derailing – will work if you have to evacuate because of a 450 foot green lizard.  You will have an idea of what you have to do, at the least.

Here’s my favorite meme from that article. Makes me smile every time. -Emily

 

Next, check out 5 Leadership Lessons from the Men Behind Godzilla. One excerpt:

In America, Hollywood was cranking out films about radioactive monsters and making money hand-over-fist. But radioactivity was a real, overwhelming issue for the Japanese – Even though they’d never developed or tested atomic bombs themselves, they were the only people in the world who had actually experienced the horrors of nuclear war. And they were still grappling with the consequences ten years later.

That’s when Tanaka had his epiphany. What if the monster were less a reaction to the atomic bomb that a symbol of the bomb itself? What if the monster was awakened by the bomb? What if it attacked Tokyo? What would the country do then?

It worked. Godzilla spoke to the Japanese about the atomic bomb and destruction the same way the Batman reboot spoke to America about terrorism, corruption, and justice. The Japanese fell in love with Godzilla because he embodied the fears, worries, and pain of an entire nation still trying to rebuild after Nagasaki and Hiroshima. The characters and story became a symbol of the Japanese determination to work together to recover their national pride and rebuild their country.

Godzilla was such a success because Tanaka identified his customers’ pain – problems they faced on daily basis, that the entire nation struggled to talk about — and addressed it with hope and passion.

Inoshiro_Honda_and_Godzilla

The director, Ishiro Honda (on the left holding Godzilla), works with his special effects crew.

Read Hiroshima Anniversary: What Actually Happened When the Atomic Bomb Was Dropped? for background information on the devastation.

Godzilla_(1954)_Teizô_Toshimitsu

Teizô Toshimitsu sculpting an early Godzilla design.