The giant monster, that starred first in 1954’s movie ‘Godzilla’ became an instant pop culture icon, starring in 28 other movies and appearing in numerous other media, such as video games, books, comic books, tv series, and even two Hollywood movies, one in 1998 and the second in 2014 has been granted official residence of Japan.
Did you know, that originally this Kaijū (怪獣, ‘monster’) is meant to be a metaphor for nuclear weapons, especially after the nuclear bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki in WW2? Even though Godzilla (ゴジラ Gojira) has been playing in some stories a hero, it was usually the destructive monster and danger to humanity.
Being ‘a cross between a gorilla and a whale’, the name can be separated into the Japanese words ゴリラ (gorira, ‘gorilla’) and クジラ (kujira, ‘whale’) and stands for the powerful huge water monster it is.
Despite being a rather grim character, it did not lessen the popularity. In a move to promote Japans capital, Godzilla has been appointed tourism ambassador for Tokyo on April 15th, 2015. On top of that, a huge Godzilla head has been placed on the Toho building ‘Hotel Gracery Shinjuku’, to celebrate Godzilla becoming an official resident of Japan by the Tokyo ward of Shinjuku.
A special certificate has been issued for Godzilla.
The certificate reads:
Address: Shinjuku-ku, Kabuki-cho, 1-19-1
Date of birth: April 9, 1954 [the year of the release of the very first Godzilla film]
Date of becoming a Shinjuku resident: April 9, 2015
Reasons for special residency: Promoting the entertainment and watching over the Kabuki-cho neighborhood and drawing visitors from around the globe in the form of the Godzilla head built atop the Shinjuku TOHO Building.
Previous visits to Shinjuku Ward: 3 times; Godzilla (1984), Godzilla vs. King Ghidorah (1991), Godzilla 2000 Millennium (1999)
Being not only the new landmark in Shinjuku’s Kabukicho area, Shinjuku Toho Building is now a new building which houses the Hotel Gracery Shinjuku, but also Tokyo’s largest cinema complex. The large head of Godzilla on its 8th floor’s roof roars and blows smoke at special times of the day.