Exploring the Iconicity of Godzilla in Popular Culture. A Comparative Intercultural Perspective: Japan-America

  • Crînguța Irina Pelea Titu Maiorescu University
Keywords: Shin Gojira, Godzilla, a cultural icon, popular culture, Japan, USA


The present study aims to compare the representation of Godzilla or Gojira, considered one of the most representative cultural icons of Japanese cinematography. The author adopts a comparative intercultural perspective, one that integrates research into a much broader sociohistorical context, with particular attention to how the culturally enhanced linguistic component influences the symbolism incorporated by Godzilla in Japan and how it is reimagined in its Hollywood counterpart.Hence, the theoretical section brings into discussion relevant and previously unpublished Japanese-language literature on Godzilla, thus trying to balance both Western and Japanese perspectives academically. The present research applies the methodology of narrative analysis to investigate from a comparative perspective significant differences existing in the narrative portrayal of the iconic monster in “Shin Godzilla” (Japan, 2016) versus “Godzilla: King of the Monsters” (the USA, 2019). Gojira is inherently Japanese.

Keywords: Shin Gojira/ Godzilla, a cultural icon, popular culture, Japan, USA



Głownia, D. (2013). Socio-political aspects of kaijū eiga genre: a case study of the original godzilla. Silva Iaponicarum XXXVII. https://www.academia.edu/13808136/Socio-Political_Aspects_of_Kaij%C5%AB_Eiga_Genre_A_Case_Study_of_the_Original_Godzilla.

Godzilla: King of the monsters. (2019). English language script. https://www.opensubtitles.org/en/search/sublanguageid-all/idmovie-594890. Accessed 29 May 2019

Hashimoto, A. (2016). Tradition and modernity in Godzilla: The implications of changing perceptions of monsters. Journal of Kyoto Seika University, 48, 186 -187.

Honda, I. (2010). Godzilla and the movies of my life. Wanibooks [PLUS] New Book 43, (Jap-anese ed.). Alligator Plus.

JICC Press. (1992). Introduction to monster studies! (Additional Volume No.2 Takarajima Se-ries, Japanese ed.) JICC Publishing Department. Takarajima Publishing House.

.Kato, N. (2010). Goodbye to every Godzilla, drifting far away after the war (Japanese ed.). Iwanami Shoten Publishing House.

Kawamoto, S. (1983). Why is Godzilla so dark? (Japanese ed.). Shingeki Hakusuisha Publish-ing House.

[Koukoku project: why is the death of Godzilla sad? Godzilla and the myths of Japan and Shinto]. (2013). http://blog.livedoor.jp/kokoku2700/archives/46620195.html

Milenkova, V. Peicheva, D., Marinov, M. (2018). Towards defining media socialization as a basis for digital society. International Journal of Cognitive Research in Science, Engi-neering and Education (IJCRSEE), 6(2), 21-31. doi:10.5937/ijcrsee1802021M

Mikihiko, O. (2001). Meiji and noble: maresuke nogi (Japanese ed.). Tendensha Publishing House.

Ryfle, St. (2005). Godzilla’s footprint. Virginia Quarterly Review, Winter, 81(1), 44-63.

Shibuya, Sh., et al. (2010). Shinto Shrines: An Introductory course through illustrations you might seem to know yet are unexpected (Japanese ed.). Yosensha Publishing House.

Shin Godzilla (2016). English language script. https://www.opensubtitles.org/en/search/sublanguageid-all/idmovie-469798.

Tabata, M. (2005). Why does Godzilla destroy cities? (Japanese ed.). Studies in Urban Culture (5), 16-29.

Takei, Y. (2016, 23.08). Why do Japanese keep making Godzilla movies? (Japanese ed.). Dia-mond Online newspaper. https://diamond.jp/articles/-/99586

Tanaka, T. (1984). Introduction to Godzilla (Introductory Encyclopedia Series 142. (Japanese ed.). Shogakukan Publishing House.

Tanaka, F. (1991). The novel: Godzilla vs. King Ghidorah (Sonora Manovels). (Japanese ed.). Asahi Sonorama Publishing House.

Toho. (1984). Godzilla theater pamphlet (Japanese ed.).Toho Publishing House.

Tsutsui, M. W. (2017). Godzilla on my mind: fifty years of the king of monsters. St. Martin's Publishing Group.

Tsutsui, M. W. (2005). Godzilla and half a century in the United States. (Japanese Ed.). Chu-okoron-Shinsha Publishing House.

Turner, T. (1967). Betwixt-and-between: The liminal period in rites de passage. In the forest of symbols: Aspects of the ndembu ritual. Cornell University Press. https://brunel.rl.talis.com/items/FC0877AE-B134-D5B3-FD41-E1C2D991F889.html

World Photo Press. (2009). Godzilla revitalized. (Japanese ed.). Figure King, 133.

How to Cite
Irina Pelea, C. (2020). Exploring the Iconicity of Godzilla in Popular Culture. A Comparative Intercultural Perspective: Japan-America. Postmodernism Problems, 10(1), 18-40. https://doi.org/10.46324/PMP2001018