Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Godzilla goes up against Japanese whaling ships

by Chris MaGee

When director Ishiro Honda and screenwiter Takeo Murata were working on the script of their defining 1954 film "Godzilla" they based the beginning of the film on the true-life story of the Japanese fishing ship, the Daigo Fukuryu Maru that was accidentally bombarded with fallout from a U.S. nuclear test on Bikini Atoll in the Pacific in the spring of that same year. Now, over five decades later Godzilla is facing off against Japanese fishing boats, or more specifically Japanese whaling ships.

The Sea Shepherd Conservation Society has deployed a new ship in their fight against whaling - the above pictured "interceptor vessel" dubbed Gojira after Honda's classic kaiju film. The ship was built in Fremantle Western Australia and will shortly go into service confronting Japanese vessels conducting what they assert is "scientific research" on various whale species.

We first heard about the Sea Shepherd's Gojira via the blog of Prof. Aaron Gerow and he makes a very interesting point that instead of using an image of the original Japanese Gojira the folks at Sea Shepherd have chosen to use an image of the Godzilla featured in the 1998 U.S. remake. I guess that even the Sea Shepherd Conservation Society was smart enough to know that they shouldn't (or couldn't) use one of Japan's most beloved icons against Japanese vessels. Still, it's a reminder that we don't need of that terrible remake.

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