Monday, October 4, 2010

Hibiya's Godzilla Statue

by Armand Vaquer

This coming December 5 marks the 15th anniversary of the Godzilla statue in Hibiya, Tokyo.

The statue was erected on that date concurrent with the release of the final Heisei series Godzilla movie, Godzilla vs. Destoroyah on December 9, 1995.

I've visited the statue several times during my five trips to Japan, the first being my 2001 trip for the Tokyo International Film Festival premiere of Godzilla, Mothra and King Ghidorah: Giant Monsters All-Out Attack. Of course, one must have a camera on hand (as I did) for the obligatory photos of the statue. Godzilla fans traveling to Japan consider a visit to the statue as a "must."

Left, my first visit to the Godzilla statue in Hibiya came in November 2001.

Above, the statue is visited by members of G-TOUR in August 2004.

Above, to kill some time before going to Toho International to meet with Masaharu Ina, I stopped by the statue and found a television crew conducting an interview in October 2005. The statue is in the background at left.

Using a digital camera in Japan for the first time, I took this photo (right) of the statue in April 2007. It was the photo used on the cover of The Monster Movie Fan's Guide To Japan.

Information on how to get to the Godzilla statue in Hibiya is included in The Monster Movie Fan's Guide To Japan.

Toho Co., Ltd. has erected a new statue of Godzilla at the front of the studio. Visitors can go there to view it along with a new mural of The Seven Samurai.

Above, also from my 2007 trip to Japan, Japanese office workers are taking cigarette breaks near the statue.

1 comment:

  1. Looks a little small, though...
    A very cool idea, I just wish it was more impressive, as befitting the King of the Monsters.
    Is it in front of a Toho studio, a museum, a government center? Maybe I should just read your "Guide to Japan" link ;-)



Burbank, CA – March 29, 2010 – Legendary Pictures announced today that they will develop and produce a new film based on Toho Company’s famed GODZILLA character. Through the terms of the agreement, Legendary Pictures has acquired the rights to produce a movie inspired by Toho’s Godzilla, a franchise the Japanese company created and has nurtured for over fifty years.

Toho’s GODZILLA franchise boasts one of the most widely recognized film creatures worldwide, resulting in a series of books, television programs, video games and more than 25 films worldwide. Legendary intends to approach the film and its characters in the most authentic manner possible. The company will, in the near future, announce a filmmaker to helm the film for an intended 2012 release. The film will fall under the company’s co-production and co-financing deal with Warner Bros. Toho will distribute the film in Japan."

"Godzilla" is coming back -- this time, with Legendary Pictures taking the lead, co-producing and co-financing with Warner Bros. for release in 2012.

Legendary announced Monday it had obtained rights to the iconic monster character from Japan's Toho Co., which has overseen more than 25 "Godzilla" films. Toho will release the pic in Japan.

Legendary said it's planning to announce a director shortly.

In addition to Legendary, producers on the new film will be Dan Lin, Roy Lee and Brian Rogers. Yoshimitsu Banno, Kenji Okuhira and Doug Davison will exec produce.

"Godzilla is one of the world's most powerful pop culture icons, and we at Legendary are thrilled to be able to create a modern epic based on this long-loved Toho franchise," said Thomas Tull, Chairman and CEO of Legendary. "Our plans are to produce the Godzilla that we, as fans, would want to see. We intend to do justice to those essential elements that have allowed this character to remain as pop-culturally relevant for as long as it has."

Legendary noted the film will fall under its co-production and co-financing deal with Warner Bros. Legendary's productions with Warners have included "The Dark Knight," "300" and "The Hangover."

Speculation about a new "Godzilla" has been active since last summer. The Bloody Disgusting web site reported in August that the project was in development.