Godzilla on My Mind
Fifty Years of the King of Monsters
By William M. Tsutsui
(Palgrave Macmillan, Paperback, 9781403964748, 256pp.)
Publication Date: September 23, 2004
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This year, to mark the fiftieth anniversary of his first appearance on the screen, the original, uncut version of Godzilla was released in American theaters to the delight of Sci-Fi and B-Movie fans everywhere. Ever since Godzilla (or, Gojira, as he is known in Japan) crawled out of his radioactive birthplace to cut a swath of destruction through Tokyo, he has claimed a place alongside King Kong and others in the movie monster pantheon. He is the third most recognizable Japanese celebrity in the United States, and his fan base continues to grow as children today prove his enduring appeal. Now, Bill Tsutsui, a life-long fan and historian, takes a light-hearted look at the big, green, radioactive lizard, revealing how he was born and how he became a megastar. With humorous anecdotes, Godzilla on My Mind explores his lasting cultural impact on the world. This book is sure to be welcomed by pop culture enthusiasts, fans, and historians alike.
William Tsutsui is an Associate Professor of history at the University of Kansas.
Winner of the 2005 William Rockhill Nelson Award for Non-Fiction. This honor is granted by The Writers Place and The Kansas City Star, and commends the best book by a Kansas or Missouri author published in 2004. "Godzilla On My Mind is a good read, well written, occasionally provocative and full of facts that show it to be well researched as well as a labour of love." -Dr. Dolores Martinez, the School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS), and author of The Worlds of Japanese Popular Culture
"Bill Tsutsui blends impeccable scholarship with witty writing and an eye for fascinating detail as he follows the romping, stomping path of Godzilla across global popular culture: from Japanese film making in the 1950s, to rap lyrics in the present day; from issues of nuclear disarmament to the character of science fiction fandom; from wind-up toys to advertisements for Nike, Taco Bell, and Dr. Pepper. Inspired by his life-long affection -- passion? mania? -- for the monster, Tsutsui has written a stellar book; an entertaining and vivid look at Japanese pop culture, its globalization, and American encounters with Japan."
--Ted Bestor, Harvard University and author of Tsukiji: The Fish Market at the Center of the World
"William Tsutsui's Godzilla takes a fresh, original, and appealing look at one of our more intriguing pop culture icons. Although informed by careful scholarship, the book is highly accessible. It's funny, stimulating, and an overall pleasure to read. I'll never look at Godzilla the same way again!
--Susan Napier, author of Anime from Akira To Princess Mononoke: Experiencing Contemporary Japanese Animation