Godzilla's Body: Reviving Memories through Collective Flesh

  • Ana Dosen Singidunum University, Belgrade


Through Merleau-Ponty’s philosophy of the body, this paper explores the one of the most recognizable characters of Japanese pop culture – Godzilla. Born in specific historical conditions of the postwar Japan, Godzilla stands as a cinematic behemoth which has been countlessly (re)generated ever since, both domestically and internationally. In Godzilla narrative, Merleau-Ponty’s statement that „I am my Body“ can be extended to „we are other’s Body“ by transcending Japanese collective entity into its monstrous embodiment. Positioning Godzilla’s body as a site of remembrance, a walking monument, the memories of nuclear attack and fallen soldiers in South Seas battle become alive. Variety of those memories in flesh is followed by abundant Godzilla filmography which can be understood by Deleuze’s argument „that each multiplicity is already composed of heterogeneous terms in symbiosis, and that a multiplicity is continually transforming itself into a string of other multiplicities“. Godzilla’s identity shifts, from terrifying invading force meant to reflect on a national trauma, morphing to benevolent protector of Japan from foreign intruders, into a global phenomenon preying the western audience.


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[1] Godzilla (Gojira), Honda Ishiro, 1954.

[2] Godzilla’s Counter Attack (Gojira no gyakushu), Oda Motoyoshi, 1955.

[3] King Kong vs. Godzilla (Kingukongu tai gojira), Honda Ishiro, 1962.

[4] Godzilla vs. Mothra (Mosura tai gojira), Honda Ishiro, 1964.

[5] The Greatest Battle on Earth (San daikaiju: chikyu saidai no kessen), Honda Ishiro, 1964.

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[7] The Great South Seas Duel (Gojira-ebira-mosura: nannkai no daiketto), Fukuda Jun, 1966.

[8] Monster Island’s Decisive Battle: Godzilla’s Son (Kaiju to no kessen: gojira no musuko), Fukuda Jun, 1967.

[9] Attack of the Marching Monsters (Kaiju so shingeki), Honda Ishiro, 1968.

[10] All Monster’s Attack (Gojira-minira-gabara: oru kaiju daishingeki), Honda Ishiro, 1969.

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[12] Earth Assault Order: Godzilla vs. Gigan (Chikyu kogeki meirei: Gojira tai gaigan), Fukuda Jun, 1972.

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[29] Godzilla: Final Wars (Gojira: Fainaru Wozu), Ryuhei Kitamura, 2004.

[30] Godzilla, Gareth Edwards, 2014.
How to Cite
DOSEN, Ana. Godzilla's Body: Reviving Memories through Collective Flesh. Култура/Culture, [S.l.], v. 5, n. 12, p. 121-127, oct. 2015. ISSN 1857-7725. Available at: <http://journals.cultcenter.net/index.php/culture/article/view/188>. Date accessed: 16 apr. 2024.
English Articles


Godzilla, body, phantom limb, memory, Japan