GOJIRA Plays the Warfield

And I thought he’d never make it out of Japan…

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Gojira (ゴジラ?) is a portmanteau of the Japanese words: gorira (ゴリラ?, “gorilla“), and kujira (鯨 (クジラ)?, “whale“), which is fitting because in one planning stage, Godzilla was described as “a cross between a gorilla and a whale”,[20] alluding to its size, power and aquatic origin. One popular story is that “Gojira” was actually the nickname of a corpulent stagehand at Toho Studio.[21] Kimi Honda, the widow of the director, dismissed this in a 1998 BBC documentary devoted to Godzilla, “The backstage boys at Toho loved to joke around with tall stories”.[22] Godzilla’s name was written in ateji as Gojira (呉爾羅?), where the kanji are used for phonetic value and not for meaning. The Japanese pronunciation of the name is [ɡodʑiɽa]; the Anglicized form is /ɡɒdˈzɪlə/, with the first syllable pronounced like the word “god”, and the rest rhyming with “gorilla”. In the Hepburn romanization system, Godzilla’s name is rendered as “Gojira”, whereas in the Kunrei romanization system it is rendered as “Gozira.”

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