‘The kaiju genre has endured through most of Japan’s post-war cinematic history thanks to a level of versatility and malleability that allowed the genre to adapt itself to whatever topic or theme was asked of it. At the center of this idea is the iconic character of Godzilla, a creature inspired by those who came before it and a character who birthed the kaiju genre and has had an unavoidable influence on cinema both in Japan and around the world in the years which followed.
An understanding of the history of kaiju films can, to an extent, help us to understand Japanese post-war attitudes throughout 20th and 21st century Japan, providing a window into how the country views itself by representing Japanese attitudes on screen. However, to first understand the kaiju genre, we first need to understand the origins and impact of its most recognizable mascot.’
This is the first part of a heavily-researched 5-part series chronicling the history of the kaiju genre. You can read this article over on Otaquest, with hyperlinks at the bottom to other parts in the series.