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Not A Real Kaiju, Ted? 
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Burning Godzilla
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Ted Turner, self-declared kaiju expert, has stated that Mothra is not a real kaiju because she appears to be an outgrowth of Japanese folklore rather than primarily a city-stompin' horror.

Discuss?

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Wed Jul 15, 2015 8:21 pm
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Hmmm. Interesting. I don't know, of course, but even the giant statue being known as Daimajin, which is clearly a mythical/fantasy creature, is called a kaiju in the references I find (Wikipedia.)

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Wed Jul 15, 2015 8:59 pm
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I guess I don't see the contradiction between Japanese folklore and kaiju movies. Look at King Seesar, a magic lawn ornament sworn to protect his owners from all threats. How is that not folkloric?

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Wed Jul 15, 2015 10:52 pm
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Cliffie wrote:
I guess I don't see the contradiction between Japanese folklore and kaiju movies. Look at King Seesar, a magic lawn ornament sworn to protect his owners from all threats. How is that not folkloric?


Yeah, it literally IS folkloric!

By his opinion and level of hair splitting, we could also discount Ghidorah as being a "true" kaiju as he's based on the legendery Orochi not only in design, but also in mythical origin in at least one continuity. Hell, he's based on a version of Orochi that Toho made a couple of movies out of!

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Thu Jul 16, 2015 3:36 am
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Evangelion wrote:
Cliffie wrote:
I guess I don't see the contradiction between Japanese folklore and kaiju movies. Look at King Seesar, a magic lawn ornament sworn to protect his owners from all threats. How is that not folkloric?


Yeah, it literally IS folkloric!

By his opinion and level of hair splitting, we could also discount Ghidorah as being a "true" kaiju as he's based on the legendery Orochi not only in design, but also in mythical origin in at least one continuity. Hell, he's based on a version of Orochi that Toho made a couple of movies out of!


And even there were no Orochi (she said, scribbling a note to watch Orochi the Eight-Headed Dragon sometime this weekend), Ghidrah would hearken back to any number of fabulous golden dragons from the collective unconscious of the Far East.

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Thu Jul 16, 2015 1:55 pm
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Maybe we need a clearer definition of kaiju. Is there anything in the definition that excludes creatures of mythology or folklore? Wikipedia doesn't seem to think so: "Kaiju are typically modeled after conventional animals, insects or mythological creatures..."

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Thu Jul 16, 2015 6:22 pm
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How old is the Japanese term "daikaiju" to begin with? Did someone coin the term/phrase to describe the types of monster movies Toho and Daiei studios were putting out in the mid-60s on?

Wikipedia, typically, was no help. But somewhere on the horizon I feel there may yet be some members who could shed some light on this.

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Thu Jul 16, 2015 6:45 pm
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Bergerjacques wrote:
How old is the Japanese term "daikaiju" to begin with?

Well, it literally means just "big monster," so I'm not sure it even makes sense to treat it as a term of art in the original context, the way fans of the movies use it over here.

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Thu Jul 16, 2015 7:57 pm
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I think "daikaiju" is just the natural thing you'd say in Japanese if you saw a big monster. Dai 大 means big, kai 怪 means strange or mysterious or wondrous, and jū 獣 means animal.

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Thu Jul 16, 2015 8:04 pm
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I have been brought to task by some in the void for my liberal use of the term "kaiju." I don't see any reason for the word to be restricted to Japanese rubber suit monsters or even Japanese monsters. To me, it's just another word for "monster," though I do immediately think of Godzilla on hearing it.

I don't recall ever hearing the term in a movie to describe a monster until Pacific Rim. I think I picked it up from the Encyclopedia of Monsters by Jeff Rovin?

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Thu Jul 23, 2015 9:22 am
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Doctor Kaiju wrote:
I have been brought to task by some in the void for my liberal use of the term "kaiju." I don't see any reason for the word to be restricted to Japanese rubber suit monsters or even Japanese monsters. To me, it's just another word for "monster," though I do immediately think of Godzilla on hearing it.

I don't recall ever hearing the term in a movie to describe a monster until Pacific Rim. I think I picked it up from the Encyclopedia of Monsters by Jeff Rovin?


I don't think so either. I was unaware of the term until I became associated with the folks at this message board. But since then, I have, without receiving backlash, referred to the works of Willis O'Brien, Ray Harryhausen and even the team with Bert I. Gordon etc, etc. as American Kaiju.

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Thu Jul 23, 2015 3:57 pm
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I noticed that even when I finally saw the subtitled version of Rodan, when the hero said (dubbed) "Help! There's a monster here!", the word "kaiju" never came up -- in fact the subtitles said something more like "Everyone come quick!" One rather wonders when the word came into everyday use as applied to giant rubber menaces.

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Thu Jul 23, 2015 11:03 pm
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I'm thinking it had to be in the 90s... for monster fans, anyway. I remember Kaiju Battel videos when the internet was still a young lass.

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Sat Jul 25, 2015 1:20 am
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