Japan Celebrates Godzilla Day
posted on by Eric Stimson
The influential monster movie Godzilla premiered on November 3, 1954. In a nod to its predecessor, this year's entry in the franchise, Shin Godzilla, used November 3 as the date when the monster first emerges out of Tokyo Bay. Accordingly, November 3 was celebrated as "Godzilla Day" in Japan this year.
To mark the occasion, Toho Cinemas Shinjuku screened both the original Godzilla and Shin Godzilla to a sold-out audience. The Shinjuku Wald 9 theater screened Shin Godzilla with subtitles to allow the audience to make noise to its hearts' content; cosplay and glowsticks were also permitted. An online store opened, selling Godzilla goods ranging from wooden sake cups to wallets.
This Godzilla bottle cap is offered as a reward for spending over 5,000 yen ($48.50).
A Shin Godzilla store also opened in the Shinjuku Marui Annex department store called the "Giant Unknown Creature Special Disaster Relief - Shinjuku Branch."
On Twitter, the @shingoji_real account has attracted 73,000 followers for "live"-tweeting the events of Shin Godzilla beginning with the monster's first attack at 8:30 AM on November 3. Its posts have garnered thousands of retweets each for updating the public on the fictional situation ("The Tokyo Aqua Line and Aqua Tunnel have collapsed near the 2.5 km post," "Giant tail in Tokyo Bay off of Ukishima," "A giant unknown creature has come onto land near Kamata Station," etc.). Comic Market's official Twitter account also got in on the joke, tweeting: "Although some public transportation services have been suspended and the skies are buzzing with helicopters and military planes... today's Comiket Special East 7 at Tokyo Big Sight [a convention center] is open as planned. #ShinGodzillaLive" The account later admitted that there was no such event going on.
The northern farming village of Inakadate celebrated Shin Godzilla with rice paddy art. Since the film's director, Hideaki Anno, also directed Neon Genesis Evangelion, Godzilla × Unit-01 crossovers were also common.