Godzilla on My Mind: Fifty Years of the King of Monsters

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9781403964748: Godzilla on My Mind: Fifty Years of the King of Monsters
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Over fifty years ago, Godzilla (Gojira in Japanese) crawled out of his radioactive birthplace onto the silver screen to cut his first swath of destruction through Tokyo and into...well, if not into our hearts, at least our imaginations. Today Godzilla stands as a popular icon of Japan (the third most recognizable Japanese celebrity according to a New York Times poll) as well as of that destructive rage that dwells within almost all of us. In this short reflection on Godzilla, Bill Tsutsui, a life-long fan and professional historian gives us a light-hearted look at over 50 years of the big, green, radioactive lizard. He explores how the original Godzilla film was created and how it grew into a global phenomenon. Through humor and anecdotes, Godzilla on My Mind explores his lasting cultural impact in Japan and on popular culture worldwide. This book was the winner of the 2005 William Rockhill Nelson Award for Non-Fiction.

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'Godzilla On My Mind is a good read, well written, occasionally provocative and full of facts that show it to be well researched as well as a labour of love.' -Dr. Dolores Martinez, the School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS), and author of The Worlds of Japanese Popular Culture

'Bill Tsutsui blends impeccable scholarship with witty writing and an eye for fascinating detail as he follows the romping, stomping path of Godzilla across global popular culture: from Japanese film making in the 1950s, to rap lyrics in the present day; from issues of nuclear disarmament to the character of science fiction fandom; from wind-up toys to advertisements for Nike, Taco Bell, and Dr. Pepper. Inspired by his life-long affection - passion? mania? - for the monster, Tsutsui has written a stellar book; an entertaining and vivid look at Japanese pop culture, its globalization, and American encounters with Japan.' - Ted Bestor, Harvard University and author of Tsukiji: The Fish Market at the Center of the World

'William Tsutsui's Godzilla takes a fresh, original, and appealing look at one of our more intriguing pop culture icons. Although informed by careful scholarship, the book is highly accessible. It's funny, stimulating, and an overall pleasure to read. I'll never look at Godzilla the same way again!' - Susan Napier, author of Anime from Akira To Princess Mononoke: Experiencing Contemporary Japanese Animation
'Godzilla On My Mind is a good read, well written, occasionally provocative and full of facts that show it to be well researched as well as a labour of love.' - Dr. Dolores Martinez, the School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS), and author of The Worlds of Japanese Popular Culture

'Bill Tsutsui blends impeccable scholarship with witty writing and an eye for fascinating detail as he follows the romping, stomping path of Godzilla across global popular culture: from Japanese film making in the 1950s, to rap lyrics in the present day; from issues of nuclear disarmament to the character of science fiction fandom; from wind-up toys to advertisements for Nike, Taco Bell, and Dr. Pepper. Inspired by his life-long affection - passion? mania? - for the monster, Tsutsui has written a stellar book; an entertaining and vivid look at Japanese pop culture, its globalization, and American encounters with Japan.' - Ted Bestor, Harvard University and author of Tsukiji: The Fish Market at the Center of the World

'William Tsutsui's Godzilla takes a fresh, original, and appealing look at one of our more intriguing pop culture icons. Although informed by careful scholarship, the book is highly accessible. It's funny, stimulating, and an overall pleasure to read. I'll never look at Godzilla the same way again!' - Susan Napier, author of Anime from Akira To Princess Mononoke: Experiencing Contemporary Japanese Animation

'...his writing is always lively, and he never shies away from humor...Readers who share the author's nostalgia, as well as readers who are interested in how nostalgia of this type can make the star of a string of B-pictures into an Elvis-like icon, will enjoy Tsutsui's lighthearted love letter.' - David Cozy, The Japan Times

'What is the longest-running film series? James Bond perhaps? No, Godzilla. It's 50 years since the Japanese premiere of Gojira, the first Godzilla movie...Godzilla on my Mind is a very readable and amusing history of America's love affair with this radioactive saurian giant.' - The Guardian

About the Author:

WILLIAM TSUTSUI is an Associate Professor of History at the University of Kansas and holds degrees from Harvard, Oxford and Princeton. He is the author of two books on Japanese history and a life-long fan of everyone's favorite mutant lizard Godzilla.

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