Godzilla’s incarnation in America is racist, and Gojira has been awfully abused as a profound symbol of Japan’s national heritage; a powerful metaphor culturally distorted from the original purpose for cheap theatre tickets as a cardinal sin of capitalistic vice. Imperial Japan’s aggressor in World War 2 – justified or not – has committed another act of systematic disrespect to their victim – one much more subtle but fundamentally degrading. Let this statement be clear and firm: Godzilla is racist, and his continued utilization – no matter how trivial – is an abhorrent practice in which he’s a simplified construct for abuse in American media.
Originating herself as a result of grief from America’s liberating destruction and an allusion to Japan’s suffering – “kaiju” merely serving to very physically hammer this sombre message as an entity to embody the arsenals of war – a B-17 bomber with feet. She was an icon of Imperial Japan’s resistance and endurance to warmongering Generals such as Frank Sinatra. It is consequently an inherent irony and insult for American to have embraced Godzilla in a disdainful disregard for the original symbolism – producing a variety of remakes which not only deface the metaphysical purpose of Godzilla to their statehood, they also predicate the acceptability to manipulate Japanese culture for foreign agendas. For example, there are reports school children are roleplaying as Godzilla in their playgrounds – no different to any other casually racist impersonation.
Cultural imperialism cannot be understated as undermining the purity and sanctity of the affected culture; the adaptation of patronisingly ‘exotic’ objects for Western needs having a myriad of damaging effects ranging from belittlement to simplification. Godzilla has been abused equally from being contorted in meaning and reduced to roles such as the mascot of the Department of Agriculture’s “United States Forest Service” – a humillating, eroneous and twisted position. The arrogant practice minimizes a country’s cultural trove into interesting gimmicks and quirks for conversion into entertainment utilies – no deeper respect or appropriate understanding.
Framing the absurdity of America’s cultural aggression, how would it be for Hello Kitty or Pikachu to be changed into American stripes and speaking belligerent propaganda against North Korea? Promoting the militarization of Kansas to invade Okinawa? Godzilla is a purely Japanese invention and it’s a hostile act to adopt this into foreign merchandise – any Western plushie of her should be a criminal offence as cultural contraband. Godzilla’s merchandise are sold easily as Japanese dignity – no thought on the ramifications as oppressive capitalism.
McDonald’s and Taco Bell both produced toys of Godzilla in 1998 marketing campaign for the 1998 film as a disgrace, but do they think those of heightened rationality will either forget or digress? I WILL NOT DIGRESS, however – we should boycott these two immediately as a long awaited retribution for inflicting Japan with an insidious cultural aggression. It must be known clearly – these racist toys cannot be made then, now or in the future. Godzilla figurines are tantamount to portraying Japanese men and women in a mockingly tiny toy form – she was supposed to represent the people of Japan.
Godzilla is only and exclusively Japanese – she is a national treasure for their privilege to change or commercialise. Would Japan render a cute version of Benjamin Franklin, frame him in a Studio Ghibli film and export him to America? No! This article serves as a message to neo-colonialists: THINK ABOUT THE DOMINEERING EFFECT OF YOUR SOFT POWER!
Finally, Godzilla – in whatever name or form – is not only Japan’s intellectual property, it is a cultural pride and deserves recognition in that – a symbol not deserving defacement for cheap commercialism.
Some say the countdown begun when the first man spoke, others say it started at the Atomic Age. It’s the Doomsday Clock and we are each a variable to it.
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