Haruo Nakajima – RIP

Now I know what you are thinking but trust me if you have ever seen one of the original Godzilla moves then you have seen this actor. He was the man in the Godzilla costume. This weighed nearly 100kgs and was made in part from ready mixed concrete. He died on Monday (7th August) from pneumonia at the age of 88.

In all he appeared in 12 of the films from 1954 when he appeared in the first Godzilla film titled “Godzilla”. His last appearance was in 1972 when he appeared in Godzilla Vs Gigan. He did not only play the title monster. He also appeared as Rodan, Mothra and King Kong. all of which Godzilla famously fought.

Haruo Nakajima, in an interview earlier this year, explained how he studied animals in the Tokyo zoo to prepare for the role. He originally started off as a stunt actor in samurai and war films having an appearance in “Seven Samurai” by Akira Kurosawa. This is credited as the influence for the American film “The Magnificent Seven”.

Godzilla has since become a classic monster appearing dozens of Japanese and Hollywood films featuring the character. The latest instalment is called Shin Godzilla. It was released in 2016 by the original Toho Movie studio.

This style of film is often referred to as Kaijū (怪獣 kaijū) which comes from the Japanese for “strange beast”. It features giant monsters that usually attack major cities while engaging the military and other monsters in battle. The modern version now makes extensive use of CGI for the monster rather then a guy in a rubber suite stomping around on a model landscape.