R.I.P. Godzilla’s Soul

Haruo Nakajima

Having lost so many greats in a short period of time, we unfortunately have to add another legend to the list: Haruo Nakajima, 88, who brought Godzilla to life as the guy who wore the G-suit for 12 Godzilla movies in a row (though he was in 52 movies throughout his career). The only way I could come close to that was when I once wore a Godzilla tee-shirt 12 days in a row without changing it. (Didn’t have enough bling for the washing machine.)

Godzilla

Born on January 1, 1929, Nakajima became known as the best suit actor for Toho Films, beginning in 1954. He retired from crushing it after 1972’s Godzilla vs. Gigan. Little known fact: Mr. Nakajima played the head of Mothra in 1961. Easy job — someone else had to keep yanking the string to get those wings to flap. All Nakajima had to do was nod up and down, left and right. Same thing I do when at a bar and am ordering YET ANOTHER REFRESHING ADULT BEVERAGE.

Mothra

I was fortunate enough to meet Mr. Nakajima at a comic convention some years back and got an autographed pic (same as the one seen above) of him in the Godzilla suit. I wanted to try on the suit but was denied. I don’t blame Mr. Nakajima for this as Toho were being jerks that day and not letting anybody slip on the big feet to do a little Riverdancin’ all over fleeing citizens.

Godzilla vs. Hedorah

Toho did, however, keep Mr. Nakajima employed and had him working at a bowling alley in the studio lot. Appropriate in some ways — Mr. Nakajima as Godzilla used to do to buildings what bowling balls do to the pins.

Godzilla vs. Gigan

Thank you, Haruo Nakajima — you’ve given me a lifetime of reasons to sit on the couch and study your work — and how to squash buildings/fleeing citizens with style and grace.

One Response to “R.I.P. Godzilla’s Soul”

  1. Haruo Nakajima Thank you for bringing Godzilla to life.
    And thank you for a lifetime of fond monster movie memories.

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