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Wednesday, June 17, 2015

Godzilla Not A Gaijin Anymore

I'm at a packaging trade show this week, playing the ambassador for my work magazine - all lots of fun and games until someone gets hurt staring at some of the booth babes and then accidentally walking into a stretchwrapping machine and ending up needing bale or rather an unbaler. Hey, now!

In Japan, I also played the role of ambassador while a member of the JET (Japan Exchange & Teaching) Programme as an assistant English teacher in Ohtawara-shi, Tochigi-ken for three years. I never needed bail.

While I did get to hobnob with the Canadian ambassador to Japan once - receiving a very nice watch from his staff courtesy of him while at the embassy celebrating Canada Day (each hour had one of the 10 provincial flags and the then-two Canadian territory flags) - still not sure why I got one, and no one else did... probably thought I was someone important... the whole JET experience does involve each participant acting as an honorary ambassador of their respective country.

Basically... that means we pump up our country without being embarrassing the way the Americans are (who wrote that?!), and don't do anything stupid that could embarrass the whole JET Programme or the country...

At least that was what I figured I should be like... and heck... even if I wasn't... I never got caught otherwise, with my pants down.

Now... seeing as how I never destroyed my reputation or Canada's participation in JET, or destroyed my hometown of Ohtawara-shi with my zany antics, I guess I did okay as an ambassador.

Which brings me to Gojira aka Godzilla, who was recently named an ambassador to Tokyo... and has been awarded official citizenship of the Shinjuku ward.

Apparently this is not the REAL Gojira at the official Shinjuku residency ceremony - unless these humans are extremely tall. There's always one guy who blinks when it's time to take a photograph, Waytago, Blinky!
Are you freaking kidding me?

Look... I love watching Gojira movies, reading the comic books and watching the anime... but he's hardly an upstanding citizen.. in fact, Godzilla has probably stood on a few upstanding citizens over the length of his rather infamous career?

I mean come one!! Godzilla has created more havoc in Tokyo than all the American ships coming in on leave in Japan - and I'm including those infamous Black Ships of Commodore Perry back in the mid 19th century!

But never one to miss a chance to gain some publicity, Tokyo, specifically Shinjuku, named Godzilla as an official tourism ambassador for the district, following an official ceremony - he even got a certificate of authenticity denoting said residency!

Apparently it's because he's brought in a lot of tourists and visitors to Japan - yes... to clean up his radioactive path of destruction after every movie!

How many times did he destroy Tokyo?

Well, according to the residency record, it actually states that:

Name: Godzilla
Address: Shinjuku-ku, Kabuki-cho, 1-19-1
Date of birth: November 3, 1954 - the date of the first Gojira movie. He's a Scorpio like me - which is why we are both lady killers - only for different reasons.
Date of Shinjuku residency: April 9, 2015
Reason for special residency: Promoting the entertainment of and watching over the Kabuki-cho neighborhood and drawing visitors from around the globe in the form of the Godzilla head built atop the Shinjuku TOHO Building.
Previous visits to Shinjuku Ward: 3 times; Godzilla (1984), Godzilla vs. King Ghidorah (1991), Godzilla 2000 Millennium (1999)

Seriously... Godzilla only attacked Tokyo three times? That doesn't sound correct...maybe add a zero after the number - 30? I bet I'm more correct than Shinjuku!! Hell... he attacked Tokyo in the first Gojira movie in 1954! They don't mention that! And he was a real monster in that movie!

Okay... maybe he only attacked the Shinjuku ward three times...

The ceremony also unveiled a 12-metre high Godzilla head on a nearby building (see image at the very top of this blog).

Should YOU wish to get a copy or two (send one to me, please) of Godzilla's residency certificate, all you have to do is go to the local ward administrative offices and ask for one.

Godzilla... perhaps he's coming to a neighborhood near you... but for now, you can go and visit him in Shinjuku.

Andrew Joseph

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