My brothers and I loved watching Godzilla fight monsters and Ultraman save the world after school. I was determined to date Racer X from Speed Racer when I got old enough. But once I started watching Battle of the Planets, I added Mark and Jason to my dating list. But they didn’t replace Racer X in my heart. I still think I’m going to marry him someday.
My child’s-eye view of Japan was people whose mouths didn’t move in sync with the words. I didn’t think about why that was, it just was. I don’t think I even knew all of these shows originated in Japan. They were just shows I loved.
Meeting a monster
While I was in Shinjuku, Godzilla appeared. And he put on quite the show.
He didn’t scare me at all. I went right up to him and let him know he shouldn’t step on tiny cars and buildings and people. Then I asked if we could take a selfie. I even recommended my dentist to him to get some work done on his grille.
I was surprised just how many Godzilla movies there are and that the first one came out in 1954. As a kid I just thought everything on television started in the 1970s.
Roaming around Ginza
As I got older Japan would introduce the thing that probably started me, along with a lot of folks, down the path of portable device dependency — the Sony Walkman. This year Sony marked the 40th anniversary by releasing a new version of the Walkman. It doesn’t play cassette tapes though, so don’t get too excited Gen X.
It was pretty cool to be walking down the street and suddenly notice a giant Walkman just sitting in a cluster of bushes. I’d like to think maybe Ultraman accidentally left it there when he was called away to fight Gomora.
I had already left Tokyo before discovering there is an Ultraman statue, too. 😩 This gives me reason to go back to Japan. Well, that and I never got to see the famous glorious peak of the supposedly shy Fujisan (Mt. Fuji). I did get a brief glimpse of Ultraman in a tiny store in Kyoto.
Although it’s campy and corny, it was fun to reminisce about growing up with Godzilla during my stay in Tokyo.