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Nature, technology and sound design in Gojira (1954)

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In the last decade, studies dedicated to Japanese monster films, and the Gojira/Godzilla (Honda Ishiro, 1954) film series in particular, have expanded. Though many academics examine the Gojira films through a lens of popular culture and socio-historic context, almost no one considers the importance of sound in the movies and its contribution to the narrative. This article fills this current gap in the scholarship. An analysis of the sound design for the original Gojira (1954) reveals a more nuanced understanding both of the film and the era of its conception. The soundtrack for Gojira aurally characterizes a crucial issue in post-war Japanese culture, an issue that continues to have relevance today: the balance between nature and technology.

Keywords: Godzilla; Ifukube Akira; Japan; music; soundtrack; technology

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: University of Pennsylvania

Publication date: April 30, 2012

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  • Horror Studies intends to serve the international academic community in the humanities and specifically those scholars interested in horror. Exclusively examining horror, this journal will provide interested professionals with an opportunity to read outstanding scholarship from a variety of disciplinary perspectives, including work conceived as interdisciplinary. By expanding the conversation to include specialists concerned with diverse historical periods, varied geography, and a wide variety of expressive media, this journal will inform and stimulate anyone interested in a wider and deeper understanding of horror
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