Composite Illustration by Paco Taylor (STP Design)

Monster Islands: Godzilla Movies As Teaching Tools of Human History

Nearly everything I wanted to learn about anthropology was influenced by the giant monster movies of Japan.

“Why do monsters always come from the South–specifically the South Pacific–in Toho monster films?”

King Kong vs. Godzilla, 1962 • Credit: Toho Studios
King Kong vs. Godzilla, 1962 • Credit: Toho Studios

Film School

“Just before returning home I touched down at Bougainville, here in the Solomons. And about sixty miles south from there was a small island called Fauro Island. There, gentlemen, is where I found the red berries and the strange god.”

By U.S. Central Intelligence Agency — Modified version of Solomon Islands (Political) 1989 from Perry-Castañeda Library Map Collection: Solomon Islands Maps., Public Domain, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=1731696
Great Monster Duel: Gamera vs. Barugon, 1966 • Credit: Daiei Studios

Nerds Just Wanna Have Fun

Giant Beast Gappa, 1967 • Credit: Nikkatsu Studios
Credit: Nikkatsu / American International Pictures

Island Hopping

Melanesian boys of Buka Island, 1978. Bougainville, Solomon Islands, Papua New Guinea • Credit: Wikimedia Commons

Family Tree

Hair combs from Ulawa, Solomon Islands • Source: Dictionary and Grammar of the Language of Saʻa and Ulawa, Solomon Islands By Walter George Ivens , 1918

Cultural Exchange

Children on Emirau Island, Papua New Guinea • Credit: 1st Lt. Harold A. Clemetsen, 1944

Lost World

Man-eaters

Solomon Islander. 21 years of age. Sentenced to be shot by Captain Davis (of HMS Royalist) for killing a trader and eating him.

Unnatural Selection

War Stories

1st Sergeant Rance Richardson on the Numa-Numa Trail on Bougainville in the South Pacific, April 4, 1944. Source: National Archives, 111-SC-189383-S.

Writes about Eastern and Western pop culture, history and art | Bylines @ Nextshark, G-Fan Magazine, The Beat & CBR (Comic Book Resources) | stpaco@gmail.com

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