Daimajin

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Daimajin
Daimajin in The Great Yokai War: Guardians
Daimajin in Wrath of Daimajin
Daimajin in Daimajin Kanon
Name information
null
Alternate names Arakatsuma, Majin, Giant Majin,
Bujin-samaDK, TGYWG manga,
OmahitoDK,[1] BushinTGYWG[2]
Subtitle(s) Showa: Transforming God of War
(変身武神,   Henshin Bujin)[3]
The Hideous IdolDMJ[4]
The Monster of TerrorDMJ[5]
Reiwa: The Warrior God[6]
Physical information
null
Species Showa: Spirit-possessed statue
Heisei: Ancient warrior Onbake[1]
Height Showa: 4.5 meters[7][note 1]
Heisei: 20 meters[1][10]
Reiwa: 9.8 meters[7]
Weight Showa: Unknown[note 2]
Forms Dormant statue form,
active form, spirit form
Affiliation information
null
Allies Hanabusa, Chigusa, Nagoshi,
hawk messenger; OnbakeDK;
Suiryu, Kei & Dai Watanabe, yokaiTGYWG
Enemies Humanity, IpadadaDK, YokaijuTGYWG
Real world information
null
Designed by Showa: Shozo Okamoto[11]
Reiwa: Katsuya Terada
Modeled by ShowaRyosaku TakayamaDMJ;[11][12]
Keizo Murase,[13] Yukio FujisakiRoD[14]
Played by ShowaChikara Hashimoto
Heisei: Makoto Ito,[1]
Tsunehiko Kamijo (voice)[1]
First appearance Latest appearance
Daimajin The Great Yokai
War: Guardians

Daimajin (大魔神,   Daimajin, lit. Giant Demon God) is a fictional giant warrior god that first appeared in the 1966 Daiei film Daimajin and its two sequels. In later material, he is sometimes referred to as Bujin-sama (ブジンサマ).

The exact nature of Daimajin is unknown, but it is worshiped as a god and protector by the Hanabusa, Chigusa, and Nagoshi peoples, in addition to an unnamed people in Wrath of Daimajin. It is unclear if the films share continuity, as the four groups worship at three separate warrior statues that awaken in their times of need. Given that Daimajin is a spirit inhabiting the statue, it could be surmised that the same god is worshipped by multiple groups at around the same time through three different stone effigies.

Name

Daimajin's name (大魔神) literally means "giant devil" or "giant demon god" in Japanese. It may also be written as 大ま神, pronounced the same.[15] He is seldom referred to as "Daimajin" in the films themselves, having only been referred to by this name once by a priestess named Shinobu, and it is possible that few people know it. The natives of the Hanabusa kingdom in the first film referred to him primarily as Arakatsuma (阿羅羯磨), but he is otherwise generically called "God," "Demon," or "Devil." Daimajin is also sometimes referred to in English as Majin or Giant Majin, with his films released in America under various titles using these names. In the television series Daimajin Kanon and the manga adaptation of The Great Yokai War: Guardians, he is instead called Bujin-sama (ブジンサマ). He identifies himself in the former as Omahito ( (おお) () (ひと),   Ōmahito), an alternate reading of "Daimajin."[1] In promotional material for Daimajin Kanon, a small Godziban-like puppet named Bujin-kun (ブジンくん) was used to introduce people to the show's setting.

Development

Daimajin's roots trace back to Gamera vs. the Space Icemen,[16] an unrealized sequel to the original Gamera the Giant Monster in which Gamera fought against a giant sentient ice statue unleashed by space aliens.

Chikara Hashimoto sits on the shoulder of one of the full-scale models used in Daimajin

Daimajin art director Akira Naito recruited sculptor Shozo Okamoto to design Daimajin.[11] Okamoto based his design on Nio statues, mixing in various other idols and statues from around the world.[11] Naito was the one to suggest that Daimajin's face be green, while director Kimiyoshi Yasuda requested he be given a "Kirk Douglas-like" cleft in his chin.[11] The film's modelmaking was led by Ryosaku Takayama over a period of three months.[17] In total, he and his staff created two full-scale models which measured 4.5 meters in height, two costumes, and hand and foot props for close-up shots.[17] However, because the movement of the full-scale props was not deemed satisfactory, the suits were used for the majority of filming.[17] Daimajin was played by former baseball player Chikara Hashimoto, whose real eyes were left visible through the mask to better express emotion.[17] Hashimoto never blinked during takes and catchlights were shined in his eyes, becoming bloodshot.[17] To achieve the effect of Daimajin turning into dirt and crumbling in his final scene, a model was cast in real soil.[17] The film also made significant use of compositing, for which Daiei purchased a 50.6 square meter bluescreen and lighting setup from the United States.[17]

For Return of Daimajin, a new suit was created by Ex Productions with reference to Takayama's originals.[12] Keizo Murase and Yoshito Komatsu of ExPro traveled to Daiei Kyoto,[13] where a corner of the movie's town set was reserved for them as a makeshift modeling studio.[12] Because Takayama's suits were deemed too bulky, the new one was made intentionally thinner and lighter.[18] Yukio Fujisaki, also of ExPro, created the costume's torso armor, which was composed of individual sheets attached together one at a time to allow for more natural movement.[14]

The Return of Daimajin suit was reused for Wrath of Daimajin.[citation needed] The film's final special effects sequence, in which Daimajin crumbles into snow, was a suggestion of Murase's.[13]

Daiei Film approached filmmaker Ishiro Honda about directing a remake of the 1966 film in 1984. While Honda was reportedly interested, the project never came to fruition.[19] Daiei tried again in 1998, with actor Steven Seagal set to star.[20] Coincidentally, Seagal is the father of Ayako Fujitani, who played Asagi Kusanagi in the Heisei Gamera trilogy that was underway at the time. Takashi Miike was selected to direct a Daimajin reboot in 2006, which Kadokawa scheduled for release in 2008.[21] While they cancelled it after assessing the box office failure of Gamera the Brave,[22] Daimajin ultimately appeared in Miike's 2021 film The Great Yokai War: Guardians.

Design

Daimajin is a huge stone statue that comes to life. He has an angry scowl on his face, green skin, red eyeballs with yellow irises, and wears samurai armor. He also carries a massive dagger, which hangs around his waist in a sheath. When Daimajin is not active, he resembles a massive statue which is either embedded in a rock face or the ground, and has a smoother face which is either stone-colored or bright red. In Daimajin Kanon, Daimajin's inactive form looked more like a rock formation than a statue. His active form was far more muscular, and he had no upper body armor. His face was also drastically different. His overall expression was more neutral, and his eyes had no irises or pupils, instead being a solid red color. His mouth was also covered by ornate carvings fashioned into a 'scarf'. In The Great Yokai War: Guardians, Daimajin's design has the large frame of the Heisei incarnation, but with a look closer to the Showa incarnation with even bulkier plated armor across most of his body. His face is again exposed when in his active state, bearing a scowling expression. Fiery energy is visible from inside his body from openings across his stony form; creating burning lines in the cracks across his armor, the contours of his face, as well as within his eyes. A plume of fire remains constantly ignited on the top of his helmet when active. This version also sports large large shoulder armor which extend upwards to form a collar around his neck. The large dagger is again worn on a belt, with the blade extended in length dramatically when in battle to become several times longer than Daimaijin is tall.

Origins

A kind warrior named Shino fought Daimajin some years ago and won. He trapped the spirit of Daimajin inside a stone statue. From that day forward, Daimajin could be summoned by people who needed his help, but only by waking the spirit from its slumber within the statue.

In Daimajin Kanon, Bujin was the first member of a benevolent race of yokai called Onbake, which are reborn forms of objects loved by humans. Bujin protected humanity from dark spirits called Ipadada, but on one occasion in the Edo period, he was defeated, and fell into a great depression that turned him into a statue.

History

Showa era

Daimajin

Return of Daimajin

Daimajin in Return of Daimajin

In Return of Daimajin, the statue rests on an island in Lake Yakimono between Chigusa and Nagoshi, and had a legend surrounding it indicating that if the idol's face turned red, it was an indicator that the feudal kingdom would fall. On the night his face turned red, Lord Danjo Mikoshiba invaded the Chigusa kingdom before advancing on Nagoshi. As an example, he blows up the idol to prove that there was no god protecting his victims, and Lady Sayuri Nagoshi is set to be burned at the stake as the price for the people's resistance.

However, before she dies, she prays to the god, offering her life in exchange for his protection and restoration of the Chigusa and Nagoshi peoples. As tears fall down her face, winds pick up and blow out the fires, and the full body of the god's image rises from the bay of his island. He causes landslides, and sinks the island before parting the waters of the lake and beginning his walk to the shore. When he arrives, the Mikoshiba enter a panic. The god breaks Sayuri's stake off, and gently lays her on the ground before advancing on the castle in pursuit of Lord Mikoshiba. Despite their attempts to barricade him out, the god continues without breaking pace. They then attempt to slow him down with enormous grappling hooks, which do not hinder the god. They then attempt to blow him up and bury him beneath fallen stones from a wall, but once more, the god continues his advance, and hurls a boulder at Mikoshiba's lieutenant, crushing him beneath it. Mikoshiba then attempts to flee into the lake by boat, and nearly outruns the god, who forces the boat to spin around and face him before launching a ball of fire across the water, igniting his boat. Lord Mikoshiba climbs up the mast in an attempt to escape the fire, but becomes entangled in the rigging, leaving him in an almost identical situation to Sayuri's on her cross-shaped pyre. As the burning ship falls into the sea, the storm the god had brought on cleared up. Sayuri then runs into the lake and says a prayer of thanks as the god turns to face her. Her tears of gratitude hit the lake's surface, and the god turns back into stone before its body turns into water and it falls into the lake. The island's sunken bell then rang out from the bottom of the lake as a sign that the kingdoms would forever have peace.

Wrath of Daimajin

In the third and final film, the same statue from the first two movies is on top of a mountain rather than on the side. The fathers of some of the local children have been captured by an evil warlord and forced to work in their labor camps. When the four sons decide to go out and save their fathers, they have to cross Majin Mountain, where the stone god lays sleeping, a notoriously dangerous area full of treacherous terrain, evil samurai, and the angry Daimajin. The four boys are smart enough to pay their respects to the statue when they pass it so that they do not incur the monster's wrath.

Eventually, the warlord's men anger the statue, who once again comes to life and destroys all those who have not been paying respect to him. The children and their fathers are spared while the work camp is destroyed.

This film is different, politically, from the first two in that Daimajin is awakened by the pleas of a poor, rural boy rather than by someone of rank, and fights to rescue and avenge common people. None of the heroes in this film are of noble rank, unlike the first two, in which the main protagonists were members of deposed noble families. That Daimajin is on the side of the common man in this film is made clear when he kills castle retainers who, though unaffiliated with the villains, are indifferent to the commoners' peril.

Heisei era

Daimajin Kanon

Thousands of years ago, when a small castle town was under attack by a malicious demon Ipadada, a young woman sang a song of prayer to summon the great warrior Bujin. He fought valiantly, but was overcome and remained asleep as stone in a mountainside for generations.

Reiwa era

The Great Yokai War: Guardians

The yokai need Daimajin, a gigantic warrior god enshrined in Shogunzuka, to defeat the Yokaiju. To accomplish this, they will need the assistance of a descendant of the ancient yokai hunter, Watanabe no Tsuna. They find two descendants of Watanabe, Kei and Dai, who awaken Daimajin to help defeat the Yokaiju.

Video games

Comics

Abilities

Psychic powers

Daimajin can put fear into his enemies by filling their heads with visions of ghosts and demons.

Fireball transformation

Daimajin can turn into a fireball and cover a huge amount of ground very quickly.

Fire blasts

According to an anatomical illustration, Daimajin can emit blasts of flames from his hands and legs.

Electricity

According to an anatomical illustration, Daimajin can emit bolts of electricity from his headdress.

Fighting style

Daimajin is almost invincible. He attacks mercilessly and punishes the evildoer with a violent and horrible death. He cannot be stopped unless there is a kind act, then he will leave. Daimajin, when attacking buildings, tends to simply walk through them, but if enemies are in the buildings, he actively destroys them by punching or kicking. Daimajin also appears to be able to calculate and take advantage of any situation he is placed into. For example, a group of soldiers attempted to slow him down by using grappling hooks on his arms, and Daimajin simply continued forward, tearing the building that the soldiers were in down by the ropes' strength. He also appears to have telekinetic abilities, as shown when he parted the lake in Return of Daimajin to reach the warlord's village.

Transformation

In order to transform, Daimajin must first be awakened, either by driving an object into his head when in statue form, or by the pleas for help from someone in need. When Daimajin transforms, he crosses his forearms over his face, and then moves them apart, revealing his true form. After he has accomplished his task, and witnesses a kind act, Daimajin can revert back into his spirit form by repeating the same arm motions, causing his statue body to crumble into dust.

Sword

Each incarnation of Daimajin wields a sword. In The Great Yokai War: Guardians, Daimajin extended the sword and engulfed it with flames.

Hawk

In Wrath of Daimajin, Daimajin uses a hawk as a messenger.

Gallery

Main article: Daimajin/Gallery.

Trivia

  • Art depicting Daimajin's anatomy reveals that, while his active form is almost entirely made of stone, it has a complex system of nerves which allow for movement.
  • Daimajin is the nickname of Kazuhiro Sasaki, a former pitcher for the Seattle Mariners.
  • The activation of Daimajin - namely, driving an object into its forehead - may be a reference to the Golem, a creature in Jewish mysticism as Daimajin's concept was inspired by the 1936 Czechoslovakian film Le Golem.[23] The Golem is a clay creature that requires the word "Emet" (the Hebrew word for "truth") to be written on its forehead in order to be activated. To deactivate it, the first letter of "Emet" must be removed, changing it to "Met" (the Hebrew word for "death"), after which the Golem will crumble to pieces.
  • Daimajin is the name of one of the Jovian robots in Martian Successor Nadesico.
  • All three of Daimajin's original trilogy of films were released in the same year, 1966. It is possible that they were all in production at the same time, then given a staggered release into theaters.
  • Daimajin was one of the inspirations for the kaiju Take-Majin from the 2008 Shochiku film Monster X Strikes Back: Attack the G8 Summit.[24]
    • Daimajin is also partially a basis for the famous super robot Mazinger Z, who in turn was a possible inspiration for Jet Jaguar.
  • Daimajin served as inspiration for the living stone samurai monster Gekido-jin from Godzilla Color Special, and both are sealed away with the help of a man named Kogenta.
  • Two statues of Daimajin are located outside of the entrance of Kadokawa Daiei Studio in Tokyo.[25]
  • The benign statue form of Daimajin is also called Bujin, according to Arrow Video's bonus booklet for its Daimajin Trilogy set (p. 35).
  • Chikara Hashimoto was chosen for the role of Daimon in Yokai Monsters: Spook Warfare because director Yoshiyuki Kuroda was fascinated by Hashimoto's acting as Daimajin, and various aspects of Hashimoto's performance as Daimajin carried over to Daimon.[26]
  • Daimajin may serve as the basis for the design of the Yoroi-Musha in the 1985 anime adaptation of GeGeGe no Kitarō, and a character of the same name made an appearance in the Akuma-kun franchise.

Notes

  1. The height of the full-scale models used in the films measured 15 shaku in height, or roughly 4.5 meters.[8] The height of the Showa Daimajin has also been listed as being 5 meters, 6 meters, or 15 meters.[9]
  2. The weight of the Showa Daimajin has been inconsistently listed as 6, 50, or 250 metric tons.[9]

References

This is a list of references for Daimajin. These citations are used to identify the reliable sources on which this article is based. These references appear inside articles in the form of superscript numbers, which look like this: [1]

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 1.5 Aiken, Keith; Ellis, Elizabeth; Ashby, Alicia. "DAIMAJIN KANON: The Complete Series Guide". SciFi Japan. Retrieved 4 November 2021.CS1 maint: multiple names: authors list (link)
  2. "THE GREAT YOKAI WAR -GUARDIANS- Press Notes, Trailer and Photo Gallery From Kadokawa". SciFi Japan. 10 June 2021.
  3. Yamada, Akira (1 July 1967). All About the Latest Monsters. Novel Shobo. p. 59.
  4. Daimajin poster 02.jpg
  5. 66a daimajin 1.png
  6. "大魔神お守り". Movie Natalie. Retrieved 24 October 2021.
  7. 7.0 7.1 "55年ぶりに復活した「大魔神」 「妖怪大戦争 ガーディアンズ」での"進化"とは?". Eiga.com. 16 July 2021.
  8. Yanagita 2006, p. 193.
  9. 9.0 9.1 Yanagita 2006, p. 191.
  10. "Character Introduction: Bujin-sama". Daimajin Kanon. Retrieved 26 August 2021.
  11. 11.0 11.1 11.2 11.3 11.4 Shimizu, Makuta & Motoyama 2010, p. 104
  12. 12.0 12.1 12.2 Murase 2015, p. 187
  13. 13.0 13.1 13.2 Murase 2015, p. 266
  14. 14.0 14.1 Murase 2015, p. 192
  15. Ozaki, Hiroshi. Encyclopedia of Monsters and Dinosaurs #1. Bandai. p. 16. April 1973.
  16. Matsunomoto 1996, p. 85.
  17. 17.0 17.1 17.2 17.3 17.4 17.5 17.6 Shimizu, Makuta & Motoyama 2010, p. 105
  18. Murase 2015, p. 189.
  19. Ryfle & Godziszewski 2017, pp. 285-286.
  20. Nakamura, Kengo (1999). From Princess Mononoke to Yamada-kun. Tokuma Shoten. pp. 38, 41.
  21. Saint John, Robert (2006). "A Double Dose of Takashi Miike News". SciFi Japan. Retrieved 12 February 2022.
  22. Godziszewski, Ed. "Daiei`s Idol of Terror: DAIMAJIN, THE AVENGING GOD". SciFi Japan. Retrieved 12 February 2022.
  23. Ishii et al., 1997, 日本特撮・幻想映画全集, p.170, Keibunsha, ISBN:4766927060
  24. Roberthood.net Blog: Guilala's Boyish Grin
  25. Kadokawa Daiei Studio Entrance.jpg
  26. The Gamera Chronicles (ガメラ画報 大映秘蔵映画五十五年の歩み), 1996, P.99, Takeshobo, ISBN 4-8124-0166-6

Bibliography

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