Journeying from an unknown location to Japan, the Eikou Maru was suddenly struck by a mysterious light, setting the ship on fire and killing most of its passengers and crew. As the ship's captain and his navigators tried to send a message by Morse Code, they were drowned after the ship's windows imploded. The destruction of the Eikō Maru resulted in the voyage of the Bingo Maru, which was also destroyed by the unknown phenomenon. After the Bingo Maru sank, survivors of both ships travelled by raft to Odo Island, where they were eventually found by an expedition sent to retrieve them. However, this expedition would ultimately uncover the existence of Godzilla to the world.
- The Eikou Maru is the first vehicle to appear in any Godzilla series film. It also holds the distinction of being the very first object to appear in Toho's kaiju films.
- The destruction of the Eikou Maru may be seen as an allegory to the Lucky Dragon 5 incident that occurred in 1954. Although the Lucky Dragon 5 was not destroyed, it was irradiated by fallout from the Castle Bravo thermonuclear test on Bikini Atoll, with its radioman dying shortly after the boat returned to Japan, from radiation sickness which exacerbated a Hepatitis C infection.
- The Eikou Maru is referenced in the opening scene of Shin Godzilla through the name of Goro Maki's yacht, the Glory-Maru. The Eikou Maru's name translates to "glory" in English.
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