ShodaiGoji

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Godzilla designs
None
ShodaiGoji
GyakushuGoji
Monster
The ShodaiGoji in Godzilla
ShodaiGoji
Type Suit, upper body puppet

Nicknames HatsuGoji

Portrayed by Haruo Nakajima, Katsumi Tezuka,
Tsutomu KitagawaGXMG
Used in Godzilla (1954),
Godzilla Raids Again (Publicity stills),
Godzilla Against Mechagodzilla (Partial replica)
  • This article is about the 1954 Godzilla design. For the Godzilla incarnation, see Godzilla/1954.

The ShodaiGoji (初代ゴジ) is the Godzilla suit design used in the 1954 Godzilla film, Godzilla.

Name

The ShodaiGoji's name comes from shodai (初代), meaning first generation, and Goji, which comes from Godzilla's Japanese name, Gojira (ゴジラ).

Detail

As the first official design, the ShodaiGoji suit would set the basic template for nearly all Godzilla designs to come. That is, a gigantic, bipedal reptilian creature with rough, bumpy, usually charcoal gray scales with a keloid scar or tree bark-like texture; a fairly small head with prominent eyebrow-like ridges over the eyes; moderately long, humanoid arms with four fingers including an opposable thumb; thick, muscular legs; a long, powerful, segmented tail; and three rows of generally bone-white dorsal plates.

The ShodaiGoji suit has a reptilian, wedge-shaped head with a large, wide mouth attached to a fairly short, serpentine neck. The face is round and lumpy with a large upper jaw and a thin lower jaw, and the nose is similar to that of a crocodilian or Chinese dragon. The cranium is small relative to the rest of the head, and resembles the sagittal crest found on gorillas. The head also sports a pair of small, pointed, ears. The eyes are round and have white sclera with large black pupils that are painted to look in a downward direction. When viewed from a frontward direction, the pupils on each eye point in the opposite direction of each other. The teeth are conical in shape and, with the exception of a pair of large fangs on the upper jaw, they are all uniform in size.

This design also has a barrel-shaped upper body with wide shoulders and a prominent sternum accompanied by a concave collarbone. The biceps are quite large and roughly twice as wide as the forearms. The hands are considerably wider than the wrists and sport four semi-webbed digits each. The legs on this design are fairly short, columnar, and quite muscular, and sport prominent knees. The feet are plantigrade and very wide, being comparable in thickness with the legs themselves. Like the hands, the ShodaiGoji's feet also sport four clawed semi-webbed digits each. This suit's tail is fairly short in proportion to its body, having a rough underside, a pointed tip, and faint tail segments that aren't as prominent as those of later suits. Unlike most of the later designs, the ShodaiGoji suit's dorsal plates were staggered and uneven in appearance. They also curved slightly forward, whereas most of the later suits would have plates that didn't curve in any particular direction.

For close-up shots, a hand-held puppet and a prototype ShodaiGoji suit were used. The puppet primarily differed from the suit in that it had a much larger head with a wider and puffier face with a very flat, almost nonexistent cranium and forehead and a shorter, thicker neck. Additionally, it also had much smaller and thinner arms and hands, giving it a less humanoid and more dinosaurian appearance. The teeth on the puppet version were uneven and had a needle-like appearance to them. A separate partial suit consisting only of Godzilla's lower body was employed for shots of just Godzilla's feet and legs.

It is unknown what color the ShodaiGoji suit was painted, as the film it appeared in was shot in black-and-white. Rumors frequently suggest that the suit was painted brown, although most later designs have opted for a charcoal gray or black coloration.

A partial ShodaiGoji suit was constructed for flashback scenes in Godzilla Against Mechagodzilla in 2002, in order to recreate the original Godzilla's attack on Tokyo in 1954 and to emphasize the fact that, in this continuity, the monster was merely reduced to a skeleton by the Oxygen Destroyer instead of being completely disintegrated. Production photos reveal that this half-suit's body and dorsal plates were painted a bluish-gray, the claws were painted white, the teeth were painted yellowish-orange, and the inside of the mouth was painted a bright pink. None of these color choices are visible on film, though, as the flashback scenes featuring this suit were filmed in black-and-white.

Portrayal

The ShodaiGoji was the first of its kind - a suit fully operated by a man inside of it. As there were no established procedures on how to build or operate a suit like the original Godzilla suit, Godzilla special effects artist Eiji Tsuburaya and the production staff had to pioneer a new technique later known as suitmation.[1] The ShodaiGoji suit and the original prototype suit were built by Eizo Kaimai.

The ShodaiGoji was portrayed by Haruo Nakajima, who would go to portray Godzilla in every subsequent film up to Godzilla vs. Gigan. Nakajima said that he based Godzilla's walk on an Indian elephant named "Indira" that was living at Ueno Park in Tokyo around the time of production of Godzilla. He specifically focused on the way each foot came to a complete rest on the ground before it moved again.[2] The result projected strength and the illusion of size.[3] He also paid attention to the arm motions of bears and the head movements of birds. According to Nakajima, temperatures inside the suit reached up to 60 degrees Celsius, and he couldn't move the suit's left hand at all.

Use in other media

Video Games

​Books

Gallery

Production

Godzilla (1954)

Godzilla Raids Again

Godzilla Against Mechagodzilla

Screenshots

Godzilla (1954)

Godzilla Against Mechagodzilla

Post-production

Merchandise

Covers

Toys

Books

Trading cards

Trivia

  • The ShodaiGoji suit was 6.5 feet tall and weighed 200 pounds.[1]
  • The ShodaiGoji heavily influenced later Godzilla designs, most noticeably the 84Goji, GMKGoji, and ShinGoji.
  • In the film Godzilla vs. Megaguirus, the ShodaiGoji was digitally replaced by the MireGoji in stock footage from the original film.
  • The ShodaiGoji was made of "ready-mixed concrete," because rubber and plastics were hard to come by in post-war Japan. [4]

References

This is a list of references for ShodaiGoji. 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]

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Suit



Comments

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Kraikein

2 months ago
Score 0
I've always wondered what it would look like if it was stop motion animation. Pretty interesting to think about. Really like this design
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Titan of Water

4 months ago
Score 1
His scales really look like tumors and scars, and those eyes stare into your soul. This suit perfectly matches with the tone of the original 54 movie.
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CreativeName22

6 months ago
Score 0
Poor Haruo had to wear that suit even on vacation...
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Titanollante

25 months ago
Score 1
Pretty good Godzilla design. One must wonder how it looks like when fighting, however.
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CdrWikizilla

24 months ago
Score 0
Yeah that would be interesting to see