The King Kong That Appeared in Edo
The King Kong That Appeared in Edo (江戸に現れたキングコング is a lost Edo ni Arawareta Kingu Kongu)1938 kaiju film produced by Zenshō Cinema, based on RKO Pictures' King Kong. It was released to Japanese theaters on March 18, 1938.
In the first part, titled The King Kong That Appeared in Edo: Volume of Transformation (江戸に現れたキングコング：変化の巻, Chinami, a daughter of Hyoue Toba, is mysteriously kidnapped one night. Toba offers a 3,000 Ryō reward for his daughter. (Note: Ryō is one of currency units used by Tokugawa shogunate, roughly equivalent to 330 US dollars.) Yuzuru Kawasaki and other spongers set about searching for Chinami. But Magonojyō Gō, one of Toba’s spongers, sneers at his fellows’ efforts. In fact, Gō is the very man who kidnapped Chinami. He made his father Senbei’s pet ape abduct her. Edo ni Arawareta Kingu Kongu: Henge no Maki)
The second part, titled The King Kong That Appeared in Edo: Volume of Gold (江戸に現れたキングコング：黄金の巻 has complex circumstances behind it. Toba influences Senbei to counterfeit coins, but he refuses. Toba imprisons Senbei somewhere. To get a clue of his father’s whereabouts, Gō disguises himself as one of Toba’s spongers. Gō menaces Toba with the ape covertly. He offers Toba Chinami's location in exchange for the prize money. He takes Toba to his secret cellar to shut him up. The vengeful ape kills Toba but he, too, is fatally wounded. Gō then leaves Edo with 3,000 Ryō. What happened to Chinami after that is unknown, but it is assumed she was freed when Magonojyō received his money from Hyoue. Edo ni Arawareta Kingu Kongu: Ōgon no Maki)
The King Kong That Appeared in Edo was one of Japan's first kaiju films, predating Godzilla by sixteen years. Although inaccurate to its historical setting, some Caligari-esque expressionistic buildings were added for Kong to climb. Like most of Japan's prewar cinematic output, the film is now completely lost.
Fuminori Ohashi, who would later create the suit for Godzilla in the original 1954 film, created the ape suit and special effects for this film. He explained, "The first model making to be counted as 'special art direction' in Japanese cinema was a giant gorilla which I did for the movie The King Kong That Appeared in Edo fifty years ago. It was also the first movie to feature certain kinds of special effects." However, the film's synopsis, as published in the March 1938 issue of Kinepa Junpo, does not seem to indicate that the movie's "Kong" is a giant at all.
Staff role on the left, staff member's name on the right.
- Directed by Sôya Kumagai
- Written by Daijô Aoyama
- Cinematography by Yozo Okuda
- Special Effects by Fuminori Ôhashi
Actor's name on the left, character played on the right.
- Eizaburo Matsumoto as Misato Magonojo
- Fuminori Ôhashi as Anthropoid
- Reizaburo Ichikawa as Toba Hyoei
- Reiko Mishima as Chinami
- Shojiro Ogata as Kuroami the Hunchback
- Yasutarô Yagi as Inoue Ginbei
- Noboru Takashima as Kawasaki Yuzuru
- Keinosuke Yashiro as Segawa Kinnosuke
- Shotaro Shiba as Azuma Tetsusaburo
- Shin Taga as Nakazawa Shinjûro
- Ryutaro Hibiki as Matsudaira Izunokami
- Keisuke Matsudaira as Clerk at Charcoal Shop
- Kikutaro Yoshii as Clerk at Soy Sauce Shop
- Do Jitsukawa as Rice Shop Apprentice
- Main article: The King Kong That Appeared in Edo/Gallery.
- King Kong (キングコングJapan) Kingu Kongu,
- The King Kong That Appeared in Edo has often been mistranslated as King Kong Appears in Edo.
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