The King Kong That Appeared in Edo (1938)
The King Kong That Appeared in Edo (江戸に現れたキングコング, also known as simply King Kong Edo ni Arawareta Kingu Kongu) (キング・コング, is a lost two-part Kingu Kongu)1938 tokusatsu fantasy silent film produced by Zensho Cinema. The first part was released to theaters on March 31, 1938, with the second following on April 7. It was the second Japanese film to feature a character based on King Kong, after Japanese King Kong from 1933, which is also lost.
In the first part, titled the Volume of Transformation (変化の巻, Chinami, a daughter of Hyoe Toba, is mysteriously kidnapped one night. Toba offers a 3,000 Henge no Maki)ryō (one of several currencies used by the Tokugawa shogunate) reward for his daughter. Yuzuru Kawasaki and other spongers set about searching for Chinami, but Magonojo Go, one of Toba's spongers, sneers at his fellows' efforts. In fact, Go is the very man who kidnapped Chinami, forcing his father Senbei's pet ape to abduct her.
The second part, titled the Volume of Gold (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, Go disguises himself as one of Toba's spongers. Go menaces Toba with the ape covertly. He offers Toba Chinami's location in exchange for the prize money, and takes him to his secret cellar to shut him up. There, the vengeful ape kills Toba but he, too, is fatally wounded. Go then leaves Edo with 3,000 ryō. What happened to Chinami after that is unknown, but it is assumed she was freed when Magonojo received his money from Hyoe. Ōgon no Maki)
The King Kong That Appeared in Edo was one of Japan's first tokusatsu films, predating Godzilla by sixteen years. Although inaccurate to its historical setting, some Caligari-esque expressionistic buildings were added for the Anthropoid to climb. Like most of Japan's prewar cinematic output, the film is now completely lost.
Fuminori Ohashi, who would later provide guidance on the construction of 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 synopsis published in the March 1938 issue of Kinema 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 Soya Kumagai
- Written by Daijo Aoyama
- Cinematography by Yozo Okuda
- Special Effects by Fuminori Ohashi
Actor's name on the left, character played on the right.
- Eizaburo Matsumoto as Magonojo Go
- Ryunosuke Kabayama as Anthropoid
- Reizaburo Ichikawa as Hyoe Toba
- Reiko Mishima as Chinami
- Shojiro Ogata as Kuroami the Hunchback
- Yasutaro Yagi as Ginbei Inoue
- Noboru Takashima as Yuzuru Kawasaki
- Keinosuke Yashiro as Kinnosuke Segawa
- Shotaro Shiba as Tetsusaburo Azuma
- Shin Taga as Shinjuro Nakazawa
- Ryutaro Hibiki as Izunokami Matsudaira
- 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.
- The King Kong That Appeared in Edo has often been mistranslated as King Kong Appears in Edo. The phrase arawareta (現れた; "appeared") in the title is an inflection of arawareru (現れる; "appear") using ta-form, which indicates past tense.
- A YouTube video uploaded in 2012 claims to show "surviving footage" of this film. In reality, it merely uses edited clips from the 1977 film Yeti: Giant of the 20th Century.
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