SciFi Japan

    GODZILLA AND GODZILLA RAIDS AGAIN: English Translations of the Original Novels by Shigeru Kayama Coming This October

    The University of Minnesota Press will publish Jeffrey Angles' English translations of the Japanese novels for the Toho classics GODZILLA and GODZILLA RAIDS AGAIN. TM & © TOHO CO., LTD.

    The first English translations of the original novellas about the iconic kaijū Godzilla
    Source: University of Minnesota Press  press release
    Special Thanks to Jeffrey Angles, Heather Skinner and Avery Guerra

    In the early days of development for Toho's motion picture GODZILLA (ゴジラ, Gojira, 1954), producer Tomoyuki Tanaka hired award-winning author Shigeru Kayama to write an original treatment that would then be adapted into a screenplay by the film's director, Ishiro Honda, and screenwriter Takeo Murata. In the wake of that movie's incredible box office success, Kayama was brought back to create the story for the immediate sequel, GODZILLA RAIDS AGAIN (ゴジラの逆襲, Gojira no Gyakushū, 1955). Kayama then fleshed out his stories into a pair of novellas which were first published in 1955.

    While the Godzilla movies were exported to America and worldwide, Shigeru Kayama's novelizations were never released in English-speaking territories. Now, nearly 70 years after their original publication in Japan,  GODZILLA AND GODZILLA RAIDS AGAIN will finally be released this October by the University of Minnesota Press with new English translations by Jeffrey Angles, professor of Japanese at Western Michigan University.

    The following press release is courtesy of University of Minnesota Press. Look for more coverage here on SciFi Japan in the months leading up to the book's release...

    Photo courtesy of University of Minnesota Press. TM & © TOHO CO., LTD.



    $19.95 (US) paperback
    ISBN 978-1-5179-1523-0
    256 pages, 5 1/2 x 8 1/4
    PUB DATE: October 3, 2023


    "At long last, the pathbreaking novellas by Shigeru Kayama that launched the Godzilla franchise are finally available in English. It was well worth the wait: Jeffrey Angles’s lively translation captures all the action, emotion, and political edge of the original Japanese texts. This engaging volume will be a revelation for Godzilla fans, a rich resource for students of Japan, and a rewarding read for anyone who enjoys classic tales of science fiction and adventure.”
    William M. Tsutsui, chancellor of Ottawa University and author of Godzilla on My Mind: Fifty Years of the King of Monsters


    Godzilla emerged from the sea to devastate Tokyo in the now-classic 1954 film, produced by Tōhō Studios and directed by Ishirō Honda, creating a global sensation and launching one of the world’s most successful movie and media franchises. Awakened and transformed by nuclear weapons testing, Godzilla serves as a terrifying metaphor for humanity’s shortsighted destructiveness: this was the intent of Shigeru Kayama, the science fiction writer who drafted the 1954 original film and its first sequel and, in 1955, published these novellas.

    Although the Godzilla films have been analyzed in detail by cultural historians, film scholars, and generations of fans, Kayama’s two Godzilla novellasboth classics of Japanese young-adult science fictionhave never been available in English. This book finally provides English-speaking fans and critics the original texts with these first-ever English-language translations of Godzilla and Godzilla Raids Again. The novellas reveal valuable insights into Kayama’s vision for the Godzilla story, feature plots that differ from those of the films, and clearly display the author’s strong antinuclear, proenvironmental convictions.

    Kayama’s fiction depicts Godzilla as engaging in guerrilla-style warfare against humanity, which has allowed the destruction of the natural world through its irresponsible, immoral perversion of science. As human activity continues to cause mass extinctions and rapid climatic change, Godzilla provides a fable for the Anthropocene, powerfully reminding us that nature will fight back against humanity’s onslaught in unpredictable and devastating ways.

    Shigeru Kayama (19041975) was a science fiction writer and scenarist whose early stories about monsters and mutated sea creatures attracted the attention of Tōhō Studios, who asked him to draft the first two Godzilla films. The film HALF HUMAN by Tōhō Studios was also based on one of his stories, and he contributed to the screenplay for the Tōhō film THE MYSTERIANS.

    Jeffrey Angles is professor of Japanese at Western Michigan University. He is author of Writing the Love of Boys (Minnesota, 2011) and award-winning translator of Orikuchi Shinobu's The Book of the Dead (Minnesota, 2017) and Hiromi Ito’s The Thorn Puller.

     About University of Minnesota Press

    The University of Minnesota Press is recognized internationally for its innovative, boundary-breaking editorial program in the humanities and social sciences and as publisher of the Minnesota Multiphasic Personality Inventory (MMPI), the most widely used objective tests of personality in the world. Minnesota also maintains as part of its mission a strong commitment to publishing books on the people, history, and natural environment of Minnesota and the Upper Midwest. Established in 1925, Minnesota is among the founding members of the Association of University Presses (AUP).

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