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“Godzilla” was the first Japanese movie I saw. It was also the first for many other American baby boomers, though we did not view Ishiro Honda’s 1954 original, but a version that had been heavily edited and dubbed for the U.S. market, with additional footage featuring Raymond Burr as an intrepid American reporter in Tokyo. This version was released in the U.S. in 1956 as “Godzilla, King of the Monsters!” and it became a big hit, opening the floodgates for other Japanese films starring various kaijū (giant monsters).

A little over a year later, this Americanized version was then imported back to Japan as “Kaiju o Gojira” (literally, “Monster King Godzilla”) and was received enthusiastically by local fans.

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