"Daimajin, please come punish our abusers with wrath! / OH NO, RUN, THERE'S WRATH EVERYWHERE!!!
November 24, 2012 7:19 PM Subscribe
He is the spirit of vengeance and the wrath of God given form. But when Daimajin's rage was unleashed, it could be directed at both the wicked and the innocent alike.
"Daimajin","Return of Daimajin (Daimajin Ikaru)", and "Wrath of Daimajin (Daimajin Gyakushu)" were a trio of kaiju eiga (“giant monster movies”) all produced and released in 1966 by the Daiei Motion Picture Company (producers of the Gamera movies). Unlike most kaiju eiga (e.g., Godzilla, Mothra, War of the Gargantuas, etc.) which were set post-WWII and were famous for high-tech anti-kaiju weapons, the Daimajin movies are set during the feudal Sengoku Jidai (“Warring States Period”) and are in many ways as much chanbara (“samurai sword-fight”) period pieces (Jidaigeki) as they are kaiju movies. Daiei was already known for making Jidageki movies, so they had sets, costumes, actors, and the abundant Japanese countryside as backdrop already lined up
The common theme among the three films involves the local peasantry being abused by their local evil Samurai overlords and praying to the angry spirit that is trapped within the buried statue to wreak vengeance on their abusers. Inspired by the Jewish legend of the Golem, Daimajin was crafted to bring a Japanese flavor to the idea. While Japanese mythology has no direct mythological analog to the Golem, the producers dipped into Shinto, the indigenous Japanese animist tradition, and the Japanese historical practice of burying figurative statues.
The first Daimajin movie has the titular statue at his most wrathful, a force of nature that once summoned is unstoppable and poses a threat to the very mortals who summoned him. The 2nd & 3rd movies depict the monster as more focussed in his punishment of evildoers. In 2010, the Daimajin story was updated to modern Tokyo and made into a TV series, Daimajin Kanon.
An in-depth (spoilery!) article on the Daimajin movies.
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