Japanese theme park unveils 'life-size' Godzilla attraction


A Japanese theme park has unveiled what it believes is the world’s first permanent “life-size” Godzilla statue. The installation on Awaji Island, off the city of Kobe, measures 23m (75ft) and offers visitors the chance to ride a zip line right into Godzilla’s mouth.

The beast’s colossal size is one of its biggest draws and movie-goers have noted a growth spurt over the years. Godzilla was originally 50m tall but shot to 120m in last year’s movie Godzilla: King of the Monsters.

While the new attraction on Awaji island is smaller than the film versions, it is bigger than other off screen incarnations. The famous Godzilla head on the Toho Building in Tokyo, by comparison, is only about 12m tall.

The new attraction, which opens to the public on Saturday, depicts a roaring Godzilla with a wide open mouth and spiky jagged teeth. It appears as though half of the beast’s body is buried underground.

Godzilla, thought to be a cross between a gorilla and a whale, has become a pop culture icon since it first hit the screens, spawning a franchise of over 30 films and spin-offs, video games and toys.

Stephen D Sullivan, a fantasy author, has described the Godzilla character and films as “a reflection on the Japanese experience at the end of World War II”. They reflect a “destruction beyond imagining, and a lurking sense that ‘we brought this on ourselves’ somehow, even without meaning to”, he told The Huffington Post.

Today's Vocabulary

1. colossal (adj.)
extremely large

2. spurt (v)
to (cause to) flow out suddenly and with force, in a fast stream

3. spawn (v)
cause something new, or many new things, to grow or start suddenly

4. incarnations (n)
particular physical form or condition of something or someone that is changing or developing

5.  jagged (adj.)
rough and with sharp points

6. franchise (n)
right to sell a company’s products in a particular area using the company’s name

7. lurking (adj.)
a feeling exists, although it may not be very strong, and will not go away

  1. How tall is the life-size Godzilla statue?

  2. What is thought to be a cross between a gorilla and a whale?

  3. Who is Stephen D. Sullivan?

  4. According to the article, where can we find the Japanese theme park?
  1. What images are in your mind when you hear the word ‘amusement’?

  2. Should amusement parks be allowed to reopen?

  3. What guidelines would you give to park owners?

  4. Even though you may have been terrified by a particular ride, would you go on it again?

  5. If you were to recommend an amusement park, which one would you recommend and why?