After hearing about it last week, you bet we went to check out Japan’s gigantic straw Godzilla for ourselves, and it’s way more imposing than we’d anticipated.
The world’s largest ball of rubber bands. Dino World. The friggin’ “Convict Robot Exhibition” (actually a thing). We’re all familiar with rural roadside tourist traps and how underwhelming and kind of sad they usually are. The whole point of them is to lure bored road trippers in with the promise of a big spectacle, then pull a bait and switch and present them with something low-cost and invariably disappointing, like, say, a cobwebbed animatronic Elvis salvaged from a dumpster behind a Las Vegas pawn shop.
One rural Fukuoka town, however, has spent at least a few years entertaining the townsfolk and passing tourists alike with enormous, painstakingly crafted statues that cost thousands to build and are truly awe-inspiring despite the fact that a strong wind could potentially destroy one of these pieces for good… because they’re made entirely out of straw.
This year, the good people of the city of Chikuzen, riding on the massive domestic success of Shin Godzilla, went with something a little different in the form of a huge straw replica of perennial Tokyo frienemy and titular monster of the franchise, Godzilla. Pictures of the creation started floating around the Internet a few days ago, but we just had to take a look for ourselves.
Amazingly, Straw Godzilla is visible from basically anywhere in town, due to the area’s relatively flat topography and the overwhelming size of the creature. Obviously, it doesn’t come anywhere near the 118.5 meters the monster stands at in the recent Japanese film, but at a height of seven meters (23 feet), it absolutely dwarfs human tourists and much of the nearby architecture.
More impressive is the incredible attention to detail in the straw behemoth’s design. It’s complete with claws, teeth, weird exoskeleton rib cage thingy, joints, musculature and, of course, several-million-too-many-squats-at-the-gym thighs. Straw Godzilla, while not as terrifying as his film counterpart, was truly a sight to behold.
▼ “Don’t touch me, please” Godzilla politely requests.
The statue is built as part of the small town’s Kagashi Matsuri festival, which takes place annually on August 5 and 6, but the Godzilla display is projected to stand at the Yasu no Sato Kouen park until early December before being taken down either by the townspeople or Mother Nature’s wrath.
[ Read in Japanese ]