Are there actually legends of a monster called Godzilla in Japanese or South Pacific lore? Is that where the name came from?
A. In the original movie, “Gojira” is the name given by primitive island villiagers in the South Pacific to the sea monster they believed lived in the local waters. This monster (a surviving dinosaur), mutated by nuclear testing, became the Tokyo smashing creature. This story is strictly movie fiction. While there are plenty of dragons in Asian mythology, Gojira isn’t one of them. The name “Gojira” is a combination of the English word “gorilla” and the Japanese word for “whale”… This is a perfect name for a creature in the tradition of King Kong who swims in the ocean. It is said that Gojira was originally the nickname of a burly Toho employee. Gojira was simply altered to “Godzilla” for American versions. Sounds less Asian… As if the lack of lip-synch and Japanese cast wouldn’t clue viewers into the fact that Godzilla movies weren’t Hollywood productions!