Coming Full Circle: Takuma Sato, the Indy 500, and Godzilla

by Brian Scherschel

Since the beginning, Kaijuvision Radio has had a unique mission.  Hence the emphasis on culture, history, and global issues.

This mission carries over into social media.  There are plenty of sources on Godzilla-related news already.  Why devote time to duplicating what’s already out there?  Everyone’s seen the latest “King of the Monsters screenshot”.  Not everyone knows about what’s going on in the South China Sea.

That’s why I post about Japanese history, current events in East Asia, and Japan-related stories of local interest.  Just because something isn’t directly related to Godzilla, it has to do with the show’s mission.

Takuma Sato won the Indianapolis 500 in 2017.  He’s the first Japanese man (and thee first Asian man) to do this.  He made history.  Kaijuvision is produced in Fort Wayne.  So, I decided there should be an article about this historical event.  It’s a story of local interest.

After all, there are two connections to the Indianapolis 500 in Godzilla movies.  In All Monsters Attack (1969), Ichiro’s bully wears an Indianapolis 500 shirt.  In the episode on that film, I said how that’s maybe a reference to the give-and-take relationship that the US and Japan have on some issues.  The second connection is in Godzilla vs. Megalon (1973).  Hiroshi drives a car that has an Indianapolis 500 sticker on the window.  See the original blog post about Takuma Sato here.

Similarly, sports figure Hideki Matsui is nicknamed Godzilla.  Matsui had his own cameo in Godzilla Against Mechagodzilla (2002).

It turns out there’s much more of a connection to Godzilla than previously known.  A visitor to Kaijuvision.com sent these pictures via a comment on the original Takuma Sato blog post:

Source: Rob McEwen

Source: Rob McEwen

That’s so cool!!

Ever since 1954, Godzilla has been an expression of the Japanese National Spirit, just like Sato’s achievement is.

So two years later, the connection between Godzilla and Takuma Sato’s win at the Indy 500 has come full circle!

Kaijuvision Radio Published in Nippon Quarterly – Fort Wayne’s Japanese Language Newsletter

by Brian Scherschel

As you know, Kaijuvision is headquartered in Fort Wayne, Indiana.  The local Japanese language newsletter in town is called the “Nippon Quarterly”, and they published Brian’s description of our podcast – AND they translated it into Japanese!

The Nippon Quarterly’s motto is “Everything Japanese in the Fort Wayne Area”, and is edited by Michele Yamanaka.  The newsletter is sponsored by the Japanese-American Association of Indiana, Inc. (JASI), a 501(c)(3) non-profit founded in 1988.  The JASI also sponsors the yearly Cherry Blossom Festival in Fort Wayne, which Nate and I visited this summer.

You can learn more about the JASI and their mission here: https://www.facebook.com/pg/japanindiana/about/?ref=page_internal

One of Kaijuvision’s goals is promoting cultural understanding between the United States and Japan, one of our most important allies in East Asia and the world.  Yes, our podcast is about kaiju and other Japanese movies, but as our listeners know, we do so much more than that.

And the newsletter page looks so nice!