JIRASS (making)

Jirass design drawn by Tohl Narita

Tohl Narita: “This is a design being Godzilla with a muffler scarf attached to it.”

Such stuff around the neck like a frill-necked lizard is called “erimaki” signifying “muffler scarf” as the lizard is called “erimaki tokage” in the Japanese language, so I followed suit in translating Narita’s description of Jirass (Jirāsu in Japanese pronunciaton).

When looking at Narita’s design drawing, it makes me feel like it shows his unwillingness to design a kaiju based on the existing Toho kaiju as the monster drawn by him looks more like a dinosaur than Godzilla while Godzilla’s characteristic fins on the back are drawn with more of a Narita style (I personally think the design is worth being sculpted into another original kaiju just as it is).

To avoid any misunderstanding, needless to say, it was not Narita who decided to use the Godzilla costume for Jirass but producers made the decision probably to reduce cost and to adjust the filming schedule.

It is said that the Godzilla costume used for Jirass was the one with the head from the costume used in the Toho movie “Invasion of Astro-Monster” (1965) and the body from “Mothra vs. Godzilla” (1964) put together.

This combined costume seems  to have been displayed at a supermarket called Akafudadō in Ueno back then before being lent to Tsuburaya Productions while it is undescribed why such a combination was done (it is thinkable the other costumes should have been in an unusable state, of course).

The frill was sculpted by Akira Sasaki who says he remembers the Godzilla costume was brought in from the Toho Studio and that he must have used bamboo to hold up the  frill made of latex from within while he also recalls he attached the frill by pasting rubber onto the neck and the end of the frill.

He says it made the remodeling even harder as the costume had to be returned to Toho intact and the frill had to be placed firmly while it was to be removed by Ultraman in the end.


3 thoughts on “JIRASS (making)”

  1. Booska san, I have found some illustrations of Godzilla by Narita.

    Godzilla, vs Anguirus, vs King Ghidora

    These all appear to be part of some paper rock & scissors game. Have you seen them before? I’m posting these because, apart from the first one (Godzilla’s lips in it remind me of Neronga and Jamila), they have Godzilla look pretty much like this artwork of Jirass! I must say I really like Narita’s way of drawing him, it’s kinda different from the usual but not in a bad way. Here’s another one of these illustrations, featuring Kemur Man.

    Sorry for writing this comment twice, I made some mistakes with the link formatting.

    1. Wow! No, this is the first time I’ve ever seen these Toho kaijus illustrated by Narita (I’ve seen the illustration of Kemur Man before)!

      As the cards say “World Great Kaiju Cards,” when I checked it up on the Net, the cards were released in 1966 along with a sonosheet (flex disc) and a kaiju game that came with the cards. It seems to have had 24 cards in all and 10 out of them had illustrations Narita drew! (They seem to be rarely available now especially in a complete state.)
      How exciting!!!

      Thanks, prassio-san, for the great information! (sorry, these comments of yours didn’t show up immediately because they were waiting for my approval!)

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