Japan’s national judo team to be nicknamed ‘Godzilla Japan’

TOKYO (The Japan News/ANN) -“Godzilla Japan” has been chosen as the nickname for the Japanese national judo team that will compete in the World Judo Championships set to begin on Aug. 25 at the Nippon Budokan hall in Chiyoda Ward, Tokyo, the All Japan Judo Federation announced.

The federation said on Tuesday it chose the name after Toho Co., the studio behind the Godzilla films, took an interest in the nickname that judo insiders bestowed on the computer system used to analyze video of matches — Godzilla, of course.

The federation and Toho agreed to join hands to publicize the sport based on the similarities between judo and Godzilla, such as their origin in Japan and image of strength. They are currently considering whether to use “Godzilla Japan” for next year’s Tokyo Olympics as well. 

The first Godzilla film was released in 1954.

According to a source, some federation officials were cautious about using the nickname, with one quoted as saying, “Does Godzilla play by the rules?” 

However, men’s national team coach Kosei Inoue said, “[Godzilla] will be a big help in our efforts to become stronger.”

“Godzilla symbolizes overwhelming strength,” added women’s national team coach Katsuyuki Masuchi. “We want to compete with as much power as Godzilla.”