Sunday, July 13, 2014

Pachimon Kaiju Showcase: NOT Godzilla

Pachimon, or Pachimon Kaiju, is a term used for various Japanese bromide cards (or artistic postcards) that were published around the early 1970's. These bromide cards were known for featuring bizarre imitation monsters, directly and indirectly based on more famous, existing Kaiju characters.

Hence the term Pachimon; 'Pachi', as in stolen, and 'Mon', as in monster.

Of course, this being simple minded 'fan slang', the term Pachimon can be quite misleading. And unfairly so, as a good number of these bromide cards also featured fully illustrated, originally designed creations.

Hopefully a better terminology will make itself present in the near future. But for now, we'll just refer to these collectively as Pachimon Kaiju.

Pachimon are quite obscure as it is, so instead of doing what every other blog has done in the past (by uploading these visual oddities in bulk), I'm going to showcase these images a little at a time. As well as give my own personal insight towards the monster designs featured.

I'm going to start off with two Godzilla-based rip-offs, just for the greater exposure among the more fickle American-based Kaiju fans. And to show off just how extreme the 'borrowed likeness' side of these cards truly went.


Above, we have the mid-1960's Godzilla suit, slightly altered with huge ears and a slightly larger bird-like beak. And hails from a particular series published by the company Yokopro, which had giant monsters menacing landmarks and countries around the world.

Despite the Katakana on the bromide card itself (which simply translates as New York), this bird-beaked Godzilla has no real, proper Kaiju name (see the UPDATE posted below).

So I'm just going to refers to him / it / her as 'New York Pachimon', or 'Niyuyoku' (again, means New York) for you fans who insist on a more unique, but equally as inaccurate 'fan nickname'.

Not much to say on The New York Pachimon, other than that the poor Statue of Liberty was being assaulted by monsters way bigger then her, even back in the disco seventies!



UPDATE: This is what I freaking hate about such obscure characters - new facts always pop up long after you've written out the original article! But hey, I'm also a avid lover of accuracy, so I must stand by my duty as a Kaiju Historian!

Found the image above, where the original Pachimon piece is reused for a playing card edition. And thus New York Pachimon is given the actual name of Wadorisu (can also be read as Waadorisu, OR Wardorisu).


Wadorisu seems to match perfectly with this guy's funny beak and ears.



The lower line of katakana on this second Godzilla rip-off, roughly translates as Yakobu, which sometimes means 'Jacob' in Japanese.

However, no idea if this is supposed to be the monster's name, or the airport location its menacing. Plus, always take my katakana translating abilities with a Kaiju-sized block of salt.

For now, we'll just refer to this Pachimon as Yakobu, whose design and overall card is a lot more appealing than previous New York Pachimon. Even if its just another Godzilla, altered slightly with a neck-frill and porcupine-style spines.

Actually, it wouldn't be out of the realm of possibly that Yakobu is the Pachimon version of Jirass from "Ultraman", who itself was a refurbished Godzilla suit with an added neck-frill.

If that's the case, then this would be creature design equivalent of painting pure karat gold bars with gold hobby store paint. And then wrapping those golden abominations in shiny, gold colored foil, bought from a party supply shop.

Okay, so maybe its not THAT bad, but Yakobu still has the nicer looking bromide card between the two shown.

Further Reading Online:

All Monsters Blog's Profile of Jirass
More Pachimon Images

3 comments:

  1. Glad to see you are covering these! Long ago I downloaded over 100 of these cards off of a Japanese website that is no longer up (though there are a few other Japanese sites with scans still up, IIRC), they are an obscure kaiju fan's dream!


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    1. I might know the web-site you're talking about, and have many of those images safe in both CD and floppy disc storage.

      And thank you so much for the kind words; I have a terrible habit of writing long winded articles, and the lack of 'substance' of the Pachimon Kaiju helps me in regular updating.

      Plus how awesome it is to get props from Tars Tarkas! The man who helped bring "The War God" (1976) some much needed online exposure. Among other great Kaiju obscurities, which is what I hope to do with this blog of mine.

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  2. "Wadorisu" can also be read as "Waadorisu" (or WARDORISU in more standard romanization) since the "Wa" has a long 'a' sound, which can be read as an "r" sometimes (example being "Supaa" which of course means "Super").

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