Thursday, July 1, 2010

Day 16: Where Jamaican Commandos Meet Dance Floor Sexing

Just in case the title didn't jog that active imagination of yours, I am talking about Major Lazer. The fictional Jamaican commando who lost his arm in the secret zombie war of 1984 is also a new music sensation also known as "Reggae Fusion". But lets not be too quick to just throw one label on it. Like all other music these days, it is also tagged as Trip hop, hip hop, and dancehall; all genres of music I have clearly missed.

Major Lazer is a collaboration between DJs Diplo and Switch. DJ Diplo, who's rising fame all started while he DJed in Philadelphia, was discovered by M.I.A. while DJing at Fabric Club. The two hit it off due to their unique styles of music and similar background, later going on to produce their mixtape, "Piracy Funds Terrorism Vol. 1". It was through M.I.A. that DJ Diplo had met DJ Switch, a well known figure in the fidget house genre and owner of the music label "Dubsided". Together they collaborated to make the Major Lazer album, "Guns Don't Kill People... Lazers Do".

By now you have to be asking yourself, "Why the hell is this relevant to anything?" This is my exact point. It's relevant to what is happening to music. Even past that, it is relevant to what is happening in the world where we have access to practically anything via the internet. DJs are becoming more predominant than ever due to the accessibility of professional DJing programs along with a plethora of songs, beats, and instrument sounds to sample. Personally I am completely for this movement because it is the transition into the future of music in which sampling and remixing is welcomed. My best example of this might be my favorite, or at least my favorite electronic album, "Since I left You" by The Avalanches. This is the only album they had ever released even though there is rumor to be another one, and yet there is such a large following for this Australian DJ band. More importantly is how the album was made. For the most part the sample is completely based of sampling from music where they sat for countless hours taking cord samples from different artists. Overall the total estimated amount of samples on the album is somewhere around 3,500. Granted this is not very common, but I feel this is a great example of how sampling can lead to amazing music.

Then there is matter of electronic music, which I basically think is going to be the next movement in pop music, if it's not already. Now I understand that electronic music has been around for awhile now, but it's only till recent that these artists have had such freedom when using synthesized instruments. As the years progress, there are more instruments that are synthesized, better quality, and a more broad range of flexibility with the instruments. It gives a whole new meaning to the one man band. The bearded man who juggled five instruments in the park trying to get them all to work is now the guy with his nose buried in that apple laptop at Starbucks making the next big album. Hello technology, I don't think we've met before. I'm Kyle.

Check out: Major Lazer- "Guns don't kill people... Lazers do"
           and Major Lazer ft La Roux- "Lazerproof"  DOWNLOAD THE ALBUM VIA LINK

Monday, June 14, 2010

Day 15: Our Main Export is the Våffel

...and by Våffel I clearly mean the delicious treat known as the waffle. A treat since the turn of time, ever since society knew how to cast metal plates. Granted way back when, waffles were not leavened therefore resembling a flat, pathetic waffle. None the less, the waffle has been in existence for thousands of years, even if it was better known as a wafer. Sure that seems a bit questionable to proclaim, but we all know that wafers have been around since Jesus, his favorite treat. From the birth of the wafer, civilization eventually learned about the leavening process in yeast which created the now to be known waffle.

Everyones real favorite treat in the U.S. is better know as the Belgian waffle. The Belgian waffle is easy to recognize due to it's large size, large grid pattern, and its very light batter. Though we only see this one waffle as the "Belgian" Waffle, Belgium actually is home to three different waffles. The first being the Brussels waffle, which is what is well known as the Belgian waffle here. The waffle was introduced to America in the 1965 New York World's Fair and was the turning point for popularizing the delicious waffle.

The Liège waffle, a small and dense waffle that carries a sweet taste in a chewy exterior. The waffle was invented by the chef of the prince-bishop of Liège in the 18th century. It had all started as an adaptation of brioche bread. Using the dough of a Brioche loaf, it features large amounts of pearl sugar, which caramelized on the outside of the waffle when baked. Currently it's the most common waffle you see being sold in Belgium and is generally prepared in either plain, vanilla or cinnamon varieties and sold by street vendors.

Then there is the Stoopwafels, also known as a Dutch syrup waffle. These are thin waffles made from milk, eggs, flour, butter, yeast, and brown sugar. What is unique about them is that when they are cooked to warm, raw stage they are cut in half and smeared with a syrup made from brown sugar, butter, and cinnamon. The stroopwafel was first made in Gouda (a small city in the western Netherlands) during the late 18th century. Currently they are popular in Belgium and the Netherlands and are sold prepackaged at many supermarkets.

Though waffles have come from far and are largely served as a popular breakfast and dessert items in the United States, there are some iconic and newly popular unique waffle ideas that have sprung up in this great nation. The first having to be the ever so famous, Eggo waffle. The first appearance of these waffles were in San Jose, California when three brothers (Sam, Frank, and Tony Dorsa) had invented a one of a kind "eggy" batter. They had first marketed the product as Froffles, but due to the "eggy" taste of the waffle, people referred to them as eggos. It was in 1955 when the brothers had officially changed the name to Eggo Waffles and only another ten years till they sold out to Kelloggs. 

The second best waffle icon is not necessarily known for the waffles but for it's trashy allure. Waffle House is a chain of restaurants that are quiet common in southern United States. The appeal of the restaurant was to create a place that would have the speed of a fast food joint with the comfort of a table service setting. I think words are the only thing that sum up a waffle house: greasy food, unpleasant waiters, smoking everywhere, drunk people, cockroaches. Look at that! Everything you have ever wanted in a restaurant. 

The third and last is a new craze popping up in NYC. The Waffles and Dinges trucks that have been scouring the city serving delicious waffles. This truck serves a bunch of delicious goodies along with the popular Belgian waffle and the fore-mentioned Liège waffle. When it comes to toppings, they have it all covered; strawberries, bananas, Belgian chocolate fudge, whipped cream, nutella, dulce de leche, spekuloos spread, walnuts, real maple syrup, butter, and ice cream! The Waffles and Dinges truck is part of the new food truck movement that has been happening all around the city and is one of the best things to happen to the Belgian waffle movement. 

So now that we all have the low down on the Belgian waffle...I think I'm going to go attempt to make some Stroops. Brown sugar, here I come!

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Day 14: Understanding Your Beans

Hey Kids! So today we have an extra special lesson for those not fluent in the coffee world, it's called NAME THAT DRINK. This is for all of the people whom; haven't been to a coffee shop, go to Starbucks, or live in the mid west. 

Espresso: a condensed shot normally brewed from Arabica beans and if not, it is brewed with Robusta beans ( a more bitter tasting bean with 50% more caffeine than the Arabica bean) . It is not as common for the American community to order straight espresso for reasons such as how are pallet is not adjusted to a bitter taste and how American roasters tend to roast darker.
  •  Single Shot: Is normally a shot extracted to an ounce.
  •  Lungo: The long shot, is extracted to an ounce and a half and generally has a more bitter taste due to over extraction.
  • Double Shot: Two ounce espresso shot using twice as much coffee in the shot.
  • Ristretto:  A shot that is stopped at 3/4 of an ounce to ensure that the flavor is extracted but at the same time the espresso is not over extracted (see "Blonding").
Macchiato: Originating from the word "to be marked" or "to be stained" in Italian, it is an espresso shot served with just a touch of foamed milk on top and a spoon. 

Americano: A shot of espresso served in an 8 oz cup with hot water. It carries the taste of espresso with the feel of coffee.

Caffe Latte: An espresso drink using espresso and steamed milk with a thin layer of foam at the top. Generally one shot in an 8 oz  and two shots in a 12 - 16 oz drink (all varying on how the shop brews their espresso).

Cappuccino: An espresso drink made similarly to the latter but with a thicker layer of foam.

Caffe Mocha: As a simplified explanation of the drink, it is essentially a latte with chocolate or chocolate milk with espresso. 

Other Terms You Should Know:
  • Grind: How fine or course the espresso is ground. Generally espresso is ground very fine, but there are slight chances in the grind of an espresso bean between fine and course that change the flavor. The more fine, the longer it takes the water to pass through the espresso. The more course it is, the easier it is for water to pass through.
  • Dose: The amount of ground espresso that is in the portafilter.
  • Tamp: The compaction of the espresso grounds by a round, weighted tool. The tamp should be even or else it can cause an imbalance in the extraction process.
  • Blonding: The end process of espresso that generally has less flavor and carries the bitterness that is in espresso. If an espresso shot is too bitter or too light, it has been in the blonding stage for too long.
  • Crema: The light brown layer on top the espresso. A good crema is generally thick, has a consistent color, and takes several minutes before settling. 
  • Milk Foam: A style that can be debated for ever. What most people who are serious about espresso will tell you is that there should not be a real separation between foam and milk. The foam should literally be a thick creme of sorts on top the milk. Granted it is difficult to avoid air bubbles in the milk, but truly steamed milk should have no air bubbles at all.
There are so many things I could rant about when it comes to the coffee world, but I am too young in the business and are under way more experienced people...but I leave you with this....

"I will not make cut, dry foam for your cappuccino!"

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Day 13: I'm Charles Manson of the information age!

When it comes to horror/gore films, the Japanese always find a way to keep me entertained. With some of the most captivating horror movies such as Ichi the Killer, Gozu, and one of my personal favorites Marebito, I never know what to expect when I rent a new film. Well It's been several years since I have seen a particular film, but I feel that it's worthy enough to share in a manner that I will blog about it to the nonexistent crowd that reads Coffee Hound Yak. "Suicide Circle" is a film based around teenage obsession with online fads and shows how a world of online cults can drive teenagers to commit suicide for a vague cause. As the mass suicides grow, a team of detective decided to make it their personal duty to find the cult and end the suicides.   

The more interesting part of this film is the depiction of suicide and the mannerisms of how its gone about in the film. For the naive out there, Japan has always been a culture that is strongly associated with suicide. From seppuku which was the Japanese form of ritual suicide done to die with honor when defeated, to internet suicide pacts where people contemplating suicide on a public forum convince each other into a group suicide, it has always been an aspect of Japanese culture. Just another small fact; suicide by train is so common in Japan that there now new stations that have 5 foot barriers that block passengers from the railway till the train comes. Well back "on track", the movie depicts several gruesome scenes of suicide which are quiet interesting. 

First uniquely interesting scene are depicts high school teens who pact together at their lunch break on the roof of their school to jump off. At first starting as a childish joke, the teens mess around with the concept of the "Suicide Club" after conversation about the recent deaths. The dialog following is simple.
School Boy 1: Let's kill ourselves! 
School Girl 1: Yeah, I'm in! 
School Girl 2: Not me. 
School Girl 3: The Suicide Club! 
School Boy 1: Let's get enough people to beat 54! 100! Let's get 100! 
School Boy 2: We'll pass out flyers. 'Join our Suicide Club.' 
School Girl 4: 'Come die with us!' 
School Girl 5: 'Let's shed blood together!' 

School Girl 6: Come watch me kill myself! 
Students gather in a line across the side of the high school while holding hands and prepare for the jump. One, two, three....and with the last swing of the arms, the kids go off the building and into the court yard of the school except for three traumatized students whom had not jumped. One girl, confused and lost in the moment, grabs the only guy still standing on the ledge. Against his will, she pulls him off the ledge with her. Students and teachers run to the roof top only to be greeted by the remaining suicide club member. She proudly announces that they are the charter members of the suicide club before leaping to her own death. Looking at this from a cultural perspective, it's interesting to see how this group of kids form together to do something a major as end their life, all over a fad. Past that, how one girl goes on to say they are the charter members for this non-existent club. It's light shining on the influence of fad culture and it's effect on the young population.

Another intriguing scene is during the next group of people who commit suicide, except this time it is all around Tokyo. People are pill popping, hanging themselves, and using gas stove ovens as their method of departure, but those weren't the strange ones. First is a woman who goes on from cutting a vegetable to cutting into her fingers and hand while her daughter witnesses the act. Then there is the duo on stage who at the end of their act kill themselves. Simply a demonstration of how common suicide is in Japan.

Lastly there is the fake suicide cult led by an interesting character named "Genesis". He leads a pack of high school cast outs who hide out in an abandoned bowling alley riddled with animals and people that are tied up in white bags. Among their obvious domination fetishes and need for cult fame, there are depictions of the popular Japanese crushing fetish (look it up) which are thrown into the mix, playing to the overall theme of the power of a fad. I would love to go into description of the scene, but I feel that watching it is an experience in itself.

Overall, this one one of the strangest movies I have seen and one of the few which I have actually bothered to buy on DVD. Also, don't forget to checkout the previously mentioned films for a "super, extra, crazy fun time".... For me...I still need to watch "Human Centipede"

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Day 12: Victory! Defeat! Honor! Squid!

The lights dim...
Spotlight on...It's time for the chef to meet his true competitor in...KITCHEN STADIUM! Yes, I am talking about one of the best cooking shows to ever exist. These gods of cooking make Julia Child look like Paula Deen and turn small time chefs into whimpering children. Sure this might be an exaggeration, but that is the basic concept. I have to say that this show was basically one of the only shows that I watched as a child. The action, the suspense, the horrible voice overs, and the final outcome of chefs cooking was nothing less than spectacular. For those of you that don't know the magic that is Iron Chef, let me sum it up for you.

The show revolves around popular chefs from Japan and elsewhere who come to Kitchen Stadium to challenge the the invincible men of culinary skills, the Iron Chefs . From the inventive mind of Chairman Kaga (Takeshi Kaga) Kitchen Stadium was born after having "realized his dream as never seen before". A place where chefs would truly be challenged to use the extent of their cultural cuisine styles. They would be given the theme ingredient, some of the best and weirdest (to western culture at least) foods. With different mediums to work with, the chefs would find unique ways to take an ingredient that is most likely foreign to their cuisine and put a twist on what would be a normal dish (ex. Foie Gras and Flatfish with Citrus Sauce). 

The introduction of the theme ingredient is by far one of my favorite Chairman Kaga moments. After addressing the chefs, he goes on to introduce the theme ingrdient in which he enthusiastically announces, "We unveil the ingredient!". Chairman Kaga dramatically throws the sheet off the table in front of him as the middle section of a table rises to reveal the main ingredient. Overall though, the introduction to the show itself is one of the best I have ever seen, cooking show or not. It starts off with a quote from Brillat-Savarin, "Tell me what you eat, and I'll tell you what you are." From there the camera pans onto the Kitchen Stadium where an announcer explains the history of kitchen and Chairman Kaga. While the history is explained there are introductions to the Iron Chefs as well as amazingly cheesy shots of Kaga eating, drinking, and profoundly thinking, but the most popular scene being Kaga taking a bite of a yellow pepper. The contestant is introduced and their culinary background is told over shots of him/her preparing different foods.What really holds the introduction together the whole time is the English voice over with his exuberant telling of kitchen stadium and the chefs history. 

After theme ingredient introduction, the culinary battle starts at the sound of the gong and the chefs run off to start their cooking. The chefs are given two assistants from the Hattori Nutritional College and have an hours time to create the best articulate dishes to win the competition. Typically there are four dishes made which resemble a full course meal. Typically while the chefs are cooking, there is commentary being made by the various judges. There is the announcer, Kenji Fukui, the commentator, Yukio Hattori, the floor reporter, Shinichiro Ohta, and one or two guest judges. The judges discuss the chefs different approaches to the theme ingredient and how they tie it into their specific cuisine style, all the while making witty jokes followed by strange dubbed over laughing. 

After the intense hour of cooking, the chefs must stop with only the dishes they have finished and are put before the judges. Each chef is given up to 20 points by each judge; up to ten for taste, up to five for presentation, and up to five for originality. While the judges are tasting the various dishes, Chairman Kaga is along side them giving input as well as seeking input from the judges. Various commentary is made, along with some outlandish commentary from judges who are obviously not so well rounded in the culinary world. After the points are compiled, a winner is announced and either an Iron Chef is victorious again or a challenger wins "and he or she gain the people ovation and fame forever".

Watch it. It's amazing.

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Day 11: Why Isn't Ram Fighting an International Sport?

While browsing the internet for random photos and constantly refreshing my Facebook I came across this curious picture. To me it seemed nothing more than natural and I feel the general population knows that rams fight. For those of you that don't know, it is the rams natural tendency to fight as a way of establishing pecking order. What was new to me about this is that there was a sport made out of it. So I started to research this sport. Surprisingly enough, this is the first time I have found very little on a topic I searched. I mean, I did not even find a history page on the ram fight. I'll tell you what I know and maybe one day in the future I'll give you the update.

I've also concluded that since I can not give you a summary of multiple accounts, I will simply quote the one account I can find. Enjoy.

One game I had never heard of was Ram Fighting. It’s an old west Javanese tradition and, it has set rules and interesting preambles. They are exciting spectacles which culminate in annual championship matches held on the first Sunday after Independence Day.
Ram fights remain popular in Bandung
Every Sunday, Abimanyu, Kamojang and Sancang are left alone “at home” as their young travel to various towns to take part in fights. Formerly champions of West Java, they now have to stay in their “house” in SumbersariCaringin,Bandung, all day long, waiting for the return of their youngsters.
On Saturdays, their young are bathed and given silver triangular accessories that are worn round their necks. Sometimes, when the young have to take part in a particular prestigious fight, they are also dressed in leather coats.
Abimanyu, Kamojang and Sancang are old fighting rams. Their young are also fighters. All these sheep belong to Juhana, 30, who has a flock of 70. He employs six men to take care of them all, and to prepare them for fights.
Sunday morning is the time that Juhana and his rams keenly await.
The same was true of the first Sunday morning in February this year. Ten young rams were chosen and put into two pick-up vans to be taken to the Siliwangi field, right over from the Sasana Budaya Ganesha (Sabuga)Jalan Tamansari, Bandung.
Lines of trucks, pick-ups and a number of luxury vehicles were seen parked. The rams were taken off the vans and then neatly lined up along a row of wooden posts located to the right of the half-a-quarter-hectare field, where the ram fights were to be held. While their master was completing the registration procedure, the rams wandered freely in the parking lot waiting their turn.
At 7.00 a.m sharp, the loud, intense sound of a trumpet and drum marked the beginning of the fight. The referee, wearing a black martial arts costume and a headband, came forward to the center of the grassy field. Hundreds of spectators impatiently waited on the rows of seats round the fighting arena. A wooden fence was put up round the fighting arena to prevent the losing ram from getting out of the arena and running towards the spectators.
The master of ceremony announced the names of the rams that would take part in the fight, along with the names of their owners and their places of origin. It was just like what one would find at a boxing match.
The registration fee for every participating ram was only Rp 5,000, as this was not a professional fight but only an event for the rams to practice before more prestigious events.
For a prestigious ram fights, said Juhana, the registration fee may amount to between Rp 150,000 and Rp 200,000 per head. The fee is high, he went on, because the prizes were also big, such as cash of millions of rupiah, motorcycles, refrigerators and televisions.
The sound of cheering and clapping from young and old reverberated loudly when the first two rams entered the arena, and the sound of the referee’s whistle signaled the beginning of the fight. During the fight, the drum continued to be beaten, its sound boosting the enthusiasm of the rams and increasing the excitement among the spectators.
Nenah (30), a Dago resident with two children, said that watching ram fights was a very interesting form of entertainment.
“It’s free of charge, but it makes my children happy. It is better than taking them to the zoo because to enter the zoo you have to pay Rp 7,000 and spend more if your children want to play a game or two,” she said.
A ram that runs away from its opponent or falls down is declared the loser. Just like in a boxing match, rams often locked horns rather than attacking each other. In such situations, the referee will blow his whistle and pull them apart.
“If neither of the rams runs away from their opponent, the points they collect will determine which ram wins the match,” said Juhana, who has been involved in the ram fighting business since he was nine.
A ram can collect a point not only because of its boldness in attacking its opponent, but also because of the beauty of its horns, the color and type of its wool, or its position when getting ready to attack its opponent. Points will also be collected on the basis of the technique that a sheep employs when attacking its opponent or dodging an attack.
Only seven of Juhana’s 70 rams are good enough for major fight events, such as the championship cup from the West Java Governor or other provincial-level sheep fight events.
Meanwhile, Dadang Rahman, another sheep breeder, said that raising fighter rams was not the same as raising ordinary sheep whose meat would be sold on the market.
“It is like having pretty children. We must take very good care of them so they will be healthy and flawless, and then they can be married off,” said Dadang, who added he had been in the ram fight business for over a decade.
Sheep eat grass, tofu waste and cassava. Dadang said he had a regular feeding schedule for his 20 sheep to ensure that they were always in good health. At 7.00 a.m., the sheep eat tofu waste, at 2.00 p.m. they eat grass, and at night they have cassava.
Both Juhana and Dadang agreed that cleanliness of the feed determined the health and strength of the rams as well as the beauty of their wool and horns.
In addition to their regular feed, the sheep are also given vitamins and deworming medicine.
“They get vitamins once a month. The vitamins are injected into their bodies,” said Juhana, who added he learned how to inject vitamins into the sheep from a friend, a veterinary surgeon, who checks his sheep once a month.
The sheep are given deworming medicine every three months. On average, a breeder of fighter sheep will spend up to Rp 150,000 a month for his sheep’s vitamins and deworming medicine.
Aside from good feed, vitamins and deworming medicine, fighter rams are also regularly trained to run fast and improve their fighting technique.
“Once in a while they are allowed to swim in a pool of water,” said Juhana, who added he liked sheep because they were good looking.
Obviously, a ram fight will mean money for its owner. That’s why owners of fighter rams take very good care of the health of their animals. In fact, ram fighting is a lucrative business. Juhana, who inherited his business from Sumarna, his father, said that a good quality fighter ram was worth between Rp 4 million and Rp 5 million. A champion fighting ram could be worth over Rp 50 million.
In a professional ram fight, there are weight-based categories: Class A for rams weighing 70 kg and above; Class B, 60 kg to 69 kg; and Class C, 50 kg to 59 kg.
“It’s a good idea to start with just a good lamb, which is quite cheap. We raise it and train it to be a good fighter and when it wins a fight we can sell it for a much higher price,” Juhana said.
Aside from the Babakan Siliwangi arena, a ram fights are also regularly held on Sunday morning in some other places across Bandung, like CilengkrangSulaiman Airport Margahayu or PasehMajalaya. Ram fights are also popular with West Java residents from outside Bandung.  

I've hope "you all" have enjoyed the read on ram fights and now find yourself on a whole new level of personal knowledge.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Day 10: It Probably Came From a Sticky, Dark Planet Far, Far Away

In the deep dark places of my mind, there are one group of childhood movies that stand out. All of those classic "Godzilla vs. ______" movies were some of the best films I rented as a kid. It's been years since I've thought about it, especially since the Americanized film versions ruined what I held dear. So now I'm here to bring back the love I had for Godzilla. Throw out your current knowledge of Godzilla and other Japanese beast films because I'm about to school you in the original Japanese art of Kaiju.

Godzilla is one of many films known as Kaiju science fiction films. The Kaiju films are a fad that started over in Japan that consist of films and artwork containing strange and usually large beasts. These Kaiju beasts are modeled after animals, insects, and mythological creatures that are altered to create a more horrifying and thrilling character (yet in some cases the creatures are based on inanimate objects). These beasts are usually seen as evil entities that plague our earth, yet at the same time have been know to do good. Ex.: Godzilla might be known to destroy buildings and entire cities, but is also known to have helped rid Japan of its occasional monstrous pests. Generally, Kaiju creatures over time became portrayed as less evil and more misunderstood.

The first Godzilla movie (properly known as "Gojira") became one of the first landmark films for the Kaiju scene in 1954; it was later heavily edited and released in the U.S. as "Godzilla, King of the Monsters!". The story starts off with Japanese fishing boats, and the rescue boats that came to help them, being attacked. Natives on the island of Odo know of the beast Gojira and are aware its his attacks. From there on it is a battle between Japan and this evil monster of the sea. Throughout the plot, scientists figure that the beast had been created due to a nuclear explosion. I would go further with the plot, but I'd rather not reveal it for those who have not had the pleasure of watching it. More important is the fact that this movie is not just some science fiction film, but rather a euphemism for an event known as the "Castle Bravo nuclear test". On March 1, 1954, the U.S. tested nuclear weapons on Bikini Atoll near the Marshall Islands and instead of testing the expected 6 megatons, there was a test of 15 megatons. A tuna fishing boat known as the "Lucky Dragon 5" was in the radius, along with some of the Marshall Islands. Radiation from the test not only affected the boat members and residents of the island, but is also known to have contaminated fish around the islands. When watching Gojira, it is clear that producer Tomoyuki Tanaka had the event in mind and used his creation to display a deeper story. With Gojira being the creation of a nuclear accident, he reigns terror on Japan, similar to the terror caused by the Castle Bravo incident.

Other Kaiju Monsters You Should Know

Gamera- Also known as Daikaiju, Gamera was a film made in 1965 about a giant turtle named Gamera. Similar to Godzilla, Gamera's awakening is caused by the detonation of an atomic bomb. For the most part, the rest is straight forward: Gamera is mad and he wants to destroy Japan. Several attempts are made to stop Gamera which all obviously fail and lead to reveal one of his superpowers: flight. The rest is golden. I suggest that if you want to watch this, get twice the pleasure and try to find the Mystery Science Theater 3000 version of it.

Mothra- Another classic is the 1961 Kaiju film, Mothra. Directed by Ishiro Honda, the film brings us on an expedition to an irradiated island where we find primitive native culture. When one expeditionary tries to exploit the islanders, their ancient deity comes to action. Plot..plot...plot.. the egg hatches and out comes the caterpillar form of Mothra. It makes it's way to the Japanese mainland destroying several battleships on the way, only to wreak serious havoc in Japan. Making itself at home, the caterpillar creates its cocoon in the ruins of the Tokyo Tower and later comes out as a full blown giant moth. Some destruction, some more plot, and Mothra goes back home.

Rodan-  The final film I present to you is Rodan, the Giant Monster of the Sky. This film takes on a bit of a different plot start. Here we find Japanese miners digging far into the depths of the earth and finding prehistoric insects called Meganulon that attack them. Further research into the matter reveals that they are food for larger creatures known as Rodans who hatch from their eggs to terrorize the world. 

I would go into the American movies and tell you their history, but I see that as more pointless than to know the facts behind the Japanese films. So from here I hope you all go out to enjoy some of these classic Kaiju films and see a side of horror and destruction that you have yet to see in any other movie.