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Kaiju (怪獣 kaijū?) is a Japanese word that means "strange beast," but often translated in English as "monster". Specifically, it is used to refer to a genre of tokusatsu entertainment.

Related terms include kaijū eiga (怪獣映画 kaijū eiga?, monster movie), a film featuring kaiju, kaijin (怪人?, referring to roughly humanoid monsters) and daikaiju (大怪獣 daikaijū?, giant monster), specifically meaning the larger variety of monsters.

The most famous kaiju is Godzilla. Other well-known kaiju include Mothra, Anguirus, Rodan, Gamera and King Ghidorah. The term ultra-kaiju is short-hand for monsters in the Ultra Series.



Kaiju are typically modeled after conventional animals, insects or mythological creatures; however, there are more exotic examples. Choujin Sentai Jetman features monsters based on traffic lights, faucets and tomatoes;[1] Kamen Rider Super-1 includes a whole army of monsters based on household objects such as umbrellas and utility ladders.[2]

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