After asking a recent story identification question of mine about a film that turned out to be Gamera vs. Gyaos, the answer led me to the term "daikaiju", which, in the Wikipedia, redirected to "kaiju", which translates to "strange beast," but which, in English, we usually just translate to "monster."
The Wikipedia entry (linked to above) does not include many details on kaiju, other than a few simple points.
I thought, originally, that maybe only a few were made, but then as I started reading, I remember that many people growing up before the 70s or so talked about these movies and saw a number of them on the late late show or the local "cheap movie" show that may have aired low budget horror with a local host each week. And as I was reading the article, I also realized there were a large number of these movies (most using suitmation) produced.
Was this just a fad in Japan because they could put a movie together for cheap that would rake in money, or was there some cultural significance to these movies? I get the feeling that there was some kind of attempt, in some cases, to express a fear of nature gone wild or something like that.
Was there a cultural significance to these movies? Or were they just done for quick profit?