“An Ode to Mothra”

Friend of the Gutter Jessica Ritchey writes an ode to Mothra at Balder & Dash at “The giant moth’s introduction to audiences came in 1961’s “Mothra,” and for all it owed to the conventions of the Kaiju formula it offered plenty that was unique. Instead of a feared beast whose appearance is regarded with unpleasant surprise and terror, Mothra was worshipped as a goddess by the people of Infant Island, a place somewhere in the South Pacific. (This also begins the unfortunate practice in sixties Kaiju films of representing Native Pacific Islanders as Japanese actors in brownface.) Her main priestesses where two tiny women, played by sisters Emi and Yumi Ito, who had found fame before the film as the pop group The Peanuts. (And indeed, the instantly catchy song used to wake Mothra would become a hallmark of the character popping up in different versions thereafter.)”

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