"In the year 1961, an expedition was mounted to the remote Beiru Island (known as “Infant Island” by locals in the Polynesians) to inspect the strange claims of a small group of shipwrecked sailors that had recently been picked up by a JSDF transport. The unharmed sailors claimed that Beiru Island, which they’d washed ashore on after the wreck, was inhabited by a small tribe of indigenous islanders – an impossibility, as Rolisican inspectors had, according to their records, inspected the site for months before unleashing a nuclear test upon it.
However, the sailors claimed that not only were the natives alive and well, but they had used the juice of a small red berry that grew only on Beiru in order to ward off the effects of the radiation. Also, the natives worshipped a strange god known as “Mosura” (which was later corrupted into “Mothra” by a number of English translators), through the faith of two six-inch-high priestesses. Mosura may not have been entirely unknown to the faiths of many people in the nearby islands – a number of local peoples have legends of a great, benevolent, winged deity that can be worshipped through a unique “sunburst” symbol that, uncannily, features a cross in the center – but the name “Mosura” was unique to the island.
While the expedition was composed of a joint Japanese-Rolisican crew of nuclear scientists, biologists, and anthropologists, a Japanese reporter managed to sneak aboard, and it is thanks to his notes that we know what we do about Beiru Island, and the outside world’s first encounter with the strange place.
Unfortunately, a Rolisican “entrepreneur” named Clark Nelson (who had apparently greased the proper palms in order to receive passage onto the expedition’s ship) had his own plans for the island. When the villagers and priestesses revealed themselves to the reporter after he had been caught by carnivorous vines in the jungle (whether these were part of the island’s native flora, or mutants caused by the fallout has never been determined), Nelson began to prepare.
After the original expedition had left the island in peace, Nelson secretly came back with a crew of Rolisican mercenaries. He kidnapped the two priestesses, his men gunning down any islanders who resisted. Entering Japan with the tiny “fairies”, Nelson began exhibiting them in a show where they displayed their singing and dancing rites to the goddess Mosura. The Japanese reporters who had gotten wrapped up in the Beiru Island expedition managed to speak with the priestesses – who, over the next several decades, gained several strange monikers, among them “The Sobojin”, “The Cosmos”, and “The Elias”. The priestesses told them that they feared not for their own safety – Mosura would soon come for them – but many might die by accident if she came ashore.
The next morning, a massive caterpillar swam into Tokyo Bay, making a beeline for the city itself. Military hardware did nothing to dissuade it, and as it thundered through Tokyo, a disguised Nelson fled on an airliner for Rolisica – he was now a wanted man in Japan, as the reporters had spread the word about his actions.
I was summoned to Tokyo, and appeared there just in time to see the great caterpillar cocoon itself to the side of Tokyo Tower. I witnessed its bombardment by the JSDF’s new Heat Ray, and how, though the exterior was singed and blackened, Mothra arose from the cocoon the next day as a gigantic, colorful winged insect – whether she was butterfly or moth remains unknown, as she displayed traits of both – of indescribable beauty.
Mothra flew to Rolisica’s New Kirk City, and now even the Rolisicans had made Nelson a wanted man. While the would-be showman died after being assaulted by an angry mob of Rolisican citizens, and firing at a police officer in his panic – resulting in his being shot by two off-duty officers, though the coroner, strangely, ruled it a heart attack brought on by intense fear and panic – the Sobojin were eventually returned to Mothra. The great insect winged her way back to Beiru Island with her priestesses, leaving Tokyo and New Kirk City badly damaged. The UN came to a unanimous vote not to approach Infant Island ever again, save in cases of extreme necessity.
A few years later, in 1964, Mothra’s egg rolled ashore on the coast of Japan during a typhoon. This, unfortunately, coincided with the latest reawakening of Godzilla, on a beach less than one hundred miles away. Though the great egg was “purchased” by another would-be enterprise of exploitation, Mothra eventually returned to Japan to stand against Godzilla. The expedition to Infant Island to plead for Mothra’s help reported that the island’s ecosystem had degraded badly: the dense jungles were almost gone, replaced by barren rock and the bleached bones of the wildlife that could not escape the fallout.
While the adult Mothra was killed by Godzilla, she managed to hide her egg from Godzilla’s view with the spread of her wing. Two caterpillars hatched from the egg a few days later, and pursued Godzilla to a remote island where, after a prolonged struggle, they eventually wrapped the titan in silk and dumped him into the sea before returning to Infant Island.
A single caterpillar Mothra (the other had apparently died of its injuries at Godzilla’s hand) reappeared in 1964, as the Sobojin teamed up with a young woman who claimed to be a “Venusian Prophet” to warn the Earth of the imminent arrival of King Ghidorah. I arrived in Japan to see Mothra turn Godzilla and the newly re-awakened Rodan away from each other, and coordinate their attacks on the terrible alien. Mothra returned to Infant Island after this, and dropped out of the public view.
In 1966, a group of young individuals (who had vanished for two weeks and then mysteriously reappeared on the Kii Peninsula late one night) were reported as having come from Infant Island. Their story was a strange one indeed. The rumored Red Bamboo terrorist base on the remote Letchi Island had proven to be more than myth, and it was only thanks to the newly adult Mothra’s coming to the aid of her people (who the Red Bamboo had enslaved) that they had gotten off the island before it was incinerated by a nuclear failsafe system. The failsafe itself had apparently been triggered by Godzilla’s little-known fight with the mysterious guard monster Ebirah, but details are sketchy at best. After this, Mothra vanished from the public eye for more than twenty years.
In 1992, Mothra’s story was finally told to the general public when a massive asteroid crashed into the Pacific Ocean near where Godzilla was hibernating. Mothra, as it turned out, was an avatar of the benevolent spirit of the Earth itself, and when the asteroid struck, it accelerated the world-damaging processes (excessive CO2, deforestation, pollution, etc) that humanity was already undertaking. This apparently awoke Mothra’s dark twin, the ferocious Battra, who had destroyed the ancient civilization the Cosmos had belonged to several thousand years before (though the Cosmos themselves remain frustratingly vague about their true origins). A three-way battle between Mothra, Battra, and a recently reawakened Godzilla ended with Mothra and Battra teaming up against Godzilla, dumping him into the sea. Battra died from his injuries, and Mothra winged her way out into space to intercept a massive asteroid that was heading towards Earth.
Famed psychic Miki Saegusa was apparently contacted by a psychic “Fairy Mothra” that told her of Spacegodzilla’s approach in 1994. Details can be found in her 2006 autobiography, “Minds of the Kaiju”, translated into English by Robert Denham.
Mothra apparently returned to Earth just in time to face off against the forest-destroying Desghidorah in 1996. Though she was killed by the monster, her son – the first known male Mothra, named “Mothra Leo” – survived to seal the horror away once more. Mothra Leo’s story stretched over two more years, and culminated in a battle against the world-killing Grand King Ghidorah in 1998. While he retired from fighting forever as the mysterious “Eternal Mothra” after that battle, he apparently left a daughter to take his place as the benevolent warrior spirit of the Earth.
Meanwhile, Infant Island, according to all sources, had been decaying steadily over the years. When I visited in a 2003 expedition, the native population was completely gone, and while the jungle was slowly starting to grow back, only the Sobojin remained to tell the story of what had once been there. The red berry had somehow gotten off the island in the intervening years, and its radiation-blocking properties have since been researched and bioengineered into the “anti-radiation spray” that most modern soldiers who go into battle against radioactive monsters use on a regular basis.
In 1999, a larval Mothra played a vital role in the last fight against King Ghidorah during the Kilaak invasion, working with Kumonga to seal the king of terror away in a shroud of silk and webbing. More alarmingly than that, however, is the fact that the benevolent goddess was apparently mind-controlled by the Kilaaks as well during the initial invasion, something no other alien race had ever been able to achieve. Under their control, Mothra obliterated most of Beijing, and the Sobojin announced that, for the first time in thousands of years, Mothra simply wasn't listening to them anymore. However, they also apologized profusely for Mothra's actions, and claimed that her future deeds would redeem her. They vanished before the mind-control device on the moon was destroyed by the crew of Moonlight SY-3, and their words seem to have come to fruition.
This new Mothra, having metamorphosed into an adult, reappeared to fight the mysterious Godzilla that came to terrorize Japan in 2001 (alongside the revived King Ghidorah, no less!), and was apparently killed in the battle.
After the Sobojin delivered a warning about the ethical ramifications of the “Kiryu Project” in 2003, another adult Mothra appeared to defend Japan against Godzilla. While the adult Mothra was killed by the monster, Kiryu managed to delay him until Mothra’s twin progeny appeared in Japan to continue the fight where their mother had left off. The larvae battled Godzilla while Kiryu underwent much-needed repairs, and eventually wrapped Godzilla up in silk – mirroring the trick their forebears had used in 1964, leading many to wonder how Mothra’s intelligence truly worked – and left Kiryu to deal with the immobilized monster. The giant cyborg had Godzilla at his mercy, but at the last moment, Kiryu’s “Godzilla” intelligence took over once more, and the machine carried Godzilla out to sea, diving into the Japan Trench after a brief flight. Kiryu was never seen again.
In 2004, after the Sobojin had warned a number of individuals about the impending Xilian invasion, a single adult Mothra appeared in the final battle in Tokyo, teaming up with Godzilla to battle Gigan and Monster X. Mothra and Gigan ultimately destroyed one another, leaving Godzilla to battle Monster X alone.
While Mothra was never seen again, the Sobojin left the crew of the fallen Gotengo battleship with a message of hope: as long as there is life on the planet Earth, Mothra will be there to defend it.
I myself was presented with a small stone talisman by the Sobojin in 2003. While it has a special place on my trophy shelf, the warmth and benevolent energy that surrounds it seems to single-handedly neutralize the fearsomeness within what many people have dubbed my “Chamber of Horrors”. There is no doubt that Mothra occupies a special place in the hearts of millions of people around the world…"
Reality Check: This is the fictional kaiju Mothra. I do not own Mothra, all rights belong to Toho, etc etc...