Mothra and Religious Connections

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g2kmaster
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Mothra and Religious Connections

Post by g2kmaster »

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Well, here is an interesting topic we can talk about. Through out the course of her films, Mothra has exhibited connections to a great number of religions. Zoroastrianism and Christian ideologies along with some shinto have been linked into the films including concepts such as mana and such. Anyone have any thoughts upon these concepts and how the Mothra films (1961 and the trilogy) exhibit them, what parts of the films exhibit them, and such?

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Mini-Godzilla
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Re: Mothra and Religious Connections

Post by Mini-Godzilla »

Mothra seems to represent religion/spirituality and its positive influence on the world. Cross imagery and such are not really meant to tie the character down as a symbol of Christianity (or any other religion) in particular, but rather are to emphasize the inherent nature of Mothra. This heroic kaiju always opposes those who heartlessly exploit others and enact cruelty for their own pleasure, and she is more than willing to be a martyr for the right cause. She can serve as a guardian to her people, and she can pour down wrath upon wicked evildoers.
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Re: Mothra and Religious Connections

Post by kaijukurt »

Mothra seems to represent religion/spirituality and its positive influence on the world. Cross imagery and such are not really meant to tie the character down as a symbol of Christianity (or any other religion) in particular, but rather are to emphasize the inherent nature of Mothra. This heroic kaiju always opposes those who heartlessly exploit others and enact cruelty for their own pleasure, and she is more than willing to be a martyr for the right cause. She can serve as a guardian to her people, and she can pour down wrath upon wicked evildoers.
Mothra seems to represent religion/spirituality and its positive influence on the world. Cross imagery and such are not really meant to tie the character down as a symbol of Christianity (or any other religion) in particular, but rather are to emphasize the inherent nature of Mothra. This heroic kaiju always opposes those who heartlessly exploit others and enact cruelty for their own pleasure, and she is more than willing to be a martyr for the right cause. She can serve as a guardian to her people, and she can pour down wrath upon wicked evildoers.
Yeah, I agree with you. Before, I used to think mothra was a symbolism of Jesus Christ...
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kaijukurt
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Re: Mothra and Religious Connections

Post by kaijukurt »

kaijukurt wrote:
Yeah, I agree with you. Before, I used to think mothra was a symbolism of Jesus Christ...






OK, I'm just gonna be honest. That makes NO SENSE. At all.
Yeah, i was still a little kid then(10-12 yrs), and when I saw the cross they used to summon her, I thought, "Wow across! Maybe mothra is jesus in a way because she is our savior!

Of, course, i don't think like that anymore.
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Re: Mothra and Religious Connections

Post by HayesAJones »

Between her deity status, cross-like symbol, and selfless acts, Mothra is definitively a symbol/figure of religion and spirituality.

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Mini-Godzilla
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Re: Mothra and Religious Connections

Post by Mini-Godzilla »

Godzilla 1995 wrote:Cross? Wait, are you talking about the Mothra symbol? Never looked like a cross to me. I always thought it was some kind of pacific islands design.
Ishiro Honda directly relates the Mothra symbol with the cross in the original film. Mothra is not meant to be a direct stand-in for any particular savior-god, but she obviously represents this type of benevolent deity in general. In other words, she's not merely Buddha, Jesus, or Krishna, but all three and many more.

I did not see Mothra 1961 until several years after I had seen its sequels, and that single movie shifted me from hating the giant moth to considering it Toho's second-best monster. It's a shame that none of the subsequent films had as much depth as the original. I would almost choose it over Gojira as Honda's masterpiece.
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Re: Mothra and Religious Connections

Post by kaijukurt »

Yeah, Mothra was obviously the monster who symbolized morals.
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Re: Mothra and Religious Connections

Post by kaijukurt »

I also feel she represents sacrifice and rebirth
Oh yeah, forgot about that.
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Re: Mothra and Religious Connections

Post by bananaoil »

Let's not forget the few symbolic scenes in Tokyo SOS, such as when the Little Beauties are literally standing in front of a cross formed from rubble and when, at the end of the film, they stand side by side and raise their arms horizontally, producing a human cross.
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Re: Mothra and Religious Connections

Post by edgaguirus »

Mothra has always stood for what's good. Mothra is treated as a god, and shows benevolent behavior towards those who honor her or are in deep trouble. She even showed mercy when Japan failed to return her egg, dying to save them from Godzilla. Her death and rebirth cycle add to this, making a Christ-like image. Though, Mothra shows other religious parrallels.

Her ememies contribute, too. Desghidorah is a being that sucks life out of everything around it, a bringer of death and destruction. GKG fed on children, the symbol of innocence.
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Re: Mothra and Religious Connections

Post by G-Man1989 »

From everything I have read, Eiji Tsuburaya had a great deal of influence on Mothra and the Christian references made in the first film in 1961 could have spawned from some of his ideals as a Roman Catholic, as well as the influence of Ishiro Honda.

I also heard Eiji added some Catholic/Christian messages in Ultraman, as well as his son who made the later shows and movies.

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Re: Mothra and Religious Connections

Post by locomike65 »

the "cross" in her symbol is actually the least of the possible connections to Christianity.
Remember there is no "Mr Mothra" so the child is of a virgin birth.
Now, go back to the christmas story and lay that over Godzilla vs mothra storyline. Mothra is a godess. The divine child is attacked by evil which tries to destroy it before its even born. Mothra, between the 2 forms adult and larvae, dies, rises from the dead and defeats evil.
Theres a few other parallells ill go into later if you want but i gotta run for now.
thanks for the great topic and duscussion!

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Re: Mothra and Religious Connections

Post by JAGzilla »

On a related topic, I've always liked the idea of an in-universe religion based around Mothra. Not just among the Infant Islanders, but a global thing. It's followers would adhere to Mothra's moral code, along with praying to her for help with appropriate problems. Whether or not she could actually hear said prayers would be left ambiguous, though she and the Shobijin would be supportive of at least the religion's general idea.

Battra would probably attract a similar following, though he'd view it as a useless minority and ignore it.
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Re: Mothra and Religious Connections

Post by Rody »

^ I think Bobby Curnow said something about that regarding HALF CENTURY WAR.

I agree that this is a good idea; after all, I can actually see people doing that in real life.

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Re: Mothra and Religious Connections

Post by locomike65 »

I agree jagzilla great idea would make for interesting storyline if theres ever another Mothra movie.
Another parallell. The "worship" scenes on the island are extremely similar to descriptions of what goes on in heaven written in the book or Revelations in the bible.
Having studied that book and the rest of the Bible alot I felt like I was waching those scenes acted out in the movie.
Someone made reference to one of the creaters being Catholic. I wasnt able to find any info on any of their personal lives. Honda was the sone of a Buddhist priest but no mention of his personal religious views.
However the story line has so many parallells to Biblical stories that I gotta wonder if indeed, whether subconsciensly or on purpose, if the creators of the movie didnt use their religios views to create the characters and story line.
If you get past the whole giant moth and lizard thing, its actually avery deep movie.

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Re: Mothra and Religious Connections

Post by PRIMEVAL »

I can definitely see the Christian connections from what I've seen in the Godzilla films.

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Re: Mothra and Religious Connections

Post by hammysammy59 »

Doesn't Japan at large sort of view/interpret Christian imagery the way we view voodoo or pre-Christian imagery? Not with any deep understanding of the subject, but with vague notions that do a great job of setting an ancient, eerie, sacred, and foreign--maybe even forbidden, mood. I'd say they were aiming more for that nebulous, spiritual vibe than MOTHRA=JESUS.
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Re: Mothra and Religious Connections

Post by godzilla898 »

JAGzilla wrote:On a related topic, I've always liked the idea of an in-universe religion based around Mothra. Not just among the Infant Islanders, but a global thing. It's followers would adhere to Mothra's moral code, along with praying to her for help with appropriate problems. Whether or not she could actually hear said prayers would be left ambiguous, though she and the Shobijin would be supportive of at least the religion's general idea.
Any idea where I could find such a thing?
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Re: Mothra and Religious Connections

Post by hammysammy59 »

Jomei wrote:I'm sure Tsuburaya incorporated some of his personal views of Catholocism as well, evidenced by the death/rebirth cycle, self-sacrifice, etc.
I always forget Tsuburaya was Catholic. I'm so used to just assuming Christianity and its sects are practically non-existent in Japan.
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Re: Mothra and Religious Connections

Post by locomike65 »

the only way to know for sure would be if someone could find his personal writings or an interview where e discussed this directly. I have not yet been able to dig anything up. That being said, there are just too many similaritys (although well disguised) to be a coincidence. Those of you commenting otherwise please take into account. You must first be familiar with Chritianity and with all the scenes in the movie to really see the connection.
Now, I dont doubt everyone here is pretty familiar with the movie. And most of you probably think you understand Christianity. But in my experience, few actually do even among those who would say that they do. I have studied (not just read but studied) the Bible for over 25 years. And , more recently, I have studied that film and most of the films involving Mothra and i'm telling you the parallells are multiple. I was very surprised myself and didnt notice till after seeing the movie a few times.
Its easy to just take it for what it seems to be on the surface, A giant monster movie. But there seems to be much more to this than that. Those were real people who created these movies, those people had ideas, world views, and maybee agendas (gotta say maybee until those personal writings turn up lol).
I just find the whole thing fascinating.
Thanks for making this thread and thanks for all the input.

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