The Tiny Beauties and Mothra: Introduction

The GNP Presents:

The Tiny Beauties and Mothra: A Nitto Press Exclusive

By “Snapping Turtle” Fukuda

Based on the 1961 film Mothra

Screenplay by Shinichi Sekizawa

Adaptation by Daniel DiManna


This story is dedicated with love and respect to the memory of Shinichi Sekizawa, whose passion, talent, and childlike love for monsters and storytelling forever changed the idea of what “kaiju” could be. It was from his pen that the cinematic version of Mothra sprung, and through his imagination that an entire genre came into its own. All who write – and dream – of monsters stand in his indomitable shadow, and his legacy stands every bit as tall as the beasts he helped create.

ありがとう, 関沢新.


[FROM THE ARCHIVES OF NITTO PRESS – REPRINT/DISTRIBUTE WITH PERMISSION ONLY]

A NOTE ON THE PRESENTATION OF THE FOLLOWING ARTICLE

The article reproduced below was originally published across both the July 30th, and July 31st, 1961, issues of Nitto Press’ daily newspaper. Although generally a short-term, headline-based company specializing in breaking in-the-moment headline news, Nitto did occasionally indulge in longer-form journalism that allowed bigger, more investigative stories to be told.

Such was the case for this two-part article, entitled “The Tiny Beauties and Mothra” and penned by one of Nitto’s most well-known (and tenacious) reporters: Senichiro Fukuda, known in the industry by the moniker “Snapping Turtle.” Fukuda-san earned the nickname due to his refusal to let go of a good story once he’d sunk his proverbial teeth into it, a reputation that even earned him international fame when several of his articles were republished in English and credited to “that great Japanese journalist, “Bulldog” Fukuda.” Whatever nickname one choses to use, it’s undeniable that Fukuda-san was a singular force in the industry, and it was his unwillingness to back down from a good scoop that ultimately led him to report on one of the greatest events of modern times.

In mid-1961, Fukuda-san found himself caught up in the unprecedented international scandal that led to Tokyo’s destruction at the hands of Mothra, the so-called “goddess” of the distant Infant Island. Along with his photographer, Michi Hanamura, and scientist Shinichi Chujo, Fukuda-san had front-and-center access to almost every aspect of the story, including being one of the first (and still only) humans to ever converse with the mysterious “Shobijin” fairies whose kidnapping became the catalyst for the entire incident.

Following the return of the fairies to Mothra in the capital city of Rolisica, Fukuda-san returned to Japan to begin chronicling the event for public consumption. Ever the consummate reporter, the infamous “Snapping Turtle” recounted his perspective in the first person, employing plenty of journalistic bravado while never losing sight of the truth – and significance – of the story. The resulting exclusive article – published alongside Hanamura-san’s collection of now-iconic photographs and several others acquired through cooperation with other newspapers – became one of the most lauded works of journalism in Japan at the time, and even earned both Fukuda-san and Hanamura-san a Pulitzer for their work.

Today, original copies of the Nitto Press issues containing the article are hard to come by, and those that do survive are often in poor condition due to the fragility of the paper they were printed on. Fortunately, thanks to the hard work of collectors, archivists, and volunteers across Japan, the article has been recreated here in as close a presentation to the original 1961 printing as possible. Multiple archival sources were used to maintain authenticity to the original words, and the best surviving copies of every included photograph from the second part (and accompanying captions) were used to provide the same visual component afforded to the initial printing by the hard work of Michi Hanamura. (All photographs not taken by Hanamura-san will be denoted as such.) While the following facsimile lacks the original layout that would’ve been seen in a 1961 newspaper, the complete story is present. It is hoped that, by preserving this incredible account of modern man’s first encounter with Mothra, future generations might learn the same lesson that Senichiro Fukuda came to learn through his experience: greed at the expense of balance, freedom, and human decency is a grievous sin that, when unchecked, can – and will – invite the wrath of the divine.

[ALL MATERIALS REPRODUCED THEREIN ARE PROPERTY OF NITTO PRESS AND ITS ACCOCIATED COMPANIES AND ENTITIES. ORIGINAL ARTICLE © 1961 BY NITTO PRESS. MOTHRA/SHOBIJIN PHOTOGRAPHS © 1961 BY MICHI HANAMURA. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. UNAUTHORIZED COPYING OR REPRODUCTION OF INCLUDED MATERIAL IS STRICTLY PROHIBITED.]

THE PLAYERS

Senichiro Fukuda (A.K.A. “The Snapping Turtle”) – Reporter
Michi Hanamura – Photographer
Dr. Shinichi Chujo – Linguist, Anthropologist [ELICITLY AQUIRED PHOTOGRAPH – USED WITH PERMISSION]
Clark Nelson – Rolisican National, Businessman, Duplicitous Crook/Kidnapper
The Tiny Beauties (A.K.A. the “Shobijin”) – High Priestesses of Mothra
Mothra – Guardian and Goddess of Infant Island, Protector of the Shobijin

BEGIN THE ARTICLE

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