Emi Ito – One of the Twin Fairies Who Sang to MOTHRA Dead at 71
Kaiju fans are in mourning today. Emi Ito may not be a household name but anyone who grew up watching the Godzilla movies on television remembers the two magical fairies who would sing those lovely lullabies to Mothra, the giant moth. The identical twins were perhaps the most memorable human characters in the Godzilla series, and Emi and Yumi Ito were the two actresses who played the roles. They recorded hit albums in Japan going by the name “The Peanuts” and were one of that country’s first pop sensations, one of the few that became well known internationally.
The sisters Emi and Yumi Ito, were born Hideyo and Tsukiko Ito on April 1, 1941 in Aichi prefecture. They were discovered by Watanabe Pro founder Sho Watanabe, a music impresario who first saw them performing at a club in Nagoya as the Ito Sisters. In 1958 brought them to Tokyo, where they were dubbed The Peanuts. The pair debuted in 1959 with “Kawaii Hana” (Cute Flower) and gained popularity through their appearances on the musical variety show “Shabondama Holiday” (Soap Bubble Holiday). In 1961, they achieved international immortality when they appeared in the movie MOTHRA as fairies, or pixies, called “shobijin” (small beauties) who had telepathic communication with Mothra, giving The Peanuts a somewhat supernatural aura. They returned to serenade Mothra in GODZILLA VS THE THING (1964) and GHIDRA THE THREE HEADED MONSTER (1965). The Peanuts also came to the U.S. where they appeared on the popular variety TV shows The Ed Sullivan Show and The Danny Kaye Show. The duo retired from show biz in 1975. Ito was 71 and is survived by her sister.