Remembering Momoko Kōchi, the Original Godzilla Actress

With all the “Godzilla-mania” going on due to the recently released CGI remake of the 1954 Japanese horror classic, Godzilla (sometimes written as “Gojira” after the Japanese pronunciation), it’s fitting that someone pay homage to the original that spawned the giant monster movies. However, that’s not what this site’s about, so instead, I’m just paying homage here to the film’s lead actress, Momoko Kōchi.

Miss Kōchi played Emiko Yamane, the daughter of the archeologist who finds conclusive evidence of Godzilla and wants to study the creature, rather than destroy it. In the above scene, Emiko decides she must break her promise to keep silent about an Oxygen Destroyer created by her scientist fiancé, whom she doesn’t love or want to marry, and tells what she knows to the salvage ship captain she does love and wants to marry. She reveals what she knows because she realizes, despite her promise and the damage the device can cause, the Oxygen Destroyer is the only thing that can stop Godzilla.

After Godzilla, Miss Kōchi did a few more films in the 1950s and then retired from acting. She came out of retirement nearly 40 years later, to reprise her role of Emiko Yamane, in 1995′s Godzilla vs Destoroyah, three years before her death in 1998 at the age of 66.

Emiko seeing Godzilla for the first time
Rare, behind-the-scenes shot of Momoko with the film’s antagonist during production

The pair during a break from filming Godzilla: King of the Monsters in 1956


About the author

Editor-in-Chief at // More articles

Originally from the San Francisco Bay Area, Chris flirted with the music business there and in Nashville before joining the U.S. Army and serving in South Korea. He remained in Asia for several years afterwards, teaching English, traveling, and covering the regional entertainment scenes. Currently in a mindset between Seoul and San Francisco, besides Idol Features, you can also catch his writings in the print edition of the monthly magazine, Effective.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.