Mr. Moto

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Mr. Moto is a fictional Japanese secret agent created by the American author John P. Marquand. He appeared in six novels by Marquand published between 1935 and 1957. Marquand initially created the character for the Saturday Evening Post, which was seeking stories with an Asian hero after the death of Charlie Chan's creator Earl Derr Biggers.

In various other media, Mr. Moto has been portrayed as an international law enforcement agent. These include eight motion pictures starring Peter Lorre between 1937 and 1939, 23 radio shows starring James Monk broadcast in 1951, a 1965 film starring Henry Silva, and a 2003 comic book produced by Moonstone Books.


Character in the novels

In Marquand's novels, Moto calls himself I. A. Moto, though it is made clear in some of the books that this is almost certainly an alias. Most of the novels are about intrigue in Pacific Rim countries in the 1930s. The central character is usually an American, former military, who becomes accidentally enmeshed in the action and meets Moto. The ex-military American character usually does not realize that Mr. Moto is an imperial agent until the end of the story.

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