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peach tea latte's avatar

Dapper Explorer

Before you start downvoting this just because you don't agree, please read the entire post along with the two articles I've linked to first.

Like everyone else, I've always thought Spirited Away was a fun and innocent film about a 10-year-old girl who is forced to work in a bathhouse in the spirit world so that she can save her parents and turn them back into humans. But then I came across these two articles (highly recommended reading). In the first article, it shows that Hayao Miyazaki himself confessed that the film does indeed center around prostitution. Although there are no scenes of prostitution in the movie, the underlying theme of it is still there.

article 1
The spa in Sen to Chihiro is decorated by red lanterns, and the interior is color-coordinated in glittering gold and red: there's no doubt this is the super-bad-taste style of a Japanese soapland. Many female workers scrub and massage bodies of the customers (they are all monsters). In this movie, the spa workers are called "Yuna" in Japanese. If you happen to have a Japanese dictionary, please refer the word. Iwanami Dictionary of Japanese defines "Yuna" as "a female spa worker who provides massage, and sex". And Haku tells Chihiro that the only way to survive there and get back her parents is to work there like the other girls.


article 1
In his interview for the Japanese edition of PREMIRE magazine, Miyazaki explained that his wonderland is not just a fantasy, but represents the real world of today's Japan. "The sex industry is everywhere now in Japan," he said. "And the number of young girls who look like whores is growing."

In this interview, Miyazaki worries about the circumstance surrounds today's Japanese girls. Girls who grow up in Japan have to live surrounded by obscenity which is spread by media, no matter how much their parents try to cover their eyes. Furthermore, with the Japanese economy having gone downhill for more than a decade now, the unemployment rate is as high as it's ever beenófor women, getting a decent job is extremely difficult, because of these reasons compounded by sex discrimination. Japanese girl have got to have the guts to do anythingóeven if it's work at a place like Super Loose. They're paying the price of the indulgences of their parents' generation: in the eighties, Chihiro's mom and dad enjoyed the bubble economy's hedonism without conscience like pigs.


So what do you guys all think?
Interesting. I always enjoy messages like this.
XAngelic_MistX's avatar

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Wow, that makes alot more sense now, this was interesting.
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crying my mind has been blown... crying
AstellaFox's avatar

Sparkly Fairy

Okay, well I still like the movie anyways. blaugh
ScarTheBloody's avatar

Fashionable Shapeshifter

I have that movie on VHS (yeah old skool) and after reading the articles you provide I think i will watch the movie tonight so i can pick some things up. heart
The movie isn't literally about prostitution. While in some ways, the settings, characters and visuals were inspired by Japan's redlight districts, the movie itself does not imply that any sexual acts ever happened in the bathhouse.
I'm still kinda shocked about the Yuna part.

Mainly because Yuna is the name of a rather famous (and innocent) FF character...
Milady Alluca's avatar

Girl-Crazy Capitalist

That is actually really interesting and makes a lot of sense. For all the symbolism constructed in the movie, it's even still able to be marketed to kids too, which I think is even more incredible. It's cool to hear about things like this o:
Fungii's avatar

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Wasn't there something that completely debunked this theory at one point? Can't remember exactly really, might have just been some nameless nobody saying it was BS
Miss-dark8607's avatar

Dangerous Visionary

Fungii
Wasn't there something that completely debunked this theory at one point? Can't remember exactly really, might have just been some nameless nobody saying it was BS


Most likely also:

Quote:
Every summer, Hayao Miyazaki spent his vacation at a mountain cabin with his family and five girls who were friends of the family. The idea for Spirited Away came about when he desired to make a film for these friends. Miyazaki had previously directed films like My Neighbor Totoro and Kiki's Delivery Service, which were for small children and teenagers, but he had not created a film for ten-year-old girls. For inspiration, he read shōjo manga magazines like Nakayoshi and Ribon the girls had left at the cabin, but felt they only offered subjects on "crushes" and romance. When looking at his young friends, Miyazaki felt this was not what they "held dear in their hearts." Instead, he decided to make the film about a girl heroine whom they could look up to.[14]


Writer and director Hayao Miyazaki used shōjo manga magazines for inspiration to direct Spirited Away.
Miyazaki had wanted to make a new film for a long time. He had previously written two project proposals, but they had both been rejected. The first one was based on the Japanese book Kirino Mukouno Fushigina Machi, and the second one was about a teenage heroine. Miyazaki's third proposal, which ended up becoming Sen and Chihiro Spirited Away, was more successful. All three stories revolved around a bathhouse that was based on a bathhouse in Miyazaki's hometown. Miyazaki thought the bathhouse was a mysterious place, and there was a small door next to one of the bathtubs in the bathhouse. Miyazaki was always curious to what was behind it, and he made up several stories about it; one of which was the inspiration for the bathhouse in Spirited Away


So how did it get from being a magical light hearted family film to a family film about whore houses? I think once again western over sexualization of Asian and Asian women came into play in both articles and things were taken out of context.
peach tea latte's avatar

Dapper Explorer

Miss-dark8607
Fungii
Wasn't there something that completely debunked this theory at one point? Can't remember exactly really, might have just been some nameless nobody saying it was BS


Most likely also:

Quote:
Every summer, Hayao Miyazaki spent his vacation at a mountain cabin with his family and five girls who were friends of the family. The idea for Spirited Away came about when he desired to make a film for these friends. Miyazaki had previously directed films like My Neighbor Totoro and Kiki's Delivery Service, which were for small children and teenagers, but he had not created a film for ten-year-old girls. For inspiration, he read shōjo manga magazines like Nakayoshi and Ribon the girls had left at the cabin, but felt they only offered subjects on "crushes" and romance. When looking at his young friends, Miyazaki felt this was not what they "held dear in their hearts." Instead, he decided to make the film about a girl heroine whom they could look up to.[14]


Writer and director Hayao Miyazaki used shōjo manga magazines for inspiration to direct Spirited Away.
Miyazaki had wanted to make a new film for a long time. He had previously written two project proposals, but they had both been rejected. The first one was based on the Japanese book Kirino Mukouno Fushigina Machi, and the second one was about a teenage heroine. Miyazaki's third proposal, which ended up becoming Sen and Chihiro Spirited Away, was more successful. All three stories revolved around a bathhouse that was based on a bathhouse in Miyazaki's hometown. Miyazaki thought the bathhouse was a mysterious place, and there was a small door next to one of the bathtubs in the bathhouse. Miyazaki was always curious to what was behind it, and he made up several stories about it; one of which was the inspiration for the bathhouse in Spirited Away


So how did it get from being a magical light hearted family film to a family film about whore houses? I think once again western over sexualization of Asian and Asian women came into play in both articles and things were taken out of context.


The first article was written by a Japanese film critic if you actually bothered to click on it and read it all the way through to the bottom. The west had absolutely nothing to do with these two articles.
Miss-dark8607's avatar

Dangerous Visionary

Crepe Aux Fraises

The first article was written by a Japanese film critic if you actually bothered to click on it and read it all the way through to the bottom. The west had absolutely nothing to do with these two articles.


Lovely attitude. rolleyes So what about the second one then also how do you know? Both articles are purely opinion anyways. They aren't from any reliable source and ANYONE could have wrote those. Hell with your attitude maybe you wrote them which is why you are getting all butt hurt now.

OH and I guess since you are new or whatever I do tend to read and quite well thank you very much. However, I guess I have better common sense and critical thinking skills than MOST people. Maybe you should work on that instead of believing it any little thing you come across and getting all upset because others don't.

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