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The Truth Behind ‘My Neighbour Totoro’
Studio Ghibli films often have darker, more complex themes and undertones going on. My Neighbour Totoro isn’t the exception in this case.
On the surface it is a very heart-warming tale of two sisters Satsuki and Mei who, after moving into a new house, begin to see some strange things. Soon they meet a giant mystical creature which they name Totoro.
What many do not understand is the meaning of Totoro and his magical friends. In the Japanese culture they are the Gods of Death.
Although Ghibli denies this there are some startling resemblances between My Neighbour Totoro and a grim murder named The Sayama Incident:

The Sayama incident occured in May 1963. It’s quite an important case for discrimination in Japan. The case goes that one day, in Sayama (in Saitama prefecture), a young girl was kidnapped for ransom, raped and then murdered. Her older sister apparently found her body, but was so traumatized by it, when asked what she had seen, she merely said “I met a large Tanuki (looks like a racoon)” and “I saw a cat monster.”  The older sister later commited suicide.

A few of The connects we can see are:
The hospital in which their mother is recovering in has a real life counterpart in Sayama, supposedly in the exact same location as seen in the movie
The murder took place in may. The eldest child is named Satsuki (which means May) and the youngest is also Mei (pronounced May)
In the scene where Mei is crying and lost she is sitting next to six jizou states. This is a Buddhist deity that is said to care for the souls of dead children and foetuses
When Satsuki found Mei sleeping in the forest is similar to how the older sister in the Sayama incident found her sister. Of course, the younger sister didn’t wake up
The susuwatari, or the little black balls that the sisters finds (and mei believes she ‘captures’) are supposedly an omen meaning that Death is near
After this incident Mei doesn’t have a shadow. The studio claims they didn’t think it was important
The darker message that we get, once we look below the seemingly heart warming message that is being show to us is that Mei is murdered after she goes missing. In her grief, Satsuki decides to join her. This is where the Nekobus comes in. It is a cultural reference and is said to be the transport to the other world. Also, to further support this case one of the lines in the Nekobus song are:

"乗ったお客は陽気なおばけ" 
notta okyaku wa youki na obake,
 “those guests who ride are cheerful ghosts.”

The Truth Behind ‘My Neighbour Totoro’

Studio Ghibli films often have darker, more complex themes and undertones going on. My Neighbour Totoro isn’t the exception in this case.

On the surface it is a very heart-warming tale of two sisters Satsuki and Mei who, after moving into a new house, begin to see some strange things. Soon they meet a giant mystical creature which they name Totoro.

What many do not understand is the meaning of Totoro and his magical friends. In the Japanese culture they are the Gods of Death.

Although Ghibli denies this there are some startling resemblances between My Neighbour Totoro and a grim murder named The Sayama Incident:

The Sayama incident occured in May 1963. It’s quite an important case for discrimination in Japan. The case goes that one day, in Sayama (in Saitama prefecture), a young girl was kidnapped for ransom, raped and then murdered. Her older sister apparently found her body, but was so traumatized by it, when asked what she had seen, she merely said “I met a large Tanuki (looks like a racoon)” and “I saw a cat monster.”  The older sister later commited suicide.

A few of The connects we can see are:

The darker message that we get, once we look below the seemingly heart warming message that is being show to us is that Mei is murdered after she goes missing. In her grief, Satsuki decides to join her. This is where the Nekobus comes in. It is a cultural reference and is said to be the transport to the other world. Also, to further support this case one of the lines in the Nekobus song are:

"乗ったお客は陽気なおばけ" 

notta okyaku wa youki na obake,

“those guests who ride are cheerful ghosts.”

#scary #murder #studio ghibli #my neighbor totoro #the truth



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    I just really like this creepy totoro
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    brotherbartholomew: b-b-behindyou: The Truth Behind ‘My Neighbour Totoro’ Studio Ghibli films often have darker, more...