• 虫に親しむ日本の文化

    [From September Issue 2012]


    Insects are very close to the hearts of Japanese because they are living creatures that allow people to sense the changes in seasons. For example in summer, TV programs use the noise and image of cicadas to convey the heat of the summer sun. Travel agencies offer tours to go and see fireflies, or opportunities to take part in contests to photograph fireflies. In autumn, many people listen to the autumnal cries of the insects and go into raptures over its beauty or feel a surge of sadness because they sense that winter is around the corner.

    Insects are also popular models for cartoon characters. Photos of insects are printed on stationary designed for children, and adorable looking insects sing songs on television programs for kids. Insects are not only for children. Dragonflies and butterflies are used in traditional patterns for kimono and furoshiki (cloth used for wrapping), and some kamon (family crests) use insects as a motif.

    Why are Japanese people so fond of insects? This is because children living in Japan have many opportunities to interact with insects when they are young. Catching and taking care of insects is thought to be a normal form of play for children. Many adults, especially women, are not very fond of insects, so during an event featuring insects, you can see ecstatic children besides horrified mothers.

    Facilities related to insects have been built in tourist resorts. Typically specimens of foreign and unusual insects are on display at these facilities. Insects are also sold as pets and visitors are allowed to play with insects. Some facilities are run by insect lovers, and others are set up in amusement parks to attract families.

    Some insect facilities are established by municipal governments. In rural areas, kasoka (depopulation) is a major problem, so these local governments are active in machi-okoshi (projects to economically develop the area). A few local authorities make the best of the bounty of their natural environment by using bell crickets, fireflies and giant purple butterflies called oomurasaki, to revitalize their towns.

    “Kabutomushi Shizen Oukoku: Kodomo-no Kuni Mushi Mushi Land” located in Tamura City, Fukushima Prefecture is an example of this kind of machi-okoshi project. This area is a farming district, and its soft soil is the perfect environment for rhinoceros beetles to lay their eggs. This is a nuisance to local farmers, but even so, there were many people in Tokyo who wanted to see these larvae. And so with the idea in mind that the rhinoceros beetle could be the key to reviving the town, Mushi Mushi Land was established. Not only can visitors stay overnight and play on giant playground equipment, they can also interact with plenty of rhinoceros beetles in their natural environment.

    “At the end of March each year, we purchase a hundred thousand rhinoceros beetle larvae from the local farms,” says the Manager of Tamura City Tokiwa Public Corporation, YOSHIDA Yoshinori. “Then we take each larva, check for infections and remove tiny parasites by hand. Once they are grown, we gather the beetles and let them roam free in the park grounds or sell them to visitors.”

    “In a single night we may have upwards of 1,000 grubs hatching into beetles, and since rhinoceros beetles only live for around two weeks, it is a very demanding job to take care of them so that they can live as long as possible,” says Yoshida. “Children who love insects will watch them for hours, so we’re not too popular with the mothers,” he laughs.

    “Breeding rhinoceros beetles teaches children that some larva will not hatch into beetles, no matter how much effort they put into it. And so through the experience of the death of the insect they learn about life spans,” Yoshida says. “We also teach the children that, thanks to the bounty of nature rhinoceros beetles can thrive and that we shouldn’t spoil such an environment. We are sometimes asked to visit elementary schools to teach lessons too.”

    People don’t only breed insects in order to enjoy them as pets. There is also a type of competition called kabutomushi sumo (rhinoceros beetle wrestling). Using the beetle’s natural instinct to fight for food or a female mate, beetle owners raise their beetles to fight against an opponent’s beetle to see which is stronger. In the summer this kind of competition is held all over Japan. There is also stag beetle sumo and sumo that pits beetles of different breeds against each other; enthusiasts will stop at nothing to raise the strongest beetles.

    Though strictly speaking, they are not insects, there is also a competition in which spiders fight each other. In Kajiki Town, Kagoshima Prefecture, there is an event called “Kumo Gassen” (Spider Battle) which is said to be a tradition that started over 400 years ago, and has been designated as an intangible national cultural asset. The town’s young and old gather together to battle their prized spiders against each other – which have been raised by feeding them shouchuu (an alcoholic beverage) and the like.

    In this way, raising insects is a common hobby in Japan. Popular insects, such as rhinoceros beetles, stag beetles, and bell crickets, can even be purchased at supermarkets. There are a wide variety of products for insect rearing. Jellies to feed insects with are as colorful as sweets eaten by humans and come in a variety of flavors like melon and grape. To maintain the health of your insect, sterilized twigs and tick brushes are sold.

    “I think for Japanese, breeding insects can be equated with growing flowers,” says TSUBOUCHI Toshiharu, representative of Dorcus Dake a shop devoted to stag and rhinoceros beetles. “Just as the seedlings of a flower grows from a seed and the flower blooms, insects begin as a small egg that grows into a larva, pupa and finally into an adult. This process can be enjoyed.”

    Raising insects used to be thought of as child’s play, but about 20 years ago, the numbers of adults raising insects began to increase. As a result, rare and foreign insects are traded for high figures that reach tens or hundreds of thousands of yen, and high quality feed has also been developed. There are even insect breeders who aim to breed bigger or more beautifully colored or shaped insects by obsessing over blood lines and country of origin.

    “Since it’s not only professionals, but also the general public who’ve stared to rear insects, guidelines for breeding techniques have been established and with this the development of innovative products has been continuing. Once one person has made their mark, it sets the bar higher for others and this means that Japanese breeding techniques have reached a very high standard. Insects that became rare in their country of origin are sometimes being carefully bred in great numbers here in Japan. So we are also contributing to the preservation of insects,” says Tsubouchi.

    In the classic novel “Genji Monogatari” (The Tale of Genji) which was written approximately 1,000 years ago, characters are portrayed raising insects in order to enjoy their singing. Also, in haiku, the names of insects are included to reflect the seasons. Japanese have been fond of insects for a very long time.

    Club Tourism Co., Ltd.
    Kabutomushi Shizen Oukoku: Kodomo-no Kuni Mushi Mushi Land
    Dorcus Danke

    Text: SAZAKI Ryo




















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  • まんが文化の発信基地、まんが図書館

    [From September Issue 2012]


    Manga libraries are libraries that specialize in handling comic books. In Tokyo, there is the Contemporary Manga Library, which has been going for more than 30 years, and the Yoshihiro Yonezawa Memorial Library, which specializes in manga and subculture. Elsewhere, there is the Hiroshima City Manga Library, the Ryugasaki City Urban Renewal Center (Main) in Ibaraki Prefecture and in Fukushima, a lending library (Aomushi) that specializes in Showa-era manga.

    The appeal of manga libraries is that besides new titles, volumes that are hard to get hold of, as well as valuable issues, are available to be read. Popular collections include manga that are no longer available to buy in the stores and back issues of manga magazines. Some users let out a cry of joy when they come across a volume that they have long been searching for, or a comic strip that has been serialized in a magazine, but never published in book form.

    The Contemporary Manga Library was opened in 1978 with the private collection of NAIKI Toshio. They now have about 180,000 volumes of manga; the biggest private collection in Japan. They not only have books, but also many back issues of manga magazines, so that users can look up material going back 40 years.

    “It seems that we are the first to establish a manga library based on a private collection. Since we had also been operating a book rental store from that time, our collection of works from the 70s onwards is pretty comprehensive. As we buy in new titles and are given free copies by publishing companies, it’s getting hard to find room for our growing collection. We even get customers from overseas who have come to study Japanese culture,” says staff member NAIKI Yuuko.

    Hiroshima City Manga Library is the only public manga library in Japan. A special feature of the library is the “Hiroshima Corner,” an area that gathers together and introduces manga written by artists from the city and works that are related to the city. They also have a collection of old books and reprints that reflect the history and roots of manga in Japanese culture.

    OKAMOTO Mio, the library’s PR manager, says, “We offer a service to users from outside the prefecture and from other countries that allows them to borrow up to five books a day even without a membership card. In order to provide a deeper understanding of manga culture, we offer lectures about manga history and lessons in manga illustration.”

    Japan is actively engaging in activities to promote the manga culture that it is so proud of. Kyoto International Manga Museum is a joint collaboration between Kyoto Seika University, which has a manga department, and Kyoto City. In addition, on August 3, the Kitakyushu City Manga Museum is being opened as a center to promote manga culture. As the collection and study of manga works progresses, surely manga culture will become even more enriched.

    Contemporary Manga Library
    Hiroshima City Manga Library

    Text: HATTA Emiko












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  • 外国人力士の活躍と相撲の仕組み

    [From September Issue 2012]


    At this July’s sumo tournament (basho), ozeki (champion) Mongolian wrestler, Harumafuji won the tournament for his third time. If he wins the tournament in September, he will be assured of a promotion to the highest rank of yokozuna, or grand champion. Sumo is said to be Japan’s national sport, but in fact, over the past ten years, 55 tournaments out of 60 were won by wrestlers (rikishi) from foreign countries. Of these victories, the majority were won by former yokozuna Asashoryu and reigning yokozuna Hakuho. Both men come from Mongolia.

    Having won 25 tournaments, Asashoryu holds the third most tournament victories, after Taihou’s 32 and Chiyofuji’s 31. Kitanoumi, who has 24 victories, comes in fourth place. With 22 wins, Hakuho shares fifth place with Takanohana. Currently Hakuho is the only person holding the title of yokozuna. At the next rank down of ozeki there are six rikishi, but only two of these – Kotoshogiku and Kisenosato – are Japanese. The rest are Harumafuji and Kakuryu from Mongolia, Baruto from Estonia and Kotooshu from Bulgaria.

    The ranking below ozeki is sekiwake, followed by komusubi and maegashira. Those rikishi holding these ranks fight in the makuuchi which is the top division in sumo; roughly equivalent to the first division in football. Juuryou is the second division. Below juuryou is makushita, followed by sandanme, jonidan and jonokuchi. At juuryou and above, rikishi are called sekitori, and are considered to be fully developed.

    For the shikona, which is the name wresters use in the ring, it’s popular to use the name of the ocean, mountain or river of their place of birth or the shikona of their stable master (oyakata). For instance, Baruto’s name was derived from the Japanese name for the Baltic Sea, which borders his native Estonia. The “koto” in Kotooshu’s name is derived from his stable master’s name, while “oushuu” refers to Europe, where his native Bulgaria is located.

    In sumo there are many ceremonies and unique traditions. Rikishi wear their hair in samurai style called mage. Rikishi wear only a loincloth, but before makuuchi bouts begin they appear before spectators wearing a ceremonial apron. Yokozuna perform a ring-entering ceremony called dohyou-iri. At the end of a day of sumo bouts, a bow twirling ceremony called yumitori-shiki is performed. NHK broadcasts every sumo tournament nationwide on TV and radio.

    How is the Tournament Champion Chosen?

    Rikishi are generally large men, but they can differ in weight. Despite this, they don’t fight in weight categories. In exciting matches sponsors offer prize money to winners. Rikishi enter the ring (dohyou) when called by the yobidashi (usher), then scatter salt to purify the dohyou. Before the fight begins, a ceremony called “shikiri” (warming up) is carried out to boost the confidence of the rikishi.

    Bouts are won by pushing an opponent out of the 4.55 meter wide dohyo, or by making the opponent touch the ground with another part of his body. Usually a bout is over in few seconds. The referee (gyoji) in kimono raises his fan to the winner. If the result is controversial, five judges sitting beneath the ring choose the winner by checking video footage and conferring amongst themselves. There 82 ways to win a fight.

    Sumo tournaments are held six times a year. One tournament lasts 15 days and each day rikishi fight against a different opponent. The champion is the one with the highest number of wins over the 15 days. Besides the winner, three prizes for outstanding achievement are given to those of sekiwake rank and below. They are the Shukunshou (Outstanding Performance Award) given to those who managed to defeat a yokozuna or ozeki, the Kantoushou given to those who did well and displayed fighting spirit, and the Ginoushou for excellent technique. The rank (banzuke) of wrestlers is set depending on the result of the tournament.












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  • 海と山に囲まれた伝統ある「晴れの国」――岡山、倉敷

    [From September Issue 2012]


    Okayama Korakuen


    Okayama Prefecture, situated in the southeast of the Chugoku region, has been called the “land of fine weather,” due to the fact that for many days during the year less than one millimeter of rain falls. To the north is the grandeur of the Chugoku Mountains and to the south is the beautiful Seto Inland Sea. The prefecture enjoys a mild climate and is extremely fertile. It’s blessed both with the bounty of nature and the fact that natural disasters, such as typhoons, rarely occur. Its capital Okayama City is a historical city that has thrived as a castle town since the Warring States Period.

    In front of Okayama Station is a statue of “Momotaro” (Peach Boy), the hero of the fairy tale Momotaro. Okayama is the birthplace of Momotoro, who set off from the region towards Oniga-shima (Demon Island) with a dog, monkey and pheasant. It is said that the statue of Momotaro is still looking towards of Demon Island.

    Okayama Castle, about a ten minute bus ride from Okayama Station, is a famous castle of great historic value and is the most important historical landmark in the prefecture. It was built in 1597 by UKITA Hideie – one of the five daimyou (lords) chosen to form the Council of Five Elders by TOYOTOMI Hideyoshi to rule Japan. It’s is said that the castle was modeled after ODA Nobunaga’s Azuchi Castle. Because of its black exterior, the castle has been nicknamed “U-jou” or “Crow Castle.” With three stories and six levels, the keep has valuable items on display such as matchlocks and suits of armor. Built for defense there is also a tsukimiyagura observation post, which has been designated as an important cultural asset.


    Okayama Castle / Saidaiji Hadaka Festival


    Spread out beneath Okayama Castle, is Korakuen, a beautiful Japanese garden that is counted among Japan’s three most famous gardens. IKEDA Tsunamasa, the feudal lord of Okayama, ordered one of his vassals to build the garden, and it took 13 years before it was complete. Featuring a spacious lawn, a pond, a miniature hill, and a tea house, the garden allows visitors to enjoy a traditional Japanese atmosphere and the beauty of each season. Seasonal events are held there, such as cherry blossom viewing in spring and moon viewing in autumn. You can drink maccha (powdered green tea) inside the garden while enjoying the views.

    Taking the JR Ako Line from Okayama Station for about 20 minutes, get off at Saidaiji Station, from there walk about ten minutes and you’ll come upon Saidaiji Kannonin Temple. In February each year, the Saidaiji Hadaka Festival is held to determine the year’s fuku-otoko (lucky men). This festival, which is also known as “Saidaiji Eyo,” is one of Japan’s three most bizarre festivals. Held to herald spring, men wearing nothing but a loincloth fight for the shingi – a sacred, cylindrical, wooden stick about 20 centimeters in length – at this traditional event.

    Also known as “The Fruits Kingdom,” Okayama produces large amounts of quality fruits, such as white peaches and muscat grapes. Plump and bursting with juice, white peaches make especially pleasing gifts.


    Seto Bridge / Kurashiki Bikan Area


    Reflecting the bounty of the nearby mountains and sea, Okayama’s most famous local dish is bara-zushi. It’s a kind of chirashi-zushi: a rice bowl, topped generously with ingredients harvested from the mountains and the sea. Each ingredient is cooked separately to bring out its optimum flavor and this dish has been loved by the people of Okayama since the old days. It’s often eaten on festive occasions.

    Bizen-yaki (Bizen ware), is a handicraft that has a history going back 1,000 years and is produced at one of Japan’s six oldest kilns. Because glaze is not applied, these pieces of ceramic look simple, but are imbued with the deep warmth of the soil. Bizen-yaki has been appreciated by people for a long time, but these days aficionados come not only from outside the prefecture, but also from abroad. Increasingly, new bizen-yaki artists are establishing their own studios.

    Taking the JR Sanyo Main Line from Okayama Station and traveling for about 20 minutes, you arrive at Kurashiki Station. A short walk from the station takes you to the Kurashiki Bikan Historical Quarter. These highly prized rows of buildings, with their white walls and latticed windows, have been designated to be preserved as part of the townscape. These beautiful streets are known throughout the country, and rickshaws that fit in with the atmosphere of the neighborhood are popular among tourists. At night, the area is lit with streetlights, lending the scenery a rather different beauty to that of the day.


    Ohara Museum of Art / Yubara Onsen


    The Ohara Museum of Art, established by OHARA Magosaburo, a businessman from Kurashiki, was the first private art museum in Japan to house mostly Western artworks. It exhibits world-famous paintings and sculptures such as “Annunciation” by El Greco and “Waterlilies” by Claude MONET. The museum is also a champion of contemporary art and is active in supporting young artists by inviting them to Kurashiki. The museum is currently participating in the Google Art Project, where people can view works exhibited at art museums all over the world on the Internet.

    About a 30 minute drive from the center of Kurashiki is the Seto-Ohashi Bridge, which connects Honshu and Shikoku. In addition to linking islands in the Seto Inland Sea, the Seto-Ohashi Bridge has long been cherished as a symbol of Okayama. From Mount Washu, you can enjoy a panoramic view of the beautiful Seto Inland Sea. In Shimotsui, rows of old houses with tiled roofs and earthen walls give the port town a retro feel.

    Hotels and inns located in the suburbs of Kurashiki City that command views of the Seto Inland Sea are especially popular; in summer they’re also great for bathing in the sea. There you can enjoy delicious vegetables, and fresh seafood from the Seto Inland Sea. Okayama and Kurashiki cities also have hot springs, but particularly popular are Yunogo and Yubara; hot spring towns in the northern part of the prefecture. These springs are said to be effective in healing injuries and illnesses.


    Peach (left) and muscat (right)


    It takes about one hour and ten minutes to fly from Haneda Airport to Okayama Airport. From the airport, located in the suburbs of Okayama City, there are limousine buses available to take you to Okayama Station. If travelling by the JR rail network, you can take the Tokaido Shinkansen from JR Tokyo Station and get to Okayama Station in roughly three hours and ten minutes. It takes approximately ten hours by highway bus.

    Okayama Visitors & Convention Association
    Ohara Museum of Art
    Kurashiki Convention & Visitors Bureau
    Okayama Castle
    Okayama Korakuen
    Okayama Prefectural Tourism Federation

    Text: OOMORI Saori

















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  • 鹿革と漆の出合い

    [From September Issue 2012]


    Yamanashi Prefecture is well known for its mountains and woods, and for being home to a large population of deer. It is also the home of koshu inden – a Japanese craft with 400 years of history that uses deerskin to make soft, durable parts for samurai armor, or everyday objects like bags.

    To make koshu inden, deerskin is first dyed and then smoked over a straw fire until the leather has a natural bright yellowish hue. The leather is then colored with Japanese lacquer, with foundation colors typically being black, red or blue. Over this background, decorative patterns are then applied.

    Traditional patterns are typically inspired by nature. Fireflies, tortoise shells, waves and various flowers have been popular decorative motifs for many years. Some patterns are more suitable for men, whereas other patterns are more popular amongst women.

    The craft’s name, inden, refers to India, where some of these leather dying and coloring techniques originated. It takes many weeks to make a piece of inden. Each layer of lacquer needs to dry and harden and each step in the process must be done by hand by skilled artisans.

    Contemporary inden products include purses, wallets, bags and key holders, which come in a wide range of designs and color combinations. Recently inden leather craft has been combined with other crafts and is applied to glass or wood as a decorative touch.

    The most prominent maker of inden is Inden-ya Uehara Yushichi Co., Ltd. Located in Kofu City, Yamanashi, the company was established in 1582 and is now run by the 13th descendent of the Uehara family. The quality of their handmade leather goods and the patterns and color combinations of Inden-ya make each product easily distinguishable from other producers of inden.

    Over time Inden-ya Uehara Yushichi has come up with a few secret techniques to give the leather a specially hardened coat of lacquer. In recent years some of these techniques were disclosed to other craftsmen in order to allow the craft of inden to prosper and grow.

    Recently Inden-ya Uehara Yushichi is making inroads abroad with the opening of the first overseas showroom in New York and many foreigners now appreciate the beauty of this craft. Inden-ya products are not only beautiful, but last for many years and are an ideal gift for your friends in Japan and abroad.


    Text: Nicolas SOERGEL








    最も有名な印伝メーカーは株式会社印傳屋 上原勇七です。山梨県甲府市にあり、1582年の創業で現在は上原家13代目が経営しています。手づくりの革製品や模様、色の組み合わせでつくられた印傳屋の製品は、他社のものとの質の違いが一目でわかります。





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  • お姫様になれるバトラーズカフェ

    [From September Issue 2012]



    “Yes, my princess,” comes the sonorous response from the foreign butler as soon as you ring the bell. Placing a tiara on your head, a butler will then bring you an aromatic cup of tea and a delicious slice of cake. The BUTLERS CAFE in Shibuya Ward, Tokyo, which opened in 2006, is still quite popular.

    For two hours during the day and two and a half hours during the evening, they mostly serve a clientele who have made reservations in advance. Most evenings and weekends are fully booked. The price of a meal starts from 1,100 yen. Foreign English-speaking men who are good looking enough to be models work here as butlers. Because they always put ladies first, they are naturals when it comes to interacting with women. They are carefully trained by the owner KAZU in matters of deportment, from the way they walk, down to the tiniest gestures.

    Anime and otaku (geek) culture has become part of mainstream Japanese culture, and since 2005 “concept cafes” that have particular themes, such as maid cafes and railway cafes for railway fans, have been popping up in Akihabara and Shibuya. However, some of them shut up shop after being in vogue for only a short period of time.

    Despite this climate, the BUTLERS CAFE now has 14,000 members, who acquired this status by visiting the cafe two times. Many people come a long way to visit the cafe. The cafe has also come to the attention of both the domestic and international media.

    “Women have become so busy; along with being housewives and mothers, many more women are now holding down jobs. I wanted to make a place where such women can relax,” says YUKI, who co-owns the cafe, explaining how they started the business. Before opening the cafe, YUKI interviewed many Japanese women. The results showed her that serious, shy women secretly dreamt about being a princess and sought a relaxing place in which to realize this dream.

    SUZUKI Natsuko, a first time visitor to the cafe says, “It was a dreamlike moment. The food was delicious, it’s a comfortable environment and the hospitality goes that bit further than normal service. Although I usually have few opportunities to speak English, I could enjoy a conversation at my level. Since it is more refined than English conversation cafes and friendlier than cafes in foreign-owned hotels, I spent a relaxed time there.”

    Alejandro from Colombia, who is one of the butlers says, “The ladies are carrying around a lot of stress brought on by the monotony of their everyday routines. Here women become princesses. As a butler I pride myself on my minute attention to detail.”

    YUKI says, “The way concept cafes are run can be easily swayed by changing trends. The reason we are able to run a stable business is that we have kept to the concept of being ‘a place where you can become a princess.’ That has not changed since we opened the cafe.”


    Text: MUKAI Natsuko














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  • 姉妹と不思議な生き物の交流を描くファンタジー

    [From September Issue 2012]


    My Neighbor Totoro (Directed by MIYAZAKI Hayao)

    Praised at film festivals around the world, including Venice and Berlin, this is the third full-length animation film made by Studio Ghibli. Like the first and the second films, “Nausicaä of the Valley of the Wind” and “Laputa: Castle in the Sky,” this third film, released in 1988, was also written and directed by MIYAZAKI Hayao.

    It’s a fantasy about how six-grader Satsuki and her four-year-old sister Mei encounter a mysterious creature in the woods and how they become friends with it. In 2005 a new English dubbed version was made and released in the U.S.A. The loveable Totoro character was very popular as a stuffed toy and even made a Cameo appearance in “Toy Story 3.” Totoro is also the logo of Studio Ghibli.

    Satsuki and Mei move from the city to the countryside with their father to live in a detached house. This is so that their mother, who is due to be released from hospital soon, can stay in a place that has plenty of fresh air. However, the sisters are scared when they are told by Kanta, a boy living in the neighborhood, that the old house is haunted. Some time later, Mei meets a mysterious creature in the back yard.

    When Mei follows this creature deep into the woods, she finds a bigger creature with grey fur sleeping there. This is “Totoro,” the Lord of the forest, who has been living there since ancient times. Only children can see Totoro.

    After some time, Satsuki meets Totoro at a bus stop. Totoro appears beside Satsuki in the middle of a rain storm as she is waiting at the bus stop for her father. When a giant cat-shaped bus with ghosts for passengers arrives, Totoro gets on it and rides away. Thus, Satsuki and Mei become friends with Totoro and his pals. Totoro has magical powers like the ability to make a fallen acorn grow into a huge tree in an instant, or to fly in the sky by riding on a spinning top.

    One day in the summer holidays, a telegram comes from the hospital. Mei suspects that her mother’s condition has worsened and sets out to visit her by herself taking along an ear of corn as a gift. However, she gets lost along the way. Satsuki desperately searches for Mei but cannot find her. Then, Satsuki asks Totoro for help saying, “Please search for Mei.” Totoro responds by jumping on top of a tree and calling for the cat-shaped bus.

    One of the attractions of the movie is that it depicts everyday life during the late ‘50s. Many people are nostalgic for those times, when Japan was being reconstructed after the war. When the 2005 World Expo was held in Aichi Prefecture, the detached house that Satsuki and Mei lived in was reproduced as an exhibit. The house was built with the same methods employed during those years, and is still exhibited in the Expo 2005 Commemorative Park (Mori-Koro Park).











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