Spirited Away

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Apr 20, 2012 10:24
Recently, I watched the anime movie Spirited Away(千と千尋の神隠し/ Sen to Chihiro no Kamikakushi)directed by Hayao Miyazaki on DVD. The film received many awards, including the second Oscar ever awarded for Best Animated Feature, the first anime film to win an Academy Award, and the first (and so far only) non-English speaking animation to win. The film also won the Golden Bear at the 2002 Berlin International Film Festival.

I have already watched it a few times, but I enjoyed it this time too. It was very interesting. When I googled this movie, I happened to learn that Hayao Miyazaki often visited The Edo-Tokyo Open-air Architectural Museum during the creation of his film, Spirited Away, for inspiration. It was said that the old bathhouse had served as the setting of the movie(and the bathhouse was called "Yuya" in the movie).

Last Sunday I went on a cycling tour and dropped in on The Edo-Tokyo Open-Air Architectural Museum on my way home. It is a museum of historic Japanese buildings.
The park includes many old buildings from the ones ordinary middle class Japanese to the homes of wealthy and powerful individuals such as former Prime Minister Takahashi Korekiyo, out in the open. Those buildings of different styles, periods, and purposes provided me with useful information.

At last, I found the old bathhouse. To my disappointment, I found that it was not so similar to "Yuya".The bathhouse was a one‐storied house with no special coloring or ornaments. On top of that, I didn't find it particularly spectacular. Coincidentally enough, I am familiar with these kinds of buildings. Until recently, there stood a similarly styled bathhouse in my neighborhood. I began to regret to come here.

When I looked around it, a group of foreign tourists came in the bathhouse. I was surrounded by them. Some of them brought pamphlets from "Spirited Away”. They were composed of various races. They spoke English, Thai, Chinese, Arabic, French, etc. I was surprised that they took the trouble to come from around the world in order to see this building. They curiously took pictures around there and gave loud shouts in an exultant manner. They looked very happy (One young man was wearing samurai topknot).It was as if I had been to a different country in a different period.


I remembered the hilarious merrymaking at Yuya in the movie. At that time, I might had been spirited away in a sense.