I’ve noticed that several of my followers are Miyazaki fans, so I thought I share this little tidbit of information with you about Spirited Away.
I always wondered why the symbol “ゆ” (said “yu”) was on the door to the bath house. I asked my Japanese teacher, and he wasn’t too sure so I did a little research.
The symbol is used on the entrance to 温泉 (onsen) and 銭湯 (sento), or Japanese bath houses. The word “yu” is translated to “hot water”. So, makes sense to be on a bath house, yes?
Then I did more reading. During the Edo period, these public baths became popular for men because of women who started working at these communal baths, washing men and selling sex. These bath houses were called “yuna baro”. The woman were known as 湯女, or “yuna”. This directly translates to “hot water woman”. So basically, they were brothels. Guess what the woman who ran this bath house would be called?
(translates directly to “hot water old woman”)
Yubaba is the name of the woman who runs the bath house in Spirited Away. If you watch Spirited Away in Japanese, the female workers are referred to as yuna.
Chihiro was forced to change her name to Sen. Kinda like how strippers get names like “Candy”.
カオナシ/No-Face keeps offering Chihiro money. He “wants her”.
THEN I read interviews with Miyazaki. This was all put in intentionally. As we all know. Miyazaki’s stories are weaved with different themes and metaphors. He said he was tackling the issue of the sex industry rapidly growing in Japan, and that children being exposed to it at such early ages is a problem.
To me, this makes me respect Miyazaki even more as a film maker.
And also, frustrates me because so much gets lost in translation, and people see it as this cute childrens movie and this “master piece of animation” (which it definately is) instead of the real statement that it is.
Thought I’d share :).
I told this to my Japanese teacher today. He was speechless for a bit and then said “I NEED TO WATCH THAT MOVIE AGAIN OBVIOUSLY.” Haha.
Japanese photographer Mitsuko Nagone uses herself as the subject in her series ‘I am more than my face’. This project is about exploring the concept of personal identity.
And why do people act like we’re making shit up when we bring up the white-washing of black womyn in pop culture?
I’m okay with the blonde hair thing, because everyone should feel free to do whatever they want with their hair without fear of other’s judging you for wishing to look more European. However, everyone damn well knows that Rhianna and Nicki Minaj are women with very dark skin complexions. What is going on here and why does the media feel the need to make their skin way lighter than it actually is?
This always breaks my heart SO much. This isn’t just in America, either. THIS IS A GLOBAL, I repeat, GLOBAL ISSUE.
When I lived in Japan, the #1 complimented I received was on my eye fold, and the second was on my skin color. The girls there would put “bleaching” lotion on their skin and a bent piece of plastic on their eyelids to create the fold Europeans have in their eyes.
Asian women don’t use skin-lightening products because they want to be white. The desirability of pale skin has long been a part of Asian beauty standards. In fact, one of the most famous women in Chinese history, Yang Guifei, was described as having skin like congealed lard (sort of like “creamy” skin in old European standards except the Chinese didn’t eat dairy).
Oh, I’m aware of Japan’s history and the role light skin played in it. I’m also aware of the gyaru trend in which that pale skin idealization is challenged and turned upside down.
However, I believe that the motivation for white skin has DEFINITELY swapped from tradition to exposure to Western beauty standards. While living in Japan, I asked women why the used the bleaching lotion, and the vast majority responded with, “To look more like an American girl like you,” or, “I want to look like Britney Spears/other Western star.”
And, honestly, the white-bleaching isn’t even what makes me saddest. It’s definitely the eye fold plastic piece.
They have the same standards pushed on them as we do, but also have their own media which is perhaps worse, in my opinion. Japanese (and Korean!) media is so violently critical of women that I felt I might suffocate while I lived there. It was very sad and scary.
I first saw this in college political science about a year ago, and it was one of the most eye opening images of the entire course. This is the first time I’ve seen it on tumblr, but I will never not promote evidence of America’s unfailing, shameless, undeserved egotism.
This kind of makes me want to move to Iceland.
Considering that India has a billion people and yet has the smallest prison population, that’s probably a sign that something’s wrong with how the US is doing things.
The thing that gets me is our infant survival rate. Our infant survival rate is PATHETIC. And people like to claim they’re “pro-life.”
We hear about abortions statistics all the time, but we NEVER hear about this. For a really huge movement that claims to care about infants… they sure aren’t very proactive about making sure our infants leave the hospital.