Japanese Children's Cartoon Lifts the Spirit

June 29, 2010

My_Neighbor_Totoro_by_EvilBunnySlippers.jpgby Henry Makow Ph.D.

Recently my wife introduced me to a Japanese animated feature called "My Neighbor Totoro."

Although directed at children, this movie reminded me of the power of art to reassure, refresh and inspire. It was a reminder of what we are being denied.

Written and directed by Hayao Miyazaki in 1988, the film describes the interaction between two sisters, Satsuki and Mei, and "wood spirits" in a rural area near Tokyo in 1957.

Many things about this picture amazed me. I can't remember when I have last seen innocence portrayed. These children are innocent, especially the youngest, Mei. The child's wide-ranging emotional reactions deftly conveyed in her facial expressions reminded me that art makes us more human by revealing what is universally human. The feelings of a child resonated in me, a man of 60.

Rarely do I see recognizable human emotions portrayed in the movies--loss, yearning, hope, love. I'd list more but I have forgotten what they are. Everyone is becoming jaded.

The girls' father, Mr. Kusukabe, an archeology professor, is acting as a single father. Mrs. Kusukabe is in the hospital. I loved the way this father treated his children, with such patience and respect. I loved the world they inhabited, where he could bathe with his two girls without neighbors snooping and Family Services breaking down the door.

This world is innocent. The culture is intact. People know the difference between what is healthy and what is sick and evil. 

When Mei sets out alone to visit her mother, we don't have to worry about her being abducted or sexually molested. When Satsuki goes to find her, everyone is courteous, concerned and helpful. Despite what Japan went through in the last war, the culture remained intact.

Satsuki calls upon the wood spirit Totoro for help. In turn, he enlists a giant cat (above) who doubles as a bus. I loved that these creatures were benign. There was no sense of menace.

Compare this with the trauma or filth found in many children's movies. Take Bambi where the mother is killed by hunters or Finding Nemo  where his family is eaten by a shark. Madagascar is full of homosexual references.

If we want a healthy society, the mass media has to uphold healthy values. Call me Ayatollah, but I would ban porn, depravity and violence. Why is it that they can impose immorality on us, but we can't impose morality on them?  

We have been brainwashed to reject the notion of Satan and Satanism, but our society is satanically possessed. You can see it in the obsession with sex and money and the acceptance of depravity, obscenity and violence. This is not accidental. It is the deliberate policy of the Illuminati, a satanic cult that controls the mass media and much more.

The oil gushing into the Gulf of Mexico is symbolic of the toxic bilge they are pumping into our minds and souls. We can't seem to stop this pipe either.

Even the Internet has become a source of irritation. I spend too much time reading doom and gloom, and not enough being inspired by the free music or beautiful pictures on Flickr.

A FM-radio jazz announcer used to sign off with the words: "Think nice thoughts." That's half the battle to saving our souls. It's all in where we focus our attention. 

I was amazed by how much "My Neighbor Totoro" invigorated me. I felt cleansed and uplifted. It reminded me that my soul needs nourishment, not just mind and stomach.

The Trailer for "My Neighbor Totoro"


Comments for "Japanese Children's Cartoon Lifts the Spirit"

Miki from Japan said (July 6, 2010):

Always thank you for interested articles.

I do not take your permission, but I sometimes translate it and introduce in my brog.

Thank you very much.

I read two points of articles of the animated cartoon by being related to Japan.

The Miyazaki movie is televised by the special feature in Japan in every year of summer.

Like an annual function.

It is popular like that so that an audience rating rises even if televise it every year.

Common many Japanese have an impression like Mr.Makou.

However, the Japanese studying Illuminati and Freemason doubts it like the latter.

Even if we enjoy it in everything anytime when we enjoy it, I am calm and feel that I must be how I digest it.

Because there is always two-facedness, there are structure of the world and the opposition of feelings.

It fuses without the two-facedness rallying by the Japanese culture.

Even if when we enjoy it, we anytime in everything, I am are calm and feel that there must be it how I digest it.

from Japan

DL said (July 4, 2010):

I am from Illinois. I first visited your site today. I will visit again fairly often. Thank you! I just want to tell you that I indetified with your coloum on TOTORO. I have been living in Japan for the last twenty years of my fifty. What you described in TOTORO is as I know Japanese culture. That's mostly why I am still here.

STEVE said (June 30, 2010):

I totally agree with you and "Dan's" reply, today's movies and television are dark and sinister or if a comedy disrespectful, selfish and sleazy. TV seems obsessed with crime/FBI/cop dramas about forensically inspecting dead bodies, torturing abductors, sex murders, terrorists, etc. I also believe the FBI / NSA / police type shows are designed to intimidate us into never taking on our elite masters, as these dramas always show all before them as totally defeated and never winning. That the "force" is always right and the average Joe Citizen as strange, perverted, greedy losers that need rounding up or shooting down.

I have a free to air channel that now shows 60's to 80s old TV shows - what a contrast! Yesterday I watched Bewitched where they stopped a greedy developer from destroying a kids park in the city - couldn't stop chuckling. Then the Flintstones came on, even my 20 year old son laughed. The first thing you notice is how colourful the old shows are [rich colour] and the decency with which people treat each other. I remember My Three Sons, Bonanza, Wagon Train, etc - always a well written story with usually a very good moral brought out, not to mention entertaining, elevating and relaxing.

It is very hard to find any decent DVD at the video store and I am now wandering over to the classics and musicals section. Trouble is, there is usually only a limited amount of classics available. Even watched some Humphrey Bogart, Doris Day, movies - most alive with a really radiant sunny, sense of joyfully looking forward to life.

I agree with you that these type of shows have not disappeared by accident - that is impossible in a supposed competitive, open market! Our controllers have purposefully stopped making decent entertainment to dumb down positive, uplifting, inspiring, moods and thinking. It's like they are trying to keep us in a dull, defeated, state of mind that is much easier to control.

Thanks for the article - you struck a nerve!

David said (June 30, 2010):

I just wanted to email you and let you know that I really appreciated your article on My Neighbor Totoro.

Hayao Miyazaki is a true artist and I would encourage you to take a look at some of his other works as well.

I was first introduced to Miyazaki films through his breakthrough U.S. Film Kiki's Delivery Service. He does a wonderful job of depicting the same themes that you mentioned in Totoro. The innocence of the characters, the polite and friendly culture, and the lack of violence and "menace".

Thanks again for this article, as well as all of your other articles as well!

Ed said (June 30, 2010):

I watched Hayao Miyazaki's movie /Spirited Away/, and highly recommend it. I've seen other anime films that you would consider uplifting, as well. But beware; there also are pornographic manga movies (they call it "hentai manga," whether in film or in comic books), and some of that stuff is remarkably lewd. I'm thinking particularly of one film titled /Legend of the Overfiend/ (/Orutsukidoji/), which could be classified as "tentacle porno." So anyway, I would just advise you to look at the disclaimers on DVDs that you buy or rent, lest you find yourself shockingly surprised.

Dan said (June 30, 2010):

Amen. The reason why I purchase so many DVD TV shows and movies 1980’s and prior. To see the craft of acting still alive. To view something positive and bright. To have a simple laugh. To feel a sense of commonality and community once again.

I watched an episode of Green Acres last night and just laughed my ass off. Switched over to regular TV for a minute to catch some news on the Internet.

Looked up at the TV for a moment and another dark ugly crime drama. Everyone wearing dark colors, sour puss expressions, ugly picture of a dead guy being shown blood coming out of his mouth and eye sockets. Just shook my head. Said a prayer to God telling him it would be okay if this were my last day on Earth.


See Reader's Respond to Dan in special section by scrolling down.

Peter said (June 30, 2010):

Dear Henry, how right you are with your latest article about this beautiful Japanese cartoon. We are all caught in a circle of evil.

Three months ago i became very ill with chest problems etc. I was diagnosed stress. Since then i only concentrated on the good things in life and dropped 'doom reading' on the Internet. I tell you, i got my life back:) even searching for the truth gives us bad and dark energy.

We cannot chance the coming events, thats why we have to search for the positive energy of God. Take care and God bless:-) peter

Manuel said (June 30, 2010):

Henry watch Ponyo, that´s a beautiful Japanese animation from the Ghibi studio too, full of uplifting values and healthy family messages. Another one I liked a lot was Princess Mononoke, which transported me to ancient Japan to tell us about what happened in the ancient past and how we repeat our mistakes. In fact I need to re watch that one in face of the horrendous gulf oil terrorist attack the elites are unleashing against us. I recommend it to you too.

Jim said (June 30, 2010):

Henry, I too enjoy Japanese anime. I search for good ones for my grand-daughter. I think it's just Japanese Culture...I've studied Japanese martial arts and culture for 12 years and found it very uplifting. "Spirited Away" is one of my faves and a great movie is "A Taste of Tea"


Thanks Jim

"Japanese culture." They still have one. Culture is based on common ideals, something we need to rediscover.


Matt said (June 30, 2010):

I wanted to thank you for your article on My Neighbor Totoro.

I too love this film as well as most Miyazaki movies.

I introduced these movies to my 6 year old and she too loves them and the characters.
They are just lovely movies that inspire and feed the heart and soul.

The fact that the Academy Award was given to Miyazaki for "Spirited Away" shocked me.
I guess that every once in a while they have to award truly great work.

I have watched "Spirited Away" with my daughter too many times to count and we never get bored of it.

It is brilliant and I agree with you that too many movies created today "destroy the spirit".

I would recommend that people buy movies like this. They truly inspire!

Henry Makow received his Ph.D. in English Literature from the University of Toronto in 1982. He welcomes your comments at