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Understanding Totoro

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mmmason8967
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Understanding Totoro

Postby mmmason8967 » April 6th, 2013 5:45 pm

I moved this conversation out of the Create your own sentence using Word of the Day discussion because it no longer has anything to do with Word of the Day, but quite a lot to with となりのトトロ (the movie My Neighbour Totoro).

奈津子さん wrote:I didn't know the original story had one only girl! :shock: Wow, and that's why "May" for both?? :lol:
Hope there's no "sad" or "scary" story behind that :lol: (Japanese love making stories saying "behind the scene")

I don't think so. If you are writing a book, you can describe what someone is thinking and how they feel. If you are making a movie you cannot do that. I think Miyazaki realised that if he had two sisters, they could talk to each other about what they are thinking and feeling, and make the film much more interesting.

Oh, by the way, I actually wanted to watch となりのトトロ when you first refered to it the other day and ended up
watching it online free movie ( :oops: :lol: )

I watched it again last night. I've been collecting the Studio Ghibli movies as they come out on blu-ray (ブルーレイ) disk. On the blu-ray versions the picture is very clear and detailed, so the scenery in Totoro looks very beautiful. The scenery looks exactly like the Japan that I wish I could see.

But it's a long time ago. Satsuki's mother has a calendar on the wall above her hospital bed. You can see that it says 8月 and that 1 is in the 金 column, which means that the story takes place in 1958. I guess that there are not many places left that look like the movie.

And, I realised there are 2 specific words that めい said wrong: those two are difficult for kids to pronounciate and/or remember, so of course it was intentional.
[wrong] おじゃまたくし ⇒ [right] おたまじゃくし (= tadpole)
[wrong] とうもころし ⇒ [right] とうもろこし (= corn)
Be careful not to remember the wrong ones :wink:

Ah, I see. Mei says words wrong, so that's why when she says トトロ for the first time, Satsuki thinks she means トロル.

There are lots of things in the film that I don't understand properly. For example, there are several shrines in the film. There is the (disused) shrine at Totoro's tree, the shrine where Satsuki and Mei shelter from the rain, the shrine next to the bus stop, and the row of statues where Mei is found. I understand the overall idea--the shrines are a connection to Totoro, and Totoro is a kind of Spirit of the Forest (which might possibly be something like 「森神」). However, I do not recognise the individual shrines at all: they are a part of Japanese culture that I know almost nothing about.

And there is the letter that Satsuki writes to her mother. She describes how she and Mei planted the seeds that Totoro gave them, and how Mei sits and watches the seeds "like a crab". I don't think that Satsuki means Mei looks like a crab. I think she means that Mei is behaving like a certain crab in a story or legend--but I have no idea what the story is, so I don't "get" the reference.

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Re: Understanding Totoro

Postby community.japanese » April 7th, 2013 2:34 pm

マイケルさん、
thank you very much for your consideration and making a new forum!! :D

mmmason8967 wrote:
Oh, by the way, I actually wanted to watch となりのトトロ when you first refered to it the other day and ended up
watching it online free movie ( :oops: :lol: )

I watched it again last night. I've been collecting the Studio Ghibli movies as they come out on blu-ray (ブルーレイ) disk. On the blu-ray versions the picture is very clear and detailed, so the scenery in Totoro looks very beautiful. The scenery looks exactly like the Japan that I wish I could see.

But it's a long time ago. Satsuki's mother has a calendar on the wall above her hospital bed. You can see that it says 8月 and that 1 is in the 金 column, which means that the story takes place in 1958. I guess that there are not many places left that look like the movie.


True. We can see it's around that time because telephone appearing in Totoro is a very old style, and Satsuki went to
someone else's house to ring her dad. It's nice to see "old and good" Japan there :wink:

There are lots of things in the film that I don't understand properly. For example, there are several shrines in the film. There is the (disused) shrine at Totoro's tree, the shrine where Satsuki and Mei shelter from the rain, the shrine next to the bus stop, and the row of statues where Mei is found. I understand the overall idea--the shrines are a connection to Totoro, and Totoro is a kind of Spirit of the Forest (which might possibly be something like 「森神」). However, I do not recognise the individual shrines at all: they are a part of Japanese culture that I know almost nothing about.


I don't quite remember shrines... :oops: I remember just huge trees with white paper "decoration"-like from shrine.
Shrine and shintoism takes a big part of our culture, probably 50:50 with Buddhism.
If there's anything you want to know, please let me know :wink:
I have no idea what you actually know so far about shrine and shintoism.

And there is the letter that Satsuki writes to her mother. She describes how she and Mei planted the seeds that Totoro gave them, and how Mei sits and watches the seeds "like a crab". I don't think that Satsuki means Mei looks like a crab. I think she means that Mei is behaving like a certain crab in a story or legend--but I have no idea what the story is, so I don't "get" the reference.

Ohhh, that's a very interesting question! Was the English translation just "like a crab" without mentioning to Japanese tale? There's a famous tale called "saru kani gassen" (= lit. battle of a monkey and a crab) and it's quite much about contest in endurance. That's why Satsuki mentioned "crab". But in Japanese, Satsuki actually wrote "like a crab of saru kani gassen". So, you guessed very right!

I can watch repeatedly many of Miyazaki films and never get tired of.
Also, Totoro is really my favourite and makes me want to watch again and again.
It's a warm lovely cute story with full of typical Japanese aspects. Apart from two wrongly said words (by Mei)
and way of neibour "obaachan" speaking (very difficult to understand even for foreign people who speak fluent Japanese), Totoro should be a great educational material too. :D

Natsuko(奈津子),
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Re: Understanding Totoro

Postby mmmason8967 » April 9th, 2013 7:53 am

I watched Totoro again last night, and I understood much more than I did last time. There is still a lot I don't understand, though--like what does すけ mean in the word まっくろくろすけ?

奈津子さん wrote:Shrine and shintoism takes a big part of our culture, probably 50:50 with Buddhism.
If there's anything you want to know, please let me know :wink:
I have no idea what you actually know so far about shrine and shintoism.

I know absolutely nothing about Shinto--except, of course, that it is an important part of Japanese culture.

I have read books about Japanese Bhuddism, though. It is quite possible that Western books about Japanese Bhuddism are selective, only choosing parts that are appealing to Westerners. So it is possible that what I mean when I say "Bhuddism" is different to what you mean when you say it.

We usually say "Zen" to mean Japanese Bhuddism. The popular image (which is the image I have) is of monks trying to achieve instantaneous enlightenment (called satori) by meditating on a koan, which is a kind of puzzle. The best-known koan is probably "the sound of one hand clapping" (that is, a soundless sound).

Ohhh, that's a very interesting question! Was the English translation just "like a crab" without mentioning to Japanese tale?

Yes. The subtitles are mainly for people who don't know Japanese and want to follow the plot, so they're often "wrong". That is, the subtitles say what an American might say, rather than trying to be an accurate translation of the Japanese. For me this is useful because the subtitles don't do much of the work for me.

The subtitles do not mention the crab story. The story isn't one that we know, so explaining why Mei reminds Satsuki of the crab would be extremely difficult. So the subtitles just say that Mei sits like a crab.

Another place where the subtitles don't provide explanation is when everyone is searching for Mei, and Kanto sees Satsuki in the distance. He calls her, and the subtitles say "Satsuki! Satsuki!" but he actually says "サッキ!サッキ!". Satsuki calls back, the subtitles say "Kanto!" but she actually says "かちゃん". As Satsuki and Kanto have had an awkward relationship up to this point, their use of affectionate nicknames is significant, but the subtitles ignore it.

There's a famous tale called "saru kani gassen" (= lit. battle of a monkey and a crab) and it's quite much about contest in endurance. That's why Satsuki mentioned "crab". But in Japanese, Satsuki actually wrote "like a crab of saru kani gassen". So, you guessed very right!

Thank you for the explanation!! I did not know the words saru, kani or gassen, so I didn't understand what Satsuki was saying. I found the story online and read it. When I watched the film again, I could understand Satsuki easily--and you can also read in her letter: まるご猿カニがっせんのカニになったみたい (marugo saru-kani-gassen no kani ni natta mitai).

Apart from two wrongly said words (by Mei) and way of neibour "obaachan" speaking (very difficult to understand even for foreign people who speak fluent Japanese), Totoro should be a great educational material too. :D

Yes … おばあちゃん is very difficult to understand. Her ん is very, very nasal so that it almost disappears. When she calls めいちゃん, it sounds something a bit like めいちゃあぁぁ to me. The か, き, く, け, and こ sounds are often like が, ぎ, ぐ, げ, and ご. The な, に, ぬ, ね and のsounds are like ん, so that she says あんた instead of あなた. Another old lady does a similar thing: she says that Satsuki is a かわいいかんじょ.

I also find Satsuki's father difficult to understand. He's academic, so maybe he speaks an intellectual kind of Japanese. In the opening scenes, Satsuko's father asks Kanto a question, and Kanto just stares and then points without saying anything. I think that Kanto is surprised by the way that Satsuki's father phrases the question. But at least Kanto understands the question, which is more than I do!

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Re: Understanding Totoro

Postby ericf » April 9th, 2013 8:26 am

mmmason8967 wrote:I watched Totoro again last night, and I understood much more than I did last time. There is still a lot I don't understand, though--like what does すけ mean in the word まっくろくろすけ?

I had the vaguest recollection that I'd heard that word somewhere before and, after a bit of searching, realised I'd come across it in another miyazaki anime; 千と千尋の神隠し。

すけ is 助 (ジョ、たすける、たすかる、すける、すけ)
So 真っ黒黒助 is pitch-black assistant.

And it's sooooooo long since I watched Totoro that I can't remember much about your other points. But the saru kani gassen was interesting.
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Re: Understanding Totoro

Postby mmmason8967 » April 10th, 2013 6:04 am

ericf wrote:I had the vaguest recollection that I'd heard that word somewhere before and, after a bit of searching, realised I'd come across it in another miyazaki anime; 千と千尋の神隠し。

すけ is 助 (ジョ、たすける、たすかる、すける、すけ)
So 真っ黒黒助 is pitch-black assistant.

Oh, yes ... it's quite a long time since I watched Spirited Away and I'd completely forgotten that the 真っ黒黒助 were in that film too. I must admit that 'assistant' is a bit of a surprise! I was expecting something like 'imp' or 'sprite'. The subtitles reckon they're 'dustbunnies'...

And it's sooooooo long since I watched Totoro that I can't remember much about your other points. But the saru kani gassen was interesting.

I'm so pleased I asked about that! It had seemed a bit odd that Satsuki would compare the way Mei sat with a crab because, apart from anything else, crabs don't really sit, so they're not likely to be anyone's first choice as a simile.

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Re: Understanding Totoro

Postby ericf » April 10th, 2013 7:46 am

mmmason8967 wrote:Oh, yes ... it's quite a long time since I watched Spirited Away and I'd completely forgotten that the 真っ黒黒助 were in that film too. I must admit that 'assistant' is a bit of a surprise! I was expecting something like 'imp' or 'sprite'. The subtitles reckon they're 'dustbunnies'...

Well, 'assistant' is admittedly rather formal, though 助 seems pretty formal too; 経済援助(economic aid)、助教(assistant teacher)など。'imp' or 'sprite' sounds better here, or perhaps something like Santa's elves. I can't remember what the 真っ黒黒助 do in Totoro but in Spirited Away they help carry coal to feed the furnace.

mmmason8967 wrote:I'm so pleased I asked about that! It had seemed a bit odd that Satsuki would compare the way Mei sat with a crab because, apart from anything else, crabs don't really sit, so they're not likely to be anyone's first choice as a simile.

I guess it's the hunkering down and watching, waiting that I can imagine a crab doing, more than the sitting aspect, that they're making a simile of.
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Re: Understanding Totoro

Postby mmmason8967 » April 10th, 2013 4:43 pm

ericf wrote:Well, 'assistant' is admittedly rather formal, though 助 seems pretty formal too; 経済援助(economic aid)、助教(assistant teacher)など。'imp' or 'sprite' sounds better here, or perhaps something like Santa's elves. I can't remember what the 真っ黒黒助 do in Totoro but in Spirited Away they help carry coal to feed the furnace.

So something like "helper" or maybe even "little helper" perhaps? Although we end up with "little black helper", at which point I can begin to see why the subtitlers went for "dustbunnies".

I guess it's the hunkering down and watching, waiting that I can imagine a crab doing, more than the sitting aspect, that they're making a simile of.

Hmmm ... I see what you mean. But as it turns out, Mei is sitting and waiting like the crab, not a crab.

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Re: Understanding Totoro

Postby community.japanese » April 11th, 2013 11:59 pm

マイケルさん、

mmmason8967 wrote:I watched Totoro again last night, and I understood much more than I did last time. There is still a lot I don't understand, though--like what does すけ mean in the word まっくろくろすけ?

「すけ」 was one of the most common "last part" of male names in old days, like samurai period.
(you can still find those names actors of kabuki, kyougen and so on)
We often add this すけ in nicknames and/or creative names. When there's no specific name to something (like this まっくろくろすけ), just by adding すけ to くろ, we ca "name" this black thing. Instead of just くろすけ, to emphasise "how black" it is, and to sound cute and commical, they even added "totally black" (まっくろ).

Well, basically the belief in Shintoism is "every little thing has little God on it", so there're hundreds of thousands of Gods everywhere :lol: We teach children that they can't waste food because each one grain of rice has little God on it,
so if they throw rice away, it means they're throwing Gods away treating badly.
Have you heard of 神無月? It's October in (old) Japanese name. This literally means "no God month", right?
This is because, there was/is festival from 11th to 17th October in old calendar and it was supposed to be God's gathering
for their meeting (all multitudinous gods) :mrgreen: This is held in Izumo city (Shimane prefecture), so the rest of Japan
will have time without Gods. That's why this month is called "No Gods Month" 神無月 :mrgreen:
However, Izumo city, on the other hand, will have all the Gods there, right? So, it is said that only in Izumo (I believe
this is extended to prefecture level, though) October is 神在月 meaning "God(s) existing month".

I wonder why any of those books always focus only on Buddhism...? I know Zen and a lot of Japanese culture has
connection and history to it, but I think Shintoism really is a very typical and unique Japanese religion.
I recently went to a very interesting exhibition about antient Egypt. Their spirits and thoughts at that time were
quite much similar to our culture including this Shinto's multitudinous gods.
We might have been able to keep this Shinto BECAUSE we had quite strong connection to it already when Western
culture reached to Japan.

The subtitles are mainly for people who don't know Japanese and want to follow the plot, so they're often "wrong". That is, the subtitles say what an American might say, rather than trying to be an accurate translation of the Japanese. For me this is useful because the subtitles don't do much of the work for me.
The subtitles do not mention the crab story. The story isn't one that we know, so explaining why Mei reminds Satsuki of the crab would be extremely difficult. So the subtitles just say that Mei sits like a crab.

Right; that's how subtitle should work and I understand that. Still, I don't know why the translator decided to keep
only "crab" then. It definitely leaves "?" in people's mind. Japanese version should have said にらめっこ which means
"staring contest", right? If English says just "sit" then there's no need to keep "crab" at all. :blob:
If I were the translator, I'd probably write "Mei's been playing staring contest there".

Another place where the subtitles don't provide explanation is when everyone is searching for Mei, and Kanto sees Satsuki in the distance. He calls her, and the subtitles say "Satsuki! Satsuki!" but he actually says "サッキ!サッキ!". Satsuki calls back, the subtitles say "Kanto!" but she actually says "かちゃん". As Satsuki and Kanto have had an awkward relationship up to this point, their use of affectionate nicknames is significant, but the subtitles ignore it.


Interesting analysis!! :mrgreen: Yeah...their relationship was really typical kids.... :lol:
I think the reason it sounded like サッキ is because we usually drop "u" in "tsu" to facilitate the pronunciation.
Same applies to my Name; it's rather "Natsko" when we pronounce naturally.
The boy's name should be Kanta, so Satsuki could have called him by かんちゃん :?


Thank you for the explanation!! I did not know the words saru, kani or gassen, so I didn't understand what Satsuki was saying. I found the story online and read it. When I watched the film again, I could understand Satsuki easily--and you can also read in her letter: まるご猿カニがっせんのカニになったみたい (marugo saru-kani-gassen no kani ni natta mitai).


Brilliant!! :D
It's one of the very famous story in Japan, and everyone knows it. Oh, by the way, it's まるで (marude), not まるご :wink: This is kind of corresponding phrase: まるで~みたい, meaning "as if".


The な, に, ぬ, ね and のsounds are like ん, so that she says あんた instead of あなた. Another old lady does a similar thing: she says that Satsuki is a かわいいかんじょ.

:lol: True!!
Well, あんた is still used quite commonly now, by any generation. As far as I'm concerned, this おばあちゃん has
certain dialect too. She doesn't say any specific dialect word, but her intonation is not quite "standard".
Her way is ...for us, "typical いなか language" :lol:

[quate] I also find Satsuki's father difficult to understand. He's academic, so maybe he speaks an intellectual kind of Japanese. In the opening scenes, Satsuko's father asks Kanto a question, and Kanto just stares and then points without saying anything. I think that Kanto is surprised by the way that Satsuki's father phrases the question. But at least Kanto understands the question, which is more than I do! [/quote]
Well, that's new :shock:
I thought Satsuki's father speaks a bit more like "textbook", not too colloquial. You might be right; he's academic,
so his way of speaking was supposed to be "sophisticated". If everyone in any anime speaks like him, anime would be
a very good educational material for Japanese learners :mrgreen:

You don't have any problem understanding Mei-chan?
"Her pronunciation" is, of course, "childish". So I wouldn't surpise if you do.

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Re: Understanding Totoro

Postby community.japanese » April 12th, 2013 12:13 am

エリックさん、
ericf wrote:
mmmason8967 wrote:I watched Totoro again last night, and I understood much more than I did last time. There is still a lot I don't understand, though--like what does すけ mean in the word まっくろくろすけ?

I had the vaguest recollection that I'd heard that word somewhere before and, after a bit of searching, realised I'd come across it in another miyazaki anime; 千と千尋の神隠し。

すけ is 助 (ジョ、たすける、たすかる、すける、すけ)
So 真っ黒黒助 is pitch-black assistant.

And it's sooooooo long since I watched Totoro that I can't remember much about your other points. But the saru kani gassen was interesting.


And has this forum made you feel like watching it again?? :mrgreen:
I actually never thought of "help" or "assistance" in 助, it's an interesting point!! :D

Miyazaki anime is, in my opinion, quite a brilliant material for Japanese learners in any level.
For advanced learners, like you, cultural insight would be a very usuful and attractive aspect :wink:

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Re: Understanding Totoro

Postby mmmason8967 » April 14th, 2013 4:34 am

奈津子さん、

すみません、わざわざお返事して下さってあいがとうございます。

前夜「となりのトトロ」をまた見ました。何度もそれを見ましたが、つまらなくありません。

You don't have any problem understanding Mei-chan?
"Her pronunciation" is, of course, "childish". So I wouldn't surpise if you do.

Mei-chan has a limited vocabulary and she uses simple grammar. Me too! :oops:

My listening skills are not good. When I hear a word or phrase that I do not know, it throws me off, usually for the rest of the sentence. But each time I watch it, I understand a little bit more. The last time I watched Totoro, I realised I could read the destination on ねこバス. It says 七国山病院 , the name of the hospital. This time I could hear the characters saying しちこくやま. Previously this had thrown me off completely because I had no idea what they were saying (and the subtitles translate it as "hospital").

Right; that's how subtitle should work and I understand that. Still, I don't know why the translator decided to keep
only "crab" then. It definitely leaves "?" in people's mind. Japanese version should have said にらめっこ which means
"staring contest", right? If English says just "sit" then there's no need to keep "crab" at all.
If I were the translator, I'd probably write "Mei's been playing staring contest there".

The problem is that Miyazaki-san is very, very good at making films! He shows you Mei watching the seed-bed and he shows you Satsuki's drawing of a crab. Even with no sound and no subtitles, you would still know that Satsuki is saying that Mei is like a crab.

I guess the people who did the subtitles realised that they could not avoid the crab.

It's one of the very famous story in Japan, and everyone knows it. Oh, by the way, it's まるで (marude), not まるご :wink: This is kind of corresponding phrase: まるで~みたい, meaning "as if".

I made a note of the sentence while I was watching the film. But I wrote the で badly and it looks like ご. So now I have accidentally invented a new Japanese word! 〇語 (marugo): a language that sounds like Japanese but is actually meaningless. :D

I think the reason it sounded like サッキ is because we usually drop "u" in "tsu" to facilitate the pronunciation.
Same applies to my Name; it's rather "Natsko" when we pronounce naturally.
The boy's name should be Kanta, so Satsuki could have called him by かんちゃん :?

I know how 奈津子 is pronounced because there is a lovely lady who is a host for the JPod101 Culture Class and Lower Beginner series, and she introduces herself at the start of every lesson. :wink:

You are right: the boy's name is Kanta, and Satsuki does call him かんちゃん. But I'm sure that Kanta calls Satsuki サッキ. In fact he says it twice. I rewound and re-played the scene several times to be sure. And it does seem to be a plausible word-game: サツキ ⇒ サッキ.

Well, basically the belief in Shintoism is "every little thing has little God on it", so there're hundreds of thousands of Gods everywhere :lol: We teach children that they can't waste food because each one grain of rice has little God on it, so if they throw rice away, it means they're throwing Gods away treating badly.

Thank you so much for the information about Shinto! It sounds a little strange to me, but I am reading about it on the Internet. Already I have read many times that you cannot understand Japanese culture without understanding Shinto. It is very interesting, but there is a lot to understand! :shock:

It seems that the shrine at Totoro's tree is an Inari shrine. I read online that the kanji for Inari is 稲荷 so now I can read the sign on the bus stop where Satsuki and Mei wait for their father. It says 稲荷前 (inari mae), which presumably means "in front of the shrine" or maybe "shrine entrance".

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Re: Understanding Totoro

Postby ericf » April 14th, 2013 7:15 am

奈津子さん、マイケルさん、

Yes, I had to watch Totoro again! And I think I missed almost all the points Michael brought up :-(
It's hard to see the makurokurosuke as any kind of helper in Totoro, they're rather different from the makurokurosuke in Spirited Away.

稲荷前 is exactly as you guessed, in front of the shrine. You'll find the same suffix in place names such as 神宮前 or 明治神宮前 in 渋谷。 http://goo.gl/maps/OM7pS
Or even just 駅前, in front of the station.
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Re: Understanding Totoro

Postby community.japanese » April 15th, 2013 4:51 pm

> マイケルさん、
I completely understand your problem when you hear unknown words! Our brains seem to work straight
as long as they're dealing with familiar words, but they "freeze" quite easily with new info :lol:

The problem is that Miyazaki-san is very, very good at making films! He shows you Mei watching the seed-bed and he shows you Satsuki's drawing of a crab. Even with no sound and no subtitles, you would still know that Satsuki is saying that Mei is like a crab.
I guess the people who did the subtitles realised that they could not avoid the crab.


When I watched Totoro again the other day, I realised Satsuki didn't actually say にらめっこ and, yes, I saw
drawing of crab on her letter :lol:



I know how 奈津子 is pronounced because there is a lovely lady who is a host for the JPod101 Culture Class and Lower Beginner series, and she introduces herself at the start of every lesson. :wink:

You are right: the boy's name is Kanta, and Satsuki does call him かんちゃん. But I'm sure that Kanta calls Satsuki サッキ. In fact he says it twice. I rewound and re-played the scene several times to be sure. And it does seem to be a plausible word-game: サツキ ⇒ サッキ.


Oh thank you very much!! :D
I'm not a good voice actress and I try not to listen my recorded voice :mrgreen: :lol:
I never paid so much attention to how Kanta called Satsuki. It's a very interesting observation and you might be very
right :D

Thank you so much for the information about Shinto! It sounds a little strange to me, but I am reading about it on the Internet. Already I have read many times that you cannot understand Japanese culture without understanding Shinto. It is very interesting, but there is a lot to understand! :shock:

It seems that the shrine at Totoro's tree is an Inari shrine. I read online that the kanji for Inari is 稲荷 so now I can read the sign on the bus stop where Satsuki and Mei wait for their father. It says 稲荷前 (inari mae), which presumably means "in front of the shrine" or maybe "shrine entrance".


You're very welcome :wink:
That's true; without understanding Shinto, it's quite impossible to understand Japanese culture since half of it is related
to Shinto. I don't remember which Cultural lesson deal with "items commonly found in Japanese house", but
very typical and traditional Japanese houses usually have both Buddhist family alter AND little in-house shrine.
As you know, those two are from different religions, and we do live with both of them.
I think religions for us Japanese is more spiritual respect than "belief".

Speaking of 稲荷, I've never thought of looking for informaiton about it, but there are many towns and shrines
with this word 稲荷  :?
It seems any shrine that "enshrine"s the God of Inari 稲荷神 is called 稲荷神社 8)

As to 稲荷前, like エリックさん already replied, you're right! :wink:

> エリックさん、
welcome to "never-ending & repeated Totoro watchers group" :mrgreen:
If you missed many pointes Micheal-san brought up, please feel free to watching it again :lol:
We'll be happy to help you understanding some points!
I don't recall "makkurokurosuke" in Spirited Away, though. What was the name there? :?
(I wonder if it's 顔なし)

I liked Spirited Away too! This story should be a film reflecting very typical "Shinto-related" culture in Japan! :D
Many of Miyazaki films have Shintoism in, I guess. Totoro (huge tree representing God of the wood),
Spirited Away (many Gods), Princess Mononoke ("Shin-gami sama", "tatarigami" etc.) ...
It could be an intersting approach to Japanese' mind :D

Natsuko(奈津子),
Team JapanesePod101.com

ericf
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Re: Understanding Totoro

Postby ericf » April 16th, 2013 6:08 am

千と千尋だったら、「マックロクロスケ」か「ススワタリ」は、釜爺の部下として、石炭の餌:)を釜場のボイラーに入れる。そして、千尋が脱いだ靴を片付けたことなどもある。つまり、千と千尋のマックロクロスには、援助のような意味も含めているじゃない。
エリック

community.japanese
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Re: Understanding Totoro

Postby community.japanese » April 16th, 2013 10:02 pm

エリックさん、
あ~~~~!!!!!なるほど! :D
いましたね、小さい黒いのが :lol:
忘れていました :oops:  あの小さい黒い物体には、名前は出てきませんでしたよね。でも確かに「まっくろくろすけ」
とよくにていますし、いろんなお手伝いをしていましたね。

Natsuko(奈津子),
Team JapanesePod101.com

mmmason8967
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Location: Huntingdon, England

Re: Understanding Totoro

Postby mmmason8967 » April 19th, 2013 2:21 am

奈津子さん wrote:I'm not a good voice actress and I try not to listen my recorded voice :mrgreen: :lol:

分かりました。僕の声を聞くことが嫌いです。でも、奈津子さんの声はこうていアクセントが聞き易いです。その上奈津子さんはイギリスのアクセントの英語を話しますとおもいます。  :wink:

Yes … I really dislike hearing my own voice. But your pitch-accent is very easy to hear. And you seem to speak English with a British accent.

That's true; without understanding Shinto, it's quite impossible to understand Japanese culture since half of it is related to Shinto.

そうですね。今日は「キツネウドン」が分かりました。狐は材料じゃありません  :lol: 。いろもじゃありません。稲荷のししゃはきつねです。揚げ出し豆腐が大好きな食べ物です。

So it seems. Today I understood why it is called "kitsune udon" (fox noodles). Fox is not an ingredient. It's also not the colour. Inari's messengers are foxes, and their favourite food is fried tofu.

I don't remember which Cultural lesson deal with "items commonly found in Japanese house", but very typical and traditional Japanese houses usually have both Buddhist family alter AND little in-house shrine. As you know, those two are from different religions, and we do live with both of them. I think religions for us Japanese is more spiritual respect than "belief".

This is the fascinating thing about Japan: the culture can absorb things from outside and still remain Japanese. It seems to be very robust.

あの小さい黒い物体には、名前は出てきませんでしたよね。でも確かに「まっくろくろすけ」
とよくにていますし、いろんなお手伝いをしていましたね。

「トトロ」をまだ見ました。。。  :shock:

お父さん: これは「まっくろくろすけ」だな。
サツキ:  「まっくろくろすけ」で本にでじた?
お父さん: そうさあ。

(後で)

おばあちゃん: いやぁ、いやぁ、いやぁ、いやぁ。こんら「すすわたり」でたな。

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