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Studio Ghibli Finally Explained Why Chihiro’s Parents Turned Into Pigs
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Entertainment6 years ago

Studio Ghibli Finally Explained Why Chihiro’s Parents Turned Into Pigs

The classic Studio Ghibli film “Spirited Away” was released in 2001 and it remains as popular today as it was fifteen years ago. It’s the most successful film in Japan’s history (it even won an Oscar) and it grossed almost $300 million worldwide. But while the movie has no shortage of fans, it also has no shortage of people who continue to argue about what the sometimes ambiguous movie actually means.

To bring the ongoing debate to an end once and for all, a Japanese fan of Hayao Miyazaki’s masterpiece recently wrote to Studio Ghibli asking for an explanation regarding the story’s underlying message. And to her surprise, she actually got a reply.

Twitter user @0910noncha wanted to know why the protagonist’s parents turned into pigs, what was in their food, and how Chihiro managed to pass her final exam. The reply she received went on for almost two pages and was written by a studio employee. In it they explained that Chihiro’s parents turned into pigs because the transformation represented the greed that took place during the Japanese recession of the 80s.

The letter also explained that the transformation was irreversible in order to reflect the nature of greed in the real world. The letter continued by saying that Chihiro knew that none of the pigs in the pen were her parents because her mindset had changed following her experiences in the underworld.

Finally, the letter explained that the story isn’t about a girl with a “unique heart” – it’s actually about a girl who learned to face her fears by developing a heightened understanding and appreciation of life.

But what about the food? Well, that one remains a mystery. After all, what would people argue about otherwise?

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La
Community Member
6 years ago

I'm confused that this had to be explained. I thought it was clearly outlined in the story...

Daria B
Community Member
6 years ago

Same here. I mean, this explanation was exactly how I understood the story. Maybe not at first look, but seeing it again and reflecting afterwards, I made almost exactly the conclusions that now appear in this explanation. But still I'm very glad this article came out, not everyone sees the world with the same eyes and same metaphoric idioms in language, not everyone's life situation is same. I bet explanations that I need sometimes seem too clear to someone else as well.

Load More Replies...
Yvonne Bernal
Community Member
6 years ago

You are what you eat!

Sergio Bicerra
Community Member
6 years ago

I just ate a peach :D

Load More Replies...
Jennifer Francis
Community Member
6 years ago

I thought it was pretty obvious

Hauwei Teng
Community Member
6 years ago

Very likely the scene is about gambling addiction. The place they entered in the day was an abandoned theme park. What gambling houses are to adults are theme parks to children. The parents went in for a look, smelled a fragrance coming from food left unattended. They wanted to try a bit of the food and pay the shop owner later. But the first few bites of the food were tasty and addictive. Soon they found themselves losing control of themselves and turned into pigs, unable to stop gobbling food and unable to pay. The girl is then sent to work in a bath house to pay off the parents debts. Linking back to Japanese history, bathhouse in Edo Japan has female workers who often offered sexual services to the patrons. Perhaps the bathhouse represent the sex industry and the food stalls represent the gambling industry, the girl is sent to work in the bathhouse to try free her parents.

Load More Replies...
Ahmad Khalilul Hameedy Nordin
Community Member
6 years ago

Is there any full translation of this letter?

Kousha Zavareh
Community Member
6 years ago

I was a kid when i saw this ... It was so scary to me... I can't forget it...

Daria B
Community Member
6 years ago

Wow! My niece too, when she was a toddler, she was so scared by that scene she couldn't watch it.

Load More Replies...
Lydia Halliday
Community Member
6 years ago

Finally an answer! I've been curious since that movie came out years ago

Darius B.
Community Member
6 years ago

Miyazaki <3

Hauwei Teng
Community Member
6 years ago

Very likely the scene is about gambling addiction. The place they entered in the day was an abandoned theme park. What gambling houses are to adults are theme parks to children. The parents went in for a look, smelled a fragrance coming from food left unattended. They wanted to try a bit of the food and pay the shop owner later. But the first few bites of the food were tasty and addictive. Soon they found themselves losing control of themselves and turned into pigs, unable to stop gobbling food and unable to pay. The girl is then sent to work in a bath house to pay off the parents debts. Linking back to Japanese history, bathhouse in Edo Japan has female workers who often offered sexual services to the patrons. Perhaps the bathhouse represent the sex industry and the food stalls represent the gambling industry, the girl is sent to work in the bathhouse to try free her parents. In the story, those who forget their name over time are enslaved in the bath house forever.

Meeow
Community Member
6 years ago

I've watched more then 10 times, one of my favorite movie!!!

Lauren Keller
Community Member
6 years ago

I remember watching this when I was little and being horrified.

Paris Williams
Community Member
4 years ago

what are the techniques in this scene

Karolina Romakkaniemi Os Ahonen
Community Member
5 years ago

I have always admired Hayao Miyazaki's art. That is how I explained that to my daughter when we watched the movie together for the first time.

Yee Wong
Community Member
5 years ago

Yup it is greed all along!

Shana Frazier
Community Member
5 years ago

I didn't think that deep about it. I guess I could have, just didn't. I recognized the greed, just didn't connect all the metaphors to actuality. I liked the letting go and enjoying a sweet story, about a girl who grew up in a short span of time.

Raquel Silveira
Community Member
6 years ago

I already new all of this .-. Everything is very explicit when you watch the movie

KaptainFuzz
Community Member
6 years ago

NO! I've had this as a nightmare!

Adam Deiterick
Community Member
6 years ago

I always assumed, the food, was the "others" what became pigs?? Remember the few seconds, where the frogs were herding the pigs in to the pen?? correct me, if I am wrong, but weren't here parents waving for her, across the greenfield of grass? Or am I thinking of another anime?

Nuril Basri
Community Member
6 years ago

I dont even know that it is it, i just enjoyed the story thats all and i like it. This all methaporical thing, my brain just dont get it.

Colin Titonel
Community Member
6 years ago

I met someone the other day (who was a total bitch and hater) that could tell me that pigs are overrated, somehow compared to deers or horses. What a sick life .

Dávid Dorogi
Community Member
6 years ago

i saw the movie yestarday XD

Abby.N
Community Member
6 years ago

I'm sorry but that scene is super creepy ^~^

Hans
Community Member
6 years ago

This comment is hidden. Click here to view.

Have I been living in a cave or is it normal to have never heard about Studio Ghibli nor Chihiro, and not to understand the relevance of this?

markos
Community Member
6 years ago

Yes, you've been living in a cave. :) But it's a good thing that you recognized it! Come out and watch all the wonderfull Studio Ghibli movies! ^^

Load More Replies...
Luís Costa
Community Member
6 years ago

This comment is hidden. Click here to view.

There was no need to write a letter. All the "Trip" to that location, the car conversation and the all the food was left there and they eat it... only chihiro didn´t eat... then they turn to pigs ... and continuos to eat dress up ... ;)

Azade Madani
Community Member
6 years ago

This comment is hidden. Click here to view.

When someone uses someone else's creative ideas in their work without acknowledging the inspiration, their work loses a quality called a "soul".

Azade Madani
Community Member
6 years ago

This comment is hidden. Click here to view.

This story has no heart! It is interesting concept but it has no soul because the creator either ripped off someone else or is greedy herself.

La
Community Member
6 years ago

I'm confused that this had to be explained. I thought it was clearly outlined in the story...

Daria B
Community Member
6 years ago

Same here. I mean, this explanation was exactly how I understood the story. Maybe not at first look, but seeing it again and reflecting afterwards, I made almost exactly the conclusions that now appear in this explanation. But still I'm very glad this article came out, not everyone sees the world with the same eyes and same metaphoric idioms in language, not everyone's life situation is same. I bet explanations that I need sometimes seem too clear to someone else as well.

Load More Replies...
Yvonne Bernal
Community Member
6 years ago

You are what you eat!

Sergio Bicerra
Community Member
6 years ago

I just ate a peach :D

Load More Replies...
Jennifer Francis
Community Member
6 years ago

I thought it was pretty obvious

Hauwei Teng
Community Member
6 years ago

Very likely the scene is about gambling addiction. The place they entered in the day was an abandoned theme park. What gambling houses are to adults are theme parks to children. The parents went in for a look, smelled a fragrance coming from food left unattended. They wanted to try a bit of the food and pay the shop owner later. But the first few bites of the food were tasty and addictive. Soon they found themselves losing control of themselves and turned into pigs, unable to stop gobbling food and unable to pay. The girl is then sent to work in a bath house to pay off the parents debts. Linking back to Japanese history, bathhouse in Edo Japan has female workers who often offered sexual services to the patrons. Perhaps the bathhouse represent the sex industry and the food stalls represent the gambling industry, the girl is sent to work in the bathhouse to try free her parents.

Load More Replies...
Ahmad Khalilul Hameedy Nordin
Community Member
6 years ago

Is there any full translation of this letter?

Kousha Zavareh
Community Member
6 years ago

I was a kid when i saw this ... It was so scary to me... I can't forget it...

Daria B
Community Member
6 years ago

Wow! My niece too, when she was a toddler, she was so scared by that scene she couldn't watch it.

Load More Replies...
Lydia Halliday
Community Member
6 years ago

Finally an answer! I've been curious since that movie came out years ago

Darius B.
Community Member
6 years ago

Miyazaki <3

Hauwei Teng
Community Member
6 years ago

Very likely the scene is about gambling addiction. The place they entered in the day was an abandoned theme park. What gambling houses are to adults are theme parks to children. The parents went in for a look, smelled a fragrance coming from food left unattended. They wanted to try a bit of the food and pay the shop owner later. But the first few bites of the food were tasty and addictive. Soon they found themselves losing control of themselves and turned into pigs, unable to stop gobbling food and unable to pay. The girl is then sent to work in a bath house to pay off the parents debts. Linking back to Japanese history, bathhouse in Edo Japan has female workers who often offered sexual services to the patrons. Perhaps the bathhouse represent the sex industry and the food stalls represent the gambling industry, the girl is sent to work in the bathhouse to try free her parents. In the story, those who forget their name over time are enslaved in the bath house forever.

Meeow
Community Member
6 years ago

I've watched more then 10 times, one of my favorite movie!!!

Lauren Keller
Community Member
6 years ago

I remember watching this when I was little and being horrified.

Paris Williams
Community Member
4 years ago

what are the techniques in this scene

Karolina Romakkaniemi Os Ahonen
Community Member
5 years ago

I have always admired Hayao Miyazaki's art. That is how I explained that to my daughter when we watched the movie together for the first time.

Yee Wong
Community Member
5 years ago

Yup it is greed all along!

Shana Frazier
Community Member
5 years ago

I didn't think that deep about it. I guess I could have, just didn't. I recognized the greed, just didn't connect all the metaphors to actuality. I liked the letting go and enjoying a sweet story, about a girl who grew up in a short span of time.

Raquel Silveira
Community Member
6 years ago

I already new all of this .-. Everything is very explicit when you watch the movie

KaptainFuzz
Community Member
6 years ago

NO! I've had this as a nightmare!

Adam Deiterick
Community Member
6 years ago

I always assumed, the food, was the "others" what became pigs?? Remember the few seconds, where the frogs were herding the pigs in to the pen?? correct me, if I am wrong, but weren't here parents waving for her, across the greenfield of grass? Or am I thinking of another anime?

Nuril Basri
Community Member
6 years ago

I dont even know that it is it, i just enjoyed the story thats all and i like it. This all methaporical thing, my brain just dont get it.

Colin Titonel
Community Member
6 years ago

I met someone the other day (who was a total bitch and hater) that could tell me that pigs are overrated, somehow compared to deers or horses. What a sick life .

Dávid Dorogi
Community Member
6 years ago

i saw the movie yestarday XD

Abby.N
Community Member
6 years ago

I'm sorry but that scene is super creepy ^~^

Hans
Community Member
6 years ago

This comment is hidden. Click here to view.

Have I been living in a cave or is it normal to have never heard about Studio Ghibli nor Chihiro, and not to understand the relevance of this?

markos
Community Member
6 years ago

Yes, you've been living in a cave. :) But it's a good thing that you recognized it! Come out and watch all the wonderfull Studio Ghibli movies! ^^

Load More Replies...
Luís Costa
Community Member
6 years ago

This comment is hidden. Click here to view.

There was no need to write a letter. All the "Trip" to that location, the car conversation and the all the food was left there and they eat it... only chihiro didn´t eat... then they turn to pigs ... and continuos to eat dress up ... ;)

Azade Madani
Community Member
6 years ago

This comment is hidden. Click here to view.

When someone uses someone else's creative ideas in their work without acknowledging the inspiration, their work loses a quality called a "soul".

Azade Madani
Community Member
6 years ago

This comment is hidden. Click here to view.

This story has no heart! It is interesting concept but it has no soul because the creator either ripped off someone else or is greedy herself.

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