A Gentler Time in the Land of the Rising Sun

When my beautiful niece Zoe was just a little twinkie (she's 20 now) she loved the early Japanese animé film, My Neighbor Totoro (1988). We watched it over and over again. The story takes you back to a simpler time (1958) when the Kusakabe family moves to an old house in rural Japan. Soon after moving in, the little girls discover magic all around and this gentle, sweet and slightly edgy story unfolds. The soundtrack is unforgettable; I still hum some of the songs in my mind.

Roger Ebert hailed My Neighbor Totoro as one of his "Great Movies," calling it "one of the lovingly hand-crafted works of Hayao Miyazaki.. It is rich with human comedy in the way it observes the two remarkably convincing lifelike little girls... It is a little sad, a little scary, a little surprising and a little informative, just like life itself. It ... suggests that the wonder of life and the resources of imagination supply all the adventure you need."

I just wonder how many Japanese parents might have turned to this gentle little film to bring some comfort to their children in these last few incomprehensibly difficult days following the earthquake & tsunami that has changed their beloved Japan forever.

a happy day fishing in the stream in the Japanese
countryside ca. 1958... Totoro and the girls..
Totoro has
subsequently made cameo appearances
in Toy Story3 and South Park

Mei running with her new friends in the forest

if you listen to the "Totoro" song, I promise you will
be singing it all day long!


the following Japanese fabrics and designs seem like they
could have been from 1958, a happier and simpler time


help Japanese Quake relief here too by buying
Jill's beautiful notecards:

my friend Jill of The Artful Bee created these
limited edition notecards
to benefit Japanese Quake relief
to order: jill@artfulbee.com

Thank you for visiting! xoxo Kit


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