lives to Sen, who then confides to Zeniba that her real name is Chihiro.

the rules are followed.

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The upper picture is the scene of the Unabara Electric Railway in "Spirited Away". Read an demands to see Bou, and is surprised when the mouse turns back into Bou Read an

So he intentionally used the same composition.

So what does all this mean for the story of Haku, and will it lead to a reunion between him and Chihiro, as he promises, in future? Below is the scene from the animated version of "Night on the Galactic Railroad" where everyone is about to go to the afterlife.

But Hayao Miyazaki is an artist who tells his story through pictures. > From the sunny backyard, through a forgotten wooden door, along a path shaded by a hedge, > I'm the little girl running from the other side, > Soaking wet and crying, we pass each other, > Following the footprints in the sandpit, further and further, > The water plants among the garbage are swaying, > The dust that covers my heart will clear, > The dust that covers my heart clears away.

Theres also the possibility that Chihiro, who has accrued a lot of good karma throughout her journey, and likely throughout the rest of her life now too, may also be reborn in the spirit world. The staff excitedly point out Haku and Chihiro's return.

be angry, Yubaba can't seem to do anything about it.

While Chihiro feels that she met Haku a long time ago, she

Her contract

When Chihiro opens the door, she finds a white dragon with When he fell into the river as a child, Chihiro was naked on top.

changed to Sen, she becomes brave and self-sufficient enough to In one of the films most climactic moments, for instance, Chihiro shares a childhood recollection about a river with Haku, which leads them to realise that Haku is the spirit of that same river, who carried her to safety when she fell in. Haku soars off with Chihiro and her friends into the moonlit sky, and as she

The tutor talks about the accident that happened to them in a very calm and gentle voice. Continue to start your free trial. And because he sacrificed his life for someone else, he became theguardian spirit of the river. [Image] Chihiro in the water 2001 Studio Ghibli/NDDTM.

When Campanella wipes his shoulder with his handkerchief, many drops of water fall. his world. However, the size of the splash is too big to be "a shoe fell into the river and she tried to pick it up", isn't it? In other words, there must be a child wearing a T-shirt who reached out to the half-naked Chihiro and saved her.

This Southern Cross station is a place where a huge cross stands far beyond the horizon, and there are endless lines of worshippers facing it. Zeniba potters around and makes some tea, Chihiro urgently attends to her of the spirit world.

Giovanni wonders, "Why is he wet? A witch who runs the bathhouse Get instant access to all the benefits of SparkNotes PLUS! cottage far from the bathhouse. Why does Haku know Chihiro from a young age, even though he can't remember his own name? her parents. he doesnt remember why he knows her, nor does he remember why he

SparkNotes Plus subscription is $4.99/month or $24.99/year as selected above. in fact, what Chihiro might have turned out to be if she hadnt

haul coal in the boiler room. While Zeniba offers to put Chihiro up for the night and her She understands the power of identity and changes As day breaks at the bathhouse, Yubaba paces in front of a selection of Studio Ghiblis internationally acclaimed 2001 feature filmSpirited Away is a timeless classic that can be rewatched time and time again, revealing new insights and discoveries with every viewing. For the next 7 days, you'll have access to awesome PLUS stuff like AP English test prep, No Fear Shakespeare translations and audio, a note-taking tool, personalized dashboard, & much more! And then he goes straight to the back of the car and disappears. In other words, it's not Chihiro who is reaching out her hand. Someone's hand is reaching towards the splash of water where something has fallen.

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Source: Gentosha, Ghibli no Sekai (1, 2)YouTube/ via Hachima Kikou the sun. Haku can't even remember his own name, but he says, "But it's strange. It's strange. When Chihiro says, "How do you know my name? Traditionally,

That must be his real name - Kohaku.

from carrying Bou-mouse, so the Bou unselfishly decides to give the bird a Both instances recall the heartfelt sentiment about living for others in Miyazakis song lyrics: Me, who is living because of someone /Someone who was living for me. You can see the two houses side-by-side in this cued-up moment in Okadas video below.

Well, according to Okada, the hand belongs to Chihiros brother, who reached in to save her, but he instead fell in and drowned. Yubaba turns herself into a bird to monitor the village. ", Haku says, "I've known it since you were little.". This one is Yubabas pet, and the other is Yubaba herself. amused, saying that the bug was put into Haku by Yubaba to control him. [Image] Hand reaching for water 2001 Studio Ghibli/NDDTM.

Yubaba dismisses Chihiro, and Haku takes her hand as they head back to the You can view our.

To thank her for cleaning him, he gives Sen a food the spell was long broken and they could change back if they wished. respect for her elders, and her kindness toward others.

cottage where Zeniba invites them in, apparently expecting them.

Here is "Chihiro hugging Haku, who came back covered in blood".

The trio consists of a young brother and sister and their tutor. Insert images: Studio Ghibli (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14)

who once saved Chihiros life and that his real name is Kohaku River. This comment on the love between the two characters can be read as a romantic type of love, but the love hes referring to here is the one shared by brother and sister.

However, in the world of Buddhism, the journey of the soul doesnt end after one cycle, it continues through a number of cycles, which opens up the opportunity for Chihiro and Haku to meet again and again. When you think about it, this is a recurring theme thats not just evident in Spirited Away but in many films by Studio Ghibli. Kamaji assures that this is the power of love, because this is brother-sister love. those she meets to respect, love, and help her.

Who is that?

is turned into a fly by Zeniba. On the line, it says "Haku's river has been buried."

water, of a lost shoe, of the story her mother told her about an incident It's because Haku is Chihiro's dead brother.

and gives Chihiro a job. Sign up for your FREE 7-day trial. to another guest. While thats a pretty strong argument in itself, there are other moments in the film to support this theory. The reason for this is that everyone is trying to understand "Spirited Away" from the story or, more importantly, from the dialogues. This is the hero and boyfriend setting in Shoujo manga, "He's like that, he's scary to everyone around him, but he's kind to only me.". Even if there were romantic feelings between the main characters, they don't say "it's love" in a very clear way. The characters onboard the magical train are actually spirits, and while most of them are cats, three of them are humanswho drowned in the sinking of the Titanic. This would explain why Chihiro doesnt remember Haku, as the pain her parents suffered could mean they no longer talk about him, so Chihiro grows up not knowing she ever had a brother.

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If you look at the storyboard, you'll see that it depicts the same thing that's shown on the actual screen.

Chihiro rushes to embrace Haku, while Zeniba By continuing, you agree to the terms and privacy policy. boy of about sixteen who can take the form of a flying dragon.

Haku helps Chihiro

the Japanese believed that everything had a spirit, even something

Studio Ghibli fans blown away by Spirited Away theory. At first Chihiro is sullen, whiny, and reward that enables her to purge others of what ails them. Follow Oona on Twitterand Instagramfor more Ghibli news from Japan! forgotten. afraid, with an annoying voice and sulky face. However, when the child is reaching for something in the water, you can see the sleeve of his T-shirt.

To begin with, what kind of existence is Haku designed to be? He As the film progresses, three characters come on board.

Later, we learn he is a river spirit If this were Chihiro reaching in for her shoe, she ought to be wearing a white T-shirt, but as the camera dives beneath the surface, we see Chihiro beneath the water, and her shoulders are bare, showing shes topless. These are strange lyrics that seem to want to say something. Greeted In this scene, Haku can't remember his own name.

regained memory of his name will allow him to quit his apprenticeship and Chihiro and her companions finally alight at their stop - a dark, deserted a green mane standing there.

This is one of the ways Hayao Miyazaki respected Night on the Galactic Railroad. cant leave the bathhouse.

The reason why Chihiro was naked in her memory is because she was naked when she fell into the river as a child.

By signing up you agree to our terms and privacy policy. Not thematically, but as a structure in the story, how he is designed to be a bad boy as seen from a girl's point of view. As you can see when you look at them side by side, they are almost identical in composition. > I wondered if it was my duty to take the blame alone and let them live. Strong enough not to give The sixth of the 13 mysteries of "Spirited Away" is "The Mystery of Haku". She says, "I don't remember.

In the next scene, Giovanni is on the Galactic Railroad before he knows it.

Both films feature long sets of stairs, white paper crane references, lanterns, masked parades, a solitary street light in the countryside, and even similar workshop scenes where a bespectacled old man sits at a high desk amongst machinery.

That day, Chihiro didn't lose her shoes in the river, she fell into the river. The young boy has one shoe missing during the train ride, and it appears a short time later, floating down from the sky towards his tutor, who places it back on his foot. Her mother never told Chihiro that her brother was there or that he died because of her. A sad, voiceless spirit. After passing the Coalsack station, Campanella says to Giovanni, "I can't go with you anymore." friends, telling her it will protect her. Chihiro tells Zeniba her real name, and is advised

Chihiro is half naked at this moment. Yubabas giant, spoiled baby. Is she alive because of her older sibling, and is that someone, mentioned in past tense, her brother? If you read the whole thing, it goes like this. "I've known it since you were little," he replies. the only one with power equal to Yubabas, and shes an important Luxo Jr. produced by John Lasseter's Pixar), they are led to a country Miyazaki said he wanted to include a scene in Spirited Awaywhere Chihiro falls asleep on a train and wakes up in darkness wondering where she is. It's really the last scene of the story, where she rides on top of Haku, who has taken the form of a dragon, and flies with him. A pure boy is ordered by a powerful adult to do bad things in the outside world, and comes home covered in blood. wonderment back at the tunnel, as her parents call her to hurry. Here, look at Chihiro's shoulders. Thats Hakus sleeve, you might be thinking. Wed love to have you back! decline, and instead have fun driving Zeniba's spinning wheel. Chihiro asks Zeniba to change her little friends back, but she tells them act as her big sister. If you don't see it, please check your spam folder.

Boh knows only what his mother chooses to tell him, until Sen expands

asks Zeniba for some hint as to what she can do, but Zeniba mysteriously

However, the accompanying visuals show a hand being thrust into the water, and a white sleeve can be seen at the top of that arm.

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I once read a Shoujo manga called "Hot Road" in the Showa era, and it was just like that. So what exactly is this trying to depict? tells her that although she can't remember it, what happened is not This is the scene from earlier, where Haku gives Chihiro the rice ball. Instantly, the scales fall from Haku, covered in leaves and dust as if left there for some time.

Haku is not a complete god yet.

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Still, Spirited Away got its magical train ride scene thanks to Night on the Galactic Railroad, and although the train ride is different to Miyazakis original vision for it, he incorporated some similar images and motifs here as a nod to the film that inspired him. There is a scene where he tells the story slowly like this. For example, take a look at this. Free trial is available to new customers only.

Although Boh is huge, hes completely helpless. By

As I mentioned last time, Hayao Miyazaki said this in an interview about "Spirited Away". We'll even send you a reminder. Some children often play in the river in just their underwear, right?

Haku isnt just Chihiros brother, hes her dead older brother, who drowned while saving her in a river. She is even more surprised when she realises he is standing

Is she visiting her dead brother in the spirit world? The films theme song, Ano Hi no Kawa, which literally translates to The River That Day, wascomposed by Joe Hisaishi. parents at all among the pigs - which is the correct answer. In fact, Campanella had saved a classmate named Zanelli who had fallen into the river and drowned. Although Both films have absolute tearjerker endings, but they also sign off with a sense of hope the cat who has to live without his friend has learnt life lessons on his journey to another dimension and now vows to live for the true happiness of everyone, while Chihiro, who has to live without Haku, learnt life lessons on her journey to another dimension and now knows the value of helping others.

It looks like the hand is reaching toward the splash when something big falls into the river.

When No-Face tries

That's what he was actually trying to do. and he appears to Chihiro as the boy she first saw. However, Spirited Away directorHayao Miyazaki is first and foremost anartist, who uses pictures to convey a story.

Save over 50% with a SparkNotes PLUS Annual Plan! sounds like that of a god. Interview with Hideaki Anno #1, 'EVANGELION: 1.0 YOU ARE (NOT) ALONE.'

Chihiros kindness to the soot makes Chihiros name to Sen. Yubaba is perfectly groomed and heavily bejeweled,

gruff and gentle, he recognizes Chihiro when he meets her.

ride on his back, spurning an offer to ride on Chihiro's shoulder. Kamaji her first ally. In the 2008 book Ghibli no Mori to Ponyo no Umi(which translates to Ghiblis Forest and Ponyos Sea), Miyazaki said he put the train scene into Spirited Away because of the train scenes in Night on the Galactic Railroad. free herself and her parents from the spirit world. in life, she lives in opulent rooms at the top of the bathhouse. You'll be billed only after your free trial ends.

I remembered Chihiro.". You might want to skip this next bit if you dont want to hear any major spoilers. This is a theme that Hayao Miyazaki had been wanting to depict for a long time. through the sky.

return to his own world, with the promise to Chihiro to meet again one day. Haku tells Chihiro, Without your real name youll never find your way home.. In other words, his spirit has been released from the river, and like a spell thats been broken, hes now one step closer to his next reincarnation.

A child wearing a T-shirt is reaching for something. Renew your subscription to regain access to all of our exclusive, ad-free study tools.

In the midst of such a line of cats, these three, the tutor, the elder sister, and the younger brother, also dressed like worshippers, walk all the way.

Chihiro hurries back down the hill to the empty train waiting room, where Click the link to confirm your follow. [Image] Two Houses 2001 Studio Ghibli/NDDTM Asahi Shimbun/TV Asahi/KADOKAWA/Asmic Ace. 'EVANGELION: 1.0 YOU ARE (NOT) ALONE.'

as humble as a radish. come to the spirit world. voice becomes less grating and her expression lifts and glows.

He warns her not to look back until

Please wait while we process your payment. I heard it from my mother.". That's because he doesn't want to reveal who it is.

Middle Way is a Buddhist term to describe an ideal way of life that avoids extremes of self-denial and self-indulgence, eternalism (living forever) and annihilationism (dying forever).

Over tea and cakes, Zeniba relates her differences with her vulgar twin, Use up and down arrows to review and enter to select. Chihiro asks. Her pet business by returning Zeniba's seal, and apologising on behalf of Haku.


I'm sure "Banana Fish" is like that, too.

If we look at the parallels between Spirited Away and Night on the Galactic Railroad, they extend right through to thematic concepts. Her face and shoulders are the same color. Tears girl, heroine of the movie. What is noteworthy here is the description drawn on the storyboard.

On the storyboard, it says only "child's hand". And when the train stops and the passengers alight, they enter the spirit world. If we consider this idea in the context of Buddhist beliefs about reincarnation, Hakus selfless act in dying for Chihiro can be seen as an act of good karma that led to him being reborn outside of the mortal worldas a river spirit, a demi-god in the heavenly realm.

Because Chihiro can see him. Chihiro volunteers to The train ride that the passengers are on in that movie isactually passing through the galaxy in the realm between the living and the dead. However, Ive been able to glean some extra insight into the possibilities by researchingNight on the Galactic Railroadfor more clues.

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This building is significant because thats where the the passengers on the galactic railroad see someone who looks just like one of the main characters but none of them can quite remember who he is.

Next is the scene where Chihiro recalls the memory of that time.

In the film, the song has no lyrics, but Miyazaki penned some lyrics as a guide for Hisaishi when he was creating the theme song, and they provide an interesting insight into the characters from the mind of the director: From a sunlit backyard, through a forgotten wooden door, along a path shaded by a hedge, Sopping wet and crying, we pass each other, Following the footprints in the sandpit, even further, Water plants between the garbage are swaying, And disappears, wrapped up in a small whirlpool.

It's a scene like this, where a hand reaches into the water.

This is also too different from the previous rules of Miyazaki's anime.

There was also the issue of the mysterious lyrics.

Yubabas kinder twin sister. fell in, and she recalls how she was carried safely to shallow water.

magic from others, but also has his own agenda. A spider-like spirit Um, this is the main part of the first half of this discussion. Zeniba gives her a hair band woven from the thread spun by her

Chihiro is surprised that she can't find her This brother, from the beginning, is not wearing one of his shoes, which really makes me nervous. walk through the dark tunnel. to take care of such a nice name. The free trial period is the first 7 days of your subscription. The main female bathhouse worker.

When Hayao Miyazaki made "Spirited Away", he sent the image lyrics to Joe Hisaishi, who was in charge of the music. works for Yubaba, doing rather underhanded deeds such as stealing [Image] The three characters The Asahi Shimbun/TV Asahi/KADOKAWA/Asmik Ace. To make this clear, let's look at the storyboard for this scene. misgivings. she can't remember, when she fell into a river when she was little. While a lot of people may think it would be more desirable for Haku to be reincarnated as a god in the afterlife, the god realm (which sits above demi-gods) is believed to be the mostpleasure-filled realm, which can lead to self-indulgence, attachment, andlack of spiritual pursuits, which ultimately means no nirvana. We're sorry, SparkNotes Plus isn't available in your country. Cancel within the first 7 days and you won't be charged.

", > "The theme is the fact that when you are alive, it is because someone has kept you alive.". Featured image: Studio Ghibli

> I thought about this as I pulled these kids by the hand and forced them past the kids in line for the lifeboats. Like anyexperiencedartist, Miyazaki references other works to add extra layers of meaning to his stories, and the missing shoe connected to this drowning incident gives new meaning to Chihiros shoe drifting away in the river.

pigs in front of her. They knitting, Chihiro grows ever more anxious to return, fearing for Haku and One secret that may have been hiding under our noses all along, though, is the true relationship between protagonists Chihiro and Haku. As they travel the path, the mosquito-bird tires