“Spirited Away” and the Sex Industry

 Have you ever heard of an animation movie titled “Spirited Away”? It won an Academy Award in the U.S. and is the biggest hit among Japan’s anime pieces.

 Does it sound strange if I’d say behind it, that there may be a background or allusion of the sex industry? No major media cover things like this. The movie seemingly has things to do with the sex business. It’s kind of convincing in some ways.

 First of all, the main character is a young girl. When Japan used to be a very poor country, it was not uncommon for parents in rural areas to sell daughters because they cannot afford to feed them. One of the buyers was said to be brothels.

 In the movie, the girl called “Chihiro” accidentally gets into a strange world and cannot get out of it. Her parents’ misdemeanor forces her to work there. She’s to blame for nothing. It’s just like children are at the mercy of adults like the old days.

 The workplace, a big Japanese spa hotel, has lots of bathrooms. In Japan, the oldest red-light district is called Yoshiwara, which is dense with soaplands. They are legally registered as special bathrooms and actually have the same kind of private rooms with a bed. Here, the story hints at a girl sold to a brothel.

 Also, she is deprived of her own name. Her name has two Kanji characters that read “Chihiro.” One of them was taken by the old mistress, and she renames her “Sen.” In Japan’s sex business, it’s traditionally common to use fake names called “Genjina.”

 Most of the workers there are women. Customers consist of multiple gods or spirits, but none of them look like female types. It’s just like female workers at soaplands in the real world entertain male clients.

 The director, Hayao Miyazaki, said in an interview as the movie was promoted, “Not many things are more interesting than the sex business.”

 It’s just a rumor. It up to you whether to believe it or not.

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