Delve into the heart of the hand-drawn animation “The Boy and the Heron” and reconsider yourself.



Official English Trailer it goes back to 1943.

The Boy and the Heron won Best Animated Film at the 81st Golden Globe Awards. This is the first time in history that a Japanese work has won in this category✦ Golden Globe Awards to be reorganized in 2023 As the award system changed to a global one, Hayao Miyazaki’s work received the recognition it deserved✿

English voice cast: 2023 In theatres nationwide December


The cast is irresistible for movie fans. photo: From Wikimedia Commons

What kind of movie is it?

This is Miyazaki’s first film in 10 years. The animation is so beautiful that it is like looking at an art painting.
But it’s hard to understand…because his style approaches the darkness of the heart.
So I will rewatch the movie again with the help of Japanese commentary videos and the latest articles, and spell out my own way of enjoying the movie.

The main feature of this film is that the main character is not a nice boy, but has a serious expression on his face.

theme song -米津玄師「地球儀」Kenshi Yonezu – Spinning Globe 

To get to the main point firstBooks and movies that can become tools for life.
・The harsh, fiery real world
・Love for mom and hatred for dad
・Cunning malice to hurt others
・Respect and jealousy for the master (magician ≒Isao Takahata ,Einstein?)
・Even if he’s a troublesome person who messes with you… (The Heron Tezuka Osamu “forgiveness”)
In this fantasy, the director reveals his own embarrassing inner self. It is littered with positive hints for self-reflection.

Isao Takahata, director Miyazaki’s mentor  © 2023 Studio Ghibli
Director Miyazaki has a history of being blocked from winning the Manga Award by the manga god Osamu Tezuka.
Original comic “Nausicaä of the Valley of the Wind (manga)” © 2021 Museo d’Arte Ghibli

Who each character is modeled after is a minor detail and not important.
The essence is what it symbolizes

The main theme is the conflict of adolescence. 思春期の葛藤

The struggles of the adolescent mind
Despite the fact that anxiety disorders in adolescence and puberty are very common, they have not received much attention in Japan until now.
On the other hand, there have been remarkable advances in psychotherapy for anxiety disorders in the West.

PAN’S LABYRINTH is a masterpiece of fantasy film focusing on childhood anxiety disorders.
In 1944 Falangist Spain, a girl, fascinated with fairy-tales,
The background of a young girl facing a harsh reality is very similar to that of Mahito. The protagonist wanders around his place.
Official Website – The Wayback Machine Japanese ©2006 ESTUDIOS PICASSO、TEQUILA GANG Y ESPERANTO

PAN’S LABYRINTH -Warner Bros.- Dir. Guillermo del Toro has a South American sense of spirit Ex.2:30stone

The Mayan civilization flourished in the Yucatan Peninsula from before the B.C., using sophisticated stone tools.
In particular, the Mayan sacred history and time philosophy were considered important as the fire, energy, wisdom, and cycle of life, and they placed their wishes in durable natural stones.

SPIRITED AWAY | Official Trailer60″ Stone statues also appear in Chihiro in Japan
© 2001 Studio Ghibli works/“Spirited Away”『chihiro』
Guillermo del Toro on | TIFF 2023

The worldview shared by the movies “The Boy and the Heron” and “PAN’S LABYRINTH” has its roots in the monumental children’s book Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland First edition cover of The Nursery “Alice” E. Gertrude Thomson

The specific setting is based on John Connolly’s children’s literature “The Book of Lost Things John is a hardworking journalist born in Ireland.

music selection– Joe Hisaishi /♪Studio Ghibli Experience, Part1: Merry-Go-Round of Life (from “Howl’s Moving Castle”)

Anxiety disorders in adolescence are also a distortion of the ”richness” that our predecessors desperately sought. Of course, I can understand parents’ desire to leave a legacy for the next generation. However, we have become a society that confuses spiritual wealth with physical wealth. This is because the land we live on is currently on the brink of destruction.

The Heron that tempts the Boy is an anthropomorphic and is a spiritual invader for Mahito.
The invader stirs up Mahito’s loss and anxiety, and guides him into the world that his great-uncle is obsessed with.

© Studio GHIBLI 空っぽを満たす旅

analysis 分析

I feel that “The Boy and the Heron” is a painting without explanation.
There is almost no catharsis as entertainment. Compared to previous Ghibli works, the excitement is removed and the mood is bad…

An animation film that didn’t fit into a fixed structure by a veteran animator. In other words, it’s full of the rustic charm of a newcomer’s debut work.
The result is a work that has room for you to think for yourself.

↓A work that allows you to understand the deep psychology of humans

In this article, I will only discuss two important points

that I did not understand even after watching it twice…
・Why did Natsuko tell Mahito that she hates him? I was surprised at how sudden it was…
・What does Granduncle’s Tower mean?

*The following contains spoilers for “The Boy and the Heron” Please be careful if you have not seen it yet.


Why did Natsuko tell Mahito that she hates him?

Natsuko declared, “I hate you.
As the word says,
I thought she hated Mahito’ That’s the truth.

Sister-sibling discrimination There is an extra (spare) in case something happens to the eldest daughter of the family. This was a common occurrence in Japan in the past. The eldest son is especially important for boys. It is a custom that children born after that are subject to inequality and discrimination.

How Natsuko viewed her eldest daughter, Hisako, is not discussed in the movie.
Lady Himi wears a maid outfit and gives an active and friendly impression as she prepares meals…
Natsuko is dressed in a formal kimono and her room is surrounded by furniture, making her look like a young lady.

Also, Natsuko can shoot arrows, so I think she has a serious personality and excels in martial arts.

In prewar Japan, family succession was a reality. The cause is the remnants of the old Civil Code (Constitution of the Empire of Japan). The current Civil Code (Japanese Constitution) states that ”children have equal rights,” but the old Civil Code stated that ”the eldest son has priority in succession to the head of the family.” The current civil law was changed 70 years before “The Boy and the Heron” was depicted.

It is The ukiyoe 大日本帝国”憲法発布略図”(Meiji Constitution promulgation)1889

At the beginning of the movie, Natsuko takes Mahito’s hand and lets him touch her pregnant belly.
Many audience members dislike Natsuko because of this behavior.

My older sister gave birth to a child, and out of joy that “I was able to do it too” and sadness for my child, who would become Mahito’s younger brother or sister, as a “spare“,

Natsuko ended up mounting it on young Mahito. it might be…

私はNatsukoさん 偉いと思う。逃げたくもなる…

It was a system proposed and established by Tokugawa Ieyasu during the Edo period in the samurai society, which has its roots in family headship.

portrait of Tokugawa Ieyasu 徳川家康像(狩野探幽画、大阪城天守閣蔵)

At that time, it was thought that it would be more reasonable to have the inheritors determined based on the order in which they were born, in order to avoid unnecessary inheritance disputes.

It’s a system that feels unfair now, but at the time most Japanese people probably took it for granted, and few people had any particular doubts about it.
Following the defeat of World War II and the occupation policy of GHQ, the family succession system was abolished as it violated the Japanese Constitution’s provision of equality under the law.

The Ghost of Patriarchal Inheritance Remains Even Today
One of the characteristics of Japan is the custom of respecting elders, including a seniority system,
This custom is said to be derived from Confucianism rather than from the warrior family system, which in itself is not a bad thing, but care should be taken to avoid inequality between brothers and sisters.

Confucius : Founder of Confucianism, Chinese thinker – one of the Four Saints along with Buddha, Christ, and Socrates.
孔子像 狩野山雪筆、金世濂賛 江戸時代・寛永9年(1632)

家督相続という不平等、差別的といわれることが多く、世界的にもよいイメージはないかもしれません。しかし、だからといって戦前の制度全てを否定するのは 少しもったいないともいえます。

今の日本では核家族化が進み、家族の関係が希薄になってきていたり、孤独死をされる方が増えていたり、自傷行為をする子どもたち― と、現代になって人と人とのつながりの大切さが見直されてきています。昔は“「しがらみ」だらけで窮屈で面倒くさい!”といってしまえばそれまでですが、運命を共にせざるを得ない「しがらみ」があったからこそ、大家族が腹をくくってまとまり、協力してこられたともいえるでしょう。

Even excluding the historical background of inheritance…
Can still happen today
Sibling disparity and discrimination by parents
保護者による きょうだい格差差別

music selection– Utada Hikaru -♪Keep Tryin’「実を言うと戦ってた…」 “To tell the truth, I was fighting…”

Let’s unpack it based on the text of the newly established national certification for licensed psychologists in Japan 2017.公認心理士

Discrimination can occur between only the older child, only the younger child, only the middle child… because even children born to the same parents are “not the same“.
For example, if they are an older brother and a younger sister, it is “gender difference.
A 5-year-old and a 2-year-old are at “different developmental stages.
There are also differences in the ease and difficulty of raising children because of “the differences in their personalities.
In addition, since parents are also human beings, there is also “compatibility” in terms of what suits or does not suit their own preferences.


The psychology of a parent or guardian is that the child’s temperament triggers rejection, which leads to discrimination. If a parent is a perfectionist and has too high an ideal, or if the parent’s tolerance level is extremely narrow, it is also difficult to have a good relationship with the child. If the older child fits the bill, but the younger child does not, then the “younger child is unacceptable”.
It may be easier to understand if we consider that each unique child has a different route to reach the goal.


In addition, the way parents relate to their children will directly affect the template (mold) that the child will use to build relationships in the future. This will still easily lead to behaviors such as not being able to care for other people and excluding others from the group when something goes wrong.

また 親の子への関わり方は、そのまま その子が将来にわたって人間関係を築く時のテンプレート(型)にも影響します。他の人を大事にできなくなったり、仲間外れをしてしまう行動につながる。

🎸THE BLUE HEARTS「少年の詩(Shōnen no uta)The Boy’s Poem

テーブルの上のミルクこぼしたら ママの声が聞こえてくるかな
【English lyrics】 If I spill a milk on the table, will there come a Mom’s voice?

Parents’ actions and attitudes determine the direction of a child’s life.

If you reflexively scold the child for discipline… Children grow up to be afraid of failure,
and become harsh towards others.

Example, dissatisfaction that the middle child or youngest child is likely to have
The middle child (that’s me) has had an older brother or older sister since birth and often has a short period of time to feel affection for being the youngest, which can make them feel free and easy (that’s me), but they also tend to feel lonely.
In addition, since secondhand clothes and belongings tend to come from their older siblings, They may also feel older siblings are more important than them.


✿The first thing is your own maintenance. Lack of sleep, physical fatigue, perfectionist thinking…I think there are many areas that are left untouched. I think there are some things you can do to take care of your physical condition. because very often, by improving your own condition, you will see the same things differently.

✿Indeed, we tend to compare people. However, we should be aware of the fact that we should accept each of them, saying, “This is the kind of child she is.
It is also a common phenomenon that you tend to have less skin-ship with the child you are discriminating against, so you should try to “touch” him or her. As a result, you will be able to focus on the child himself/herself.

What does Granduncle’s Tower mean?

I’m thinking about how to write it down…