Tuesday, August 14, 2012

pon poko

Notice at the beginning of this trailer how it is the tanuki's BALLS that were the bridge. The reason I love this movie so much is that it is so thoughouly japanese. tanuki are actually mysteriouse, magical creatures that live like raccoons in japan. There are shrines dedicated to them, and ceramic versions are put in front of shops. the origin of their significance is not clear, i asked around, specifically why the male tanuki have such exagerated genetalia (huge balls as big as their heads). "We love them because they are funny and cute" was the unanimouse answer. Not only is the movie about magical raccoons, but it takes place on Shikoku sometimes, Ikku shrine is swear!, and it's also filled with other japanese magical folklore, of the strangest and most beautiful, including its religions--not just tanuki transforming into buddhas and deities, but the REAL Amida Buddha rides down on a cloud trailing with buddhisatvas to take one of the raccoons away at death, just like in the Raigo paintings! (This would be like a disney movie suddenly depicting the transfiguration, or the ascention of a soul through the top of the head and then pearly gates opening to the arms of handsome Jesus and holy light God, all rappidly after a character dies, and then carrying on as if nothing out of the ordinary just happened). The raccoons live in the forest shrines, party there, sing and dance always like hobbits, and in the larger shrines, where shinto priests and princesses are expected to work, the tanuki shapeship into them. This explanes so much. I lived down the street from a shrine just like the one in the film and I swear the preist was a tanuki, no doubt about it. it also takes place within contemporary Japanese deforestation and dissopearing culture. It's a Fern Gully of our times, or an Avatar where shape-shifting aliens are the avatars into our world, studying us, easting our food, and free to leave whenever they want. (one reason the tanuki keep the humans alive is because they love our delicious food.) awa-odori dancing,ipponjime, a ship made out of the balls of one master tanuki carrying everyone to the "other shore" of nirvana... This is my new favorite movie, next to Jiro Dreams of Sushi! This one put me in a state of bliss and deep longing. you MUST see it if you have children, if you love food, if you love your or if you want to love your job.

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