Short film review – やどさがし / Looking For A Home (Hayao Miyazaki, 2006)

Looking For A Home is a short film that was written, produced and directed by Hayao Miyazaki for Studio Ghibli. It is shown exclusively at the Studio Ghibli Museum in Mitaka, Tokyo, Japan [1].

The film follows a girl as she sets out from her home on a trip away from her busy city dwelling to the calmer countryside, through forests and into a tiny cottage she discovers along the way. At each point she thanks the aspects of nature she experiences (a fish, the trees, etc.) with an apple. Everything is represented by a unique human-voiced sound which are also written out on the screen to humorous effect.

This is a perfect short film to experience at the Studio Ghibli Museum for non-Japanese speakers, because the whole thing is very visual and the audio can be enjoyed without any understanding of Japanese. It is a sweet film aimed at children but, as with most of the output from Studio Ghibli, it is equally enjoyable for adults too.

[1] The Ghibli Museum has a small cinema called The Saturn Theatre. In this, they show one of nine short films for visitors on each day. Each visitor gets one ticket to the short film selected for that day so there is no chance of seeing more than one per visit. It is complete pot luck what you’ll see on your visit.

Japan Warning!

I make no apologies for the coming weeks’ posts, which will be very Japan-heavy. I’m heading there for a bug holiday and will no doubt be posting the occasional update from over there as I come across things I think people will find interesting and also manage to find time to post about them (on long train journeys).

The trip will finish and end in Tokyo, taking in Osaka, Kōya, Kyōto, Hiroshima and Nara along the way. It will include sumo, kabuki, a Disney theme park, the Studio Ghibli Museum and a whole load of shrines. It will also include, hopefully, some Sakura, which is Japanese for cherry blossom.

Hope you find the posts interesting!