What's the real meaning of the bathhouse door symbol in Spirited Away?
A recent post by a savvy netizen about the interpretation of an interesting symbol on the bathhouse door in Spirited Away has led to an intense discussion about the legendary Studio Ghibli film.
The symbol on the door is "ゆ," and at first interpretation the netizen thought it meant "hot water." But after a deeper examination, she discovered that in the Edo period in Japan, these bathhouses were very popular for men to get baths and also where women sold sex. The houses went by the name of "yuna baro," and any woman working there was known as "yuna," which translates to "hot water woman."
This of course ties into Spirited Away because the name of the woman who runs the bathhouse is Yubaba. The netizen then said that she read an interview with director Hayao Miyazaki who said that he deliberately put the symbol in the film as a way to quell the rising porn industry in Japan and the effects it has on children.
The netizen's claim has since been hotly debated by other online commenters. But either way, it's definitely an intriguing interpretation of the masterpiece film.
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