chapter  6
Situating the Sh÷ojo in Sh÷ojo Manga: Teenage Girls, Romance Comics, and Contemporary Japanese Culture
ByDeborah Shamoon
Pages 18

The Spirited Away is Miyazaki's attitude toward Japanese history and tradition, especially his idea of "Japaneseness". Spirited Away is an attempt to use fantasy to establish a link between contemporary and traditional Japanese culture. Seen in this light, it is clear that Spirited Away shares common ground with his other films set in Japan. Tachibana also suggests that the movie is also a critique of the social devastation that was the result of Japan's bubble economy, which started in the late 1980s. After the Plaza Agreement in 1985, the strong yen and easy-money policy fueled a craze for speculation, especially in real estate and stocks. Miyazaki's view of Japanese identity is significantly different from that of Watsuji. Both see Japanese culture as part of a larger Asian culture, are concerned about how Westernization affects Japanese identity, and agree that the historical past influences the present.