"THE BOY AND THE HERON" Interpretation, consideration - 13 Building Blocks, Great Uncle, Buddhism


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Hello. I am Japanese. I saw this movie in Japan. The movie "君たちはどう生きるかーKimitachi wa dou ikiruka" (English title: "THE BOY AND THE HERON") has been released in many countries around the world, and both sides of the argument have been sharply opposed to it. The film has provoked deep thought in many people, and there seems to be an element of enjoyment from individual perspectives. In this article I will share my thoughts and perspectives.

While the elements and themes addressed in the film are varied, my focus will be on the great uncle and the thirteen blocks. Some people believe that the great uncle refers to Hayao Miyazaki and that the 13 blocks symbolize the films that he has produced so far.

I, however, viewed the film from a different perspective. I thought that my great-uncle was an image of Shakya Buddha, and that the 13 blocks could refer to a Buddhist sect or the 13 Buddhas. From this perspective, the message of the film would be more profound and one could perceive many levels of the film.

13 Buddhas-Wikipedia

The phrase, "ワレヲ學ブ者ハ死ス" How is it translated? (Is "They who learns of me shall die" correct?)," can also be interpreted from a Buddhist perspective. In Buddhism, there is a doctrine of no-self (anatta), which states that "I" does not exist in nature. Therefore, any attempt to understand "I" is considered essentially meaningless. From this perspective, the phrase, "He who learns of me will die," may contain a profound philosophical message.


In addition, the name "眞人(Mahito)" in the film can be associated with enlightenment and death, since "眞(truth)" means "enlightened truth" in Buddhism. At the same time, "confronting evil" appears to be associated with "life.

(When the heron heard Mahito's name, you said, "I smell death.)

The influence of many Buddhist doctrines and ideas in the film can be felt. It also suggests that religion and religious imagery played an important role in the war. (Or it suggests that religion plays no role in war).

During the Pacific War, we Japanese had to be the aggressors even if we did not want to be. No matter how much we hated the war, we could not pretend that we had nothing to do with it. As a boy, Hayao Miyazaki suffered. But even so, he had no choice but to live. With evil in his heart.

This work has been interpreted as autobiographical, but it does not fit within that framework alone.

Finally, attention should also be paid to the number 13. This number is open to different interpretations and could represent the passage of time in the film or could have another meaning. Interpreting the film from different perspectives when viewing it will bring about a deeper understanding and enjoyment of the film.

The movie THE BOY AND THE HERON is a combination of many elements and themes that can unfold differently depending on individual interpretation. It is a film that can be enjoyed from any point of view. There may be many other thoughts and perspectives, so please enjoy the film from your own perspective.

As a Japanese, it is difficult for me to write a blog in English. However, I would be happy if my thoughts could be conveyed to you, even if only a little. Thank you for reading to the end.




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