What home means to me and how it relates back to Asian American history.

Hayao Miyazaki movies had a large impact on my childhood, watching the English dubbed versions of Spirited Away and Howl’s Moving Castle — Spirited Away being more Japanese-culturally based while Howl’s was more Euro-based with English actors and European settings and white characters. Chihiro was a little Japanese girl who got pulled into the spirit world of bath houses and working for Yubaba to free her parents who were enchanted into pigs.

Yubaba’s bathouse in Spirited Away, drawn by Anton Diaz

Asian American culture has been vastly impacted by Miyazaki films especially once they were dubbed in English and released in theaters like Spirited Away was in 2001 in Japan and 2003 in the US — which was the same year it won the Oscar for Best Animated Feature going against other films such as Lilo & Stitch and Ice Age. Spirited Away became a huge movie for children such as myself and continues to be a film I think of fondly and nostalgically even though I still watch it to this day.

My assumption is that many Asian Americans also have similar feelings to the Miyazaki films and the representation within those films of Asian, specifically Japanese, culture.

Research will be needed for how Asian American pop culture like Spirited Away has affected me and Asian Americans.