The Art of My Neighbour Totoro
Illustration by Hayao Miyazaki
Studio Ghibli Trivia 15
In Spain, Kiki has been renamed “Nicky” and the film re-titled Nicky la aprendiz de bruja (Nicky the Apprentice Witch), because in Castilian Spanish, the phonetically similar “quiqui” is commonly used in the crude slang expression: “echar un quiqui” which means “to have a shag”.
Studio Ghibli Trivia 14
There is a Valley of the Winds in Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park in Australia, and although “Winds” is plural, when translated to Japanese it means the same the singular, “Wind”.
Studio Ghibli Trivia 13
Hayao Miyazaki’s “Laputa” is a direct reference to the floating island of the same name from Jonathan Swift’s Gulliver’s Travels. Some suspect that Swift intentionally named the island “la puta” after the Spanish meaning “the whore”. This is rather unfortunate as it is revealed to be part of Sheeta’s birth name: Lusheeta Toel Ul Laputa.
For this reason, in 2003, the film’s title was shortened from the Japanese title “Laputa: Castle in the Sky” to “Castle in the Sky” in several countries, including the United States (where Spanish is commonly spoken as a first language by around 10% of the population), Mexico, and Spain.
Studio Ghibli Trivia 12
Howl (real name: Howell Jenkins) is 27 years old.
"‘That brings it to about Midsummer Day’.
‘What is brought to Midsummer Day?’ asked Sophie.
‘The time I’ll be ten thousand days old’, Howl said.”
Midsummer Day is June 21st, on which Howl is 10,000 days old (or 27 years and 139 days), which places his birthday on February 2nd.