The Japanese mythology explored in Suzume no Tojimari

Tulisha srivastava
The official poster of Makoto Shinkai's Suzume no Tojimari

It is common for anime to draw inspiration from Japanese mythology, and Suzume no Tojimari is no different. Although set in a modern world, the movie references several myths and lore common in Japan.

Makoto Shinkai’s Suzume no Tojimari is breaking box office records worldwide. The anime follows the adventures of a teenage girl named Suzume and a young man named Souta as they travel around Japan to prevent disasters. 

The disasters are caused by opening gates in abandoned areas throughout the country. There are many other things in this movie that can be discussed. The music, the stellar visuals, and the charming characters never fail to impress. In addition, the specific cities and locations which were chosen for Suzume’s journey, hints and homages to Shinkai’s previous works, and more. 

However, the most intriguing element of the story is how Shinkai incorporates the ancient myths into a modern setting. Delve deeper to find out more about the Japanese myths and folklore explored in Suzume no Tojimari.

Since Japan is an island nation formed by volcanoes on fault lines along the Pacific Rim, it is prone to earthquakes. In the movie, earthquakes occur because of another dimensional entity called the “worm.” It escapes through the gate of the “ever-after” and causes widespread destruction. 

Only the “Closers” can close the gate and stop disasters from happening. This is why Closers such as Souta travel across Japan in search of abandoned places to look for gates to the ever-after. 

In Japanese mythology, dragons and giant catfish called “namazu” are underworld creatures that cause earthquakes. To calm these beings down, gods pierced them with stones called “kaname-ishi.” In the movie, two keynotes known as Daijin and Sadaijin keep the worm at bay. 

The mythological reference behind the cats in Suzume no Tojimari

An image of Daijin from Suzume no Tojimari

The keystone Daijin is a god in the form of a cat. The entire story revolves around Suzume and Souta trying to stop Daijin from wreaking havoc. Whether it is Daijin’s antics or the protagonists’ helplessness, Shinkai executes playfully. However, it is truly tragic when Daijin’s true intentions are revealed. 

In Japanese mythologies, cats are said to be beings that lead you to another realm. In the movie as well, Daijin guides Suzume across the gates to the other realm. Furthermore, it is a common custom among the Japanese to have cat statues that are said to bring good luck and protection. 

Daijin and Sadajin have been protecting Japan by becoming the keystone and restraining the worm from wreaking havoc. The story’s seamless blend of Japanese mythology and real-life natural disasters in Suzume no Tojimari is fascinating and really draws viewers in.

Suzume no Tojimari can currently be streamed on Crunchyroll. In the meantime, check out our other TV hubs below:

Attack on Titan Season 4 Part 3 | Bleach Thousand Year Blood War Part 2 | Chainsaw Man Season 2 | BRZRKR movie | Jigokuraku Hell’s Paradise | Jujutsu Kaisen Season 2 | Sonic the Hedgehog 3 | Invincible Season 2

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