Many moms enjoy watching animated movies on TV, streaming services, and in theaters. Studio Ghibli’s movie “Only Yesterday” follows 27-year-old office lady Taeko as she reflects on her childhood. This movie resonates with moms who now understand the feelings Taeko experiences during pivotal moments of her growing up. The story touches on everyday events, first love, and the changes in a young girl’s body, making it a great viewing experience for moms. Watching this movie with kids can also be a way to initiate conversations about difficult topics, like puberty, between parents and children, ultimately creating a bonding experience.
Are there moms who enjoy watching animations on TV, video streaming services, and movie theaters? There are many animations that are enjoyable and moving for both children and adults. There was a post on the Mama-Star community about Studio Ghibli’s animated film like this:
‘Is there anyone who loves “Only Yesterday” the most at Ghibli? It’s even more interesting to watch as an adult.’
The animated film “Only Yesterday” is a work in which 27-year-old office worker Taeko looks back on her childhood memories as a 5th grader. This movie was released in 1991, so there may be people who saw it at the movie theater or on TV when they were children. As a fan of “Only Yesterday,” I was curious to see what the moms had to say, so I read the post.
Remembering the feelings of childhood
‘Now that I have children, there are things that really touch my heart.’
‘I watch it again when I’m stuck in child-rearing. It helps me remember the feelings of my childhood. I always scold from a parent’s perspective, but when I think back, I realize that children have their reasons.’
Taeko’s childhood episodes are just small, everyday events at school and at home. There may be scenes where one’s own childhood overlaps with the casual conversations of daily life, which make us stop and think.
Hurting without understanding a child’s heart
There are now more scenes that make me stop and think. One of those scenes is when Taeko, as a child, left behind the vegetables she didn’t like from her school lunch. Her mother found the vegetables secretly hidden in her bread and scolded her, saying, “It’s better to be a child who doesn’t have likes and dislikes than one who is good at writing.” Taeko was disappointed and disheartened.
Reflecting on myself as a parent
As a parent, it is our duty to discipline children, but we often unintentionally trample on their exuberant feelings. The scene depicts the common friction of feelings between parents and children from both perspectives. Like Taeko’s mother, I often find myself interrupting my child’s joyous feelings with a sharp remark. As a mother, I’ve now found some new realizations because I’ve forgotten the feelings of my childhood.
Girls growing in body and mind
From upper elementary school to middle school, girls go through a period of rapid growth from being a child to becoming an adult. The palpitation of first love and the yearning for slightly mature things – these experiences are something that we have all been through.
‘When I was in elementary school, my friends and I borrowed a video and acted out the scene “Rainy days, cloudy days and sunny days… they are all the same!” I find it nostalgic. Recently, I watched it with my 4th grade daughter, and she got into the same scene. We’re acting it out together.’
Do any moms imitate the “Rainy days…” scene from Taeko and Toshio? As an adult, Taeko is not the only one who remembers her first love feeling and feels embarrassed by the nostalgia.
A girl’s body changes are a girl’s secret
For girls of this generation, their physical changes, such as menstruation, are significant. In Taeko’s elementary school, there was a scene where only girls were gathered and talks about menstruation. Taeko, who didn’t want the boys to know about it, would have secret talks in the ladies’ room and avoid teasing boys. Just like Taeko, I too, felt strongly not to want the boys to know about my menstruation when I was a child. Watching the movie, I saw myself reflected in that scene.
I want boys to know about menstruation too
But now that I’m a mother of a boy, I wonder, “When do boys learn about menstruation? What do they think?” When my children were still in elementary school and nursery school, they watched “Only Yesterday” with me, and there was a scene where they asked, “What’s menstruation?” As a mother of a boy, I want my son to know about menstruation and to grow up to be considerate to girls. One time, when I was feeling unwell due to menstruation, they helped me with housework, so I think they might have some understanding. Although they might learn about it in health or science classes at school, I think it was good for me to talk to my children about menstruation after watching the movie.
Discovering new excitement and revelations as a mother
Each person has movies that they want to watch over and over again. And watching a movie that you were moved by as a child and being even more moved by it as an adult. It’s wonderful when you encounter such a movie. Whether you’ve seen “Only Yesterday” before or not, why not watch it again now that you’re a mother? It would be wonderful if you could find new excitement and discoveries.
Text: Yoko Mamia; Editing: Miyabi; Illustration: Mamemi