Sunday, 15 March 2015

[Feature] Mei and the Kittenbus

Last year, I began studying Japanese. On my most recent trip to Japan, I visited the famous Ghibli Museum in Mitaka. Whilst there, I brought back with me a number of souvenirs. One of those souvenirs was a book. The book in question was a printed copy of Mei and the Kittenbus, a short film and spiritual sequel to My Neighbour Totoro shown only at the museum.

With research thanks to and its incredibly useful “kanji by radicals” search option, I managed to translate this story well enough.

Once I had finished the rough translation, I began to notice just how many liberties could be taken in rewriting and making it flow a little better in English form. So I took it upon myself to take the rough translation and re-write it using both the images and words as found in the book. Here are the results.


Kaze no tsuyoi hi, mei ga kyarameru o tabete iru to, tsumujikaze ga araware, oikakete kimashita.

On a windy day, Mei was eating caramel, when a whirlwind appeared and chased her.


Tsumujikaze no shōtai wa konekobasu deshita. Mei wa konekobasu ni kyarameru o agete, tomodachi ni narimashita.

The identity of the whirlwind was a baby cat bus. Mei gave the baby cat bus some caramel and the two became friends.


Chiichai nei? Anata kodomo nano ne

Wee-tiny children, aren't they?


sono yoru, konekobasu ga yattekimashita. Mei wa konekobasu ni notte dekakemashita.

That night, the Baby Cat Bus came back. Mei boarded the Baby Cat Bus and set out on an adventure.

のせてくれるの ヒャーハハハ

nosete kureru no hyahahaha

Are you giving me a lift? Hahaha!


Mita koto mo nai takusan no nekobasu ga mori e atsumatte ikimasu.

There were many Catbus that Mei had never seen before gathering in the forest.


Mori no naka ni wa obake ga takusan imashita. Mei ga atari o mimawasu to, totoro ga imashita.

In the forest there were many forest spirits. Mei looked around the forest and found Totoro.




konbanwa konekobasu no otomodachi no Mei desu.

Good evening, Mei. Friend of baby cat bus.


Mei wa nekobā-chan ni kyarameru o agemashita. Nekobā-chan wa obake-tachi o nosete sora e, Mei wa konekobasu ni notte uchi ni kaerimashita.

Mei gave the elderly catbus a piece of her caramel. With the forest spirits aboard, the elderly catbus flew into the sky, meanwhile Mei boarded the baby cat bus and returned home.

-Daniel M


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