”Children’s cooking picture book” will delight Ghibli fans of all ages.

Watching a Studio Ghibli anime will stir up all sorts of emotions. There’s the sense of wonder and mystery, and maybe even a twinge of melancholy nostalgia for your childhood.

Oh, and hunger. Can’t forget about hunger.

Anime artists have been putting increasing amounts of care into their depictions of food in recent years, but Ghibli was doing that right from the start, and with such skill that fans developed the term “Ghibli meshi,” or “Ghibli chow,” to describe the mouthwatering meals seen in the studio’s movies, and now there’s an official illustrated cookbook that’ll let you bring the food from My Neighbor Totoro into the real world and finally eat it for yourself!

Ghibli’s Table: My Neighbor Totoro is a “children’s cooking picture book” filled with recipes for the food seen in the Hayao Miyazaki classic, plus others inspired by the unforgettably enticing relaxed bucolic lifestyle sisters Mei and Satsuki acclimate to and the traditional Japanese summer vegetables grown at the farms around their new home.

The bento boxed lunches that Satsuki prepares for herself, her younger sister, and their dad are naturally included in the recipe list, as are:
● Moving day caramels
● Kanta’s grandma’s ohagi (sticky rice dumplings)
● Satsuki’s bento
● Breakfast miso soup
● Soot spirit karinto donuts
● Corn rice
● Acorn hat potato yokan (sweet red bean gelatin)
● Lightning-slice cucumber
● Roasted eggplant
● Soy sauce-seasoned rice crackers
● Sweet sesame kabocha (Japanese pumpkin)

The “children’s cooking picture book” designation is nice, as looking at the pages reveals that the kanji characters all include phonetic readings, something that you won’t always find in strictly-for-adults publications. That means the Totoro cookbook can be read by learners of Japanese as a second language even if they haven’t developed advanced kanji-reading skills yet, since having the readings makes it easy to look up any vocabulary you’re not familiar with.

The 64-page Ghibli’s Table: My Neighbor Totoro, which can be ordered here through Amazon, is priced at 1,760 yen (US$12.40) and goes on sale October 4.

Source: PR Times
Top image: Studio Ghibli
Insert images: PR Times
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Follow Casey on Twitter, where Mei’s corn message to her mom being written all in hiragana completely confused his beginner-level-Japanese brain.

[ Read in Japanese ]