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Spirited Away - Why Work Is Toxic

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Hidden in the fantastic otherwordly narrative of Hayao Miyazaki’s Spirited Away is an allegory about society’s toxic obsession with work. The Studio Ghibli classic was released in 2001 and commented on Japan’s losing its soul to capitalism in the context of the country’s “lost decade.” Yet the film is eerily relevant to our contemporary idea of hustle culture. While Chihiro may think her liberation comes from 24/7 hustling, in fact this is what keeps her down. It’s something more intangible and more spiritual that provides her freedom. 

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