Day 2 of Ghibli feast
Ghibli feast #6: Nausicaa
The last feast for the day 2 of the Ghibli feast was Nausicaa.
Nausicaa is probably my most favorite of all Miyazaki films. I think it’s because I saw it when I was young, and it had a huge impact on me. I’ve seen this film the most number of times too. I remember almost every line of Nausicaa, and I cry almost every time I watch this film.
I really wanted to include this film in the Ghibli feast, but compared to the other Ghibli films, this might have the least amount of food. Even so, the only food in this film is actually one of the “food in anime I want to eat most” list.
[Chiko no mi / Chiko nuts]
After gunships crash into the Valley while transporting the God Warrior, Tolmekians invade the Valley. To protect the people in the Valley, Nausicaa agrees to be taken as a hostage on an airship. Right before they leave, a group of girls run to Nausicaa, and gives her a small sack of chiko nuts. After they leave the Valley, the airships get attacked by a Pejitan gunship, and the airships start to go down. Nausicaa orders other hostages to escape in an airship, and she jumps on a glider, taking Kushana, the leader of Tolmekians, with her. They land in the Forest of Decay, but Nausicaa learns the Pejitan pilot is still alive, and flies in her glider to save him. Nausicaa saves the pilot’s life in a nick of time, but after crashing into the ground, they get sucked into quicksand.
They wake up in a strange place below the forest where the air is clean, and they introduce each other for the first time. Nausicaa gives chiko nuts to the Pejitan pilot, Asbel. He eats it and makes a face and says “Despite the taste, I could eat a boot-full! (of chiko nuts)”
Chiko nuts are fictional food, so I tried to make a list of “facts” of chiko nuts.
1. When a group of girls give Nausicaa a sack of chiko nuts, she says “So many… You’ve worked so hard.”
-> It’s not easy to collect a sack full of chiko nuts.
2. Nausicaa says “It’s good for you.” when she gives it to Asbel.
-> Chiko nuts are nutritious.
3. Asbel says “It doesn’t taste great, but l could eat a whole boot-full!” after eating one chiko nut. (You can also see his eyes get teary.)
-> Chiko nuts doesn’t taste great, but makes one want to eat a boot-full.
4. You can briefly see chiko nuts, and from what they look like…
-> Chiko nuts are very small and round. Its color is dark brown/red or black.
Many Japanese people thought that they were goji berries, because the goji berry is called “kuko no mi” in Japanese and it sounds very close to “chiko no mi.” But I believe it’s completely fictional, and I’ll just leave it as that.
But I couldn’t just give up. So I compromised and decided to use roasted soybeans. I could’ve just bought roasted soybeans, but it’d be too easy since I was already compromising, so I tried making roasted soybeans from scratch.
First I had to soak them in hot water for a couple hours…
…then dry them for several hours…
…then roast them until the beans are completely dry.
It took almost an hour or longer to carefully roast in low to mid heat, constantly moving the pan so the beans wouldn’t get burned. The tiny little soybeans just wouldn’t dry!
Who knew manually roasting soybeans could take so long? Well, I didn’t. Now I’ve learned something and appreciate roasted beans more than ever.
My chiko nuts didn’t look exactly like the real ones, but it was fresh and tasted really good. Crunchy, it gets sweeter as you chew it. I could definitely eat a boot-full.
Still, having only roasted soybeans for my most favorite Ghibli film felt a bit lonely, so I decided to do something else. Not a food, but I made the tool Nausicaa uses in the film, called “Mushi-bue.” (Insect whistle)
It’s supposedly based on an actual whistle from somewhere in the world to scare off bugs, but you can make a very similar one too! Actually, you can find many Japanese sites showing how to make your own Mushi-bue.
You usually use a film case for this, but I did a little experiments and used different materials. If you don’t have film cases, go to a photo developing place and ask them! They usually have tons of them, and if you ask them nicely they’ll probably give them to you for free. If you still can’t get a film case, and don’t want to make a big whistle, you can also use a lotion bottle or any plastic in a cylinder shape. Just make sure it’s soft enough that you can cut it with a box cutter.
Before I start a how-to… We made these in a rush for this post, so we didn’t have time to “pretty up” the appearance of these whistles. Sorry about the unevenly cut tape and messy craftsmanship.
- a film case (or a soda can or a plastic bottle)
- cooking string (The one you use to tie up chicken. A supermarket has it.)
- an awl
- a box cutter
- a piece of thick paper (business cards are best for this)
- tape (scotch tape, duct tape, masking tape, etc…)
1. Cut a slit 1/8 inch X 3/4 inch ~1 and 1/3 inch (5mm X 2~3cm) in on the side of a film case. A film case is small, so please be very careful!
2. Make a hole in the center of the cap.
3. Put the string through the hole and tie a knot a couple of times. (If you’re worried, you can tape the knot to the cap from inside)
4. Cut a thick piece of paper (business cards are the best for this) a little smaller than the film case, and make a lengthwise incision about half a inch, and fold the each side of the paper in the different directions. The paper doesn’t need to be a specific size.
5. Tape the paper on at a 90 degree angle from the slit.
6. Put the cap on, and swing it in circles!
I think my boyfriend was more excited when the sound actually came out.
We tried making it with a plastic bottle, soda can, and paper tubes. As we kinda expected, we couldn’t get the paper tubes to make sound.
We went to Prospect park to record me swinging them. It was so nice out that day, maybe too nice. The park was full of people and very noisy. So we decided to just make a video with still images and audio.
[Mushi-bue #1: a film case]
[Mushi-bue #2: a soda can]
[Mushi-bue #3: a plastic bottle]
If you want to make it look more authentic, you can make them with bamboo or tree branch. (I’ve seen someone make them with bamboo or a branch before, and they do look very nice.) You’ll need to have the right tool for the carving though.
No sound is coming out from your whistle? Try holding the string shorter or longer, change the speed of of your swinging. If that doesn’t work, make the slit wider. After the experiments, we realized that the bigger the container gets, the wider the slit needs to be. If you think you made the slit too big, you can cover it with tape to adjust the size.
Okay, we got a little side tracked for this feast, but let’s get back on Ghibli feast! Day 3 of feast starts with Spirited Away!
You can also see these pictures in Ghibi feast set on my flickr page!