Of all the hidden symbolism and meaning that I read into (or made up) from Spirited Away, I never thought that the sex industry would have anything to do with such a charming movie, but apparently it does! From cering.tumblr.com:
…I read interviews with Miyazaki. This was all put in intentionally. Miyazaki’s stories are filled with underlying themes and metaphors. He said he was tackling the issue of the sex industry rapidly growing in Japan, and that he felt children being exposed to it at such early ages was a problem.
Who would’ve thought?! Thanks tates for the tip!