On the 100th anniversary of the first anime 東京国立近代美術館フィルムセンター said:

??? We want you think about how these anime will be here 100 years from now.

My translation is unnatural. I'm having trouble understanding how どうしたら works in this sentence, and what it means. Normally when I see どうしたら it either goes with いい or with a verb in potential form. I can't understand what 'how' is referring to here.

Come to think of it, I'm not too sure about 残っていく either. 'to go on remaining' = 'to survive' maybe?

  • 1
    in this case I think どうしたら roughly translates to "in what way/ in what form," which is pretty similar to "how." If I were to translate it with a little liberty I would say something like "We want you to think about how this anime will survive in the next 100 years."
    – frei
    Mar 7, 2017 at 3:54

2 Answers 2


First, let us pretend for a moment that the sentence is:


Do you feel comfortable with this sentence? It means:

"If one did this, this anime would survive for the next 100 years."

What to do to make it survive a long time must have already been discussed in the conversation, mustn't it? That is why you can say 「こうしたら」.

This is all about the famous こそあど. If you have a word starting with こ、そ or あ, then a "what", "how", "where", etc. has already been mentioned or discussed in concrete terms in the conversation. If it has not yet been discussed, and you want to talk about it, that is when you use a ーword. So, you have a 「どう」 this time.

Back to the original sentence..


「どうしたら」 is, of course, a conditional phrase, which is actually difficult to translate by itself. It literally means "If one did what". The sentence is talking about "what to do" or "what should one do" to make the anime last long. Are you following?

「どうしたら」 modifies 「残っていく」. ← Important "what to do (so that) it will survive"

"I can't understand what 'how' is referring to here."

This statement worries me somewhat. Forget "how"; That is just your literal translation of 「どう」. Instead, you would need to get used to the highly common collocation of 「どう + する」 to mean "do what", "what to do", etc.

どうしよう!」= "What should I do?"

どうしたの?」 = "What happened?"

Those phrases should sound familiar to anyone who has been studying Japanese over 6 months or so.

The reason that the sentence in question seems difficult to comprehend, according to me, is the fact that it has not only a very long object but the object contains within itself a mini-sentence consisting of a condition and consequence. The object of the sentence is:


That is what the speaker/author wants you to think about。

「(Object) + (を) + 考えてほしいと思います。」

「を」 is not used, but it can be.

"I would like you to think about (what should be done/what you should do/what to do) so that this anime continues to survive the next 100 years."



= Doing what will lead to this anime surviving for 100 years?

Although the above sounds a bit odd in English, it might help to think of どうしたら as meaning "by doing what?"

You mention seeing どうしたら with いい. Perhaps, for example, どうしたらいいですか. In natural English this would often be written as "what should I do?" but more literally you can think of it as "doing what would be good?"

Your understanding of 残っていく sounds good to me.

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