Satsuki Kusakabe is one of the main protagonist in My Neighbor Totoro. She is first introduced when the Kusakabe family moves into a new house. Satsuki was born in 25 June 1947
Satsuki, approximately ten years old, moves into a new house with her family. She and her sister Mei are very excited to be moving to the new house, and see it as an adventure. As she and her sister Mei explore the new house, they discover that it is inhabited by Susuwatari- soot spirits. Satsuke is characterized as a responsible person, and a good big sister. She is mature and friendly, and understanding of the family's situation.
Satsuke meets Granny, and the four of them clean the house and unpack boxes. She meets Kanta when he comes to her house to bring Granny some salt. She is friendly to home, until he runs away, while yelling, "Haven't you heard? You're living in a haunted house!" She sticks out her tongue at him, and later says, "I hate boys. But I love Granny's food more then anything else in the whole world!" When they are finally finished days later, Mei, Satsuke and their father ride a bike to the hospital to visit the mother. She brushes Satsuke's hair and says she is the spitting image of herself when she was Satsuke's age. On the ride home, Satsuke remarks that her mother looks better, and will probably come home soon, to which everyone agrees.
Satsuke starts school, and quickly makes a friend, a girl named Michiko. She prepares the lunches for herself, Mei and her father, and runs off to school. Later that day, Mei and Granny show up at her school, while her father is at his job as a professor. She is annoyed at Mei for insisting to be with her big sister, but relents and allows Mei to sit next to her in class. Mei draws a picture of Totoro and Satsuke shushes her.
On the walk home from school, they are caught in a downpour. They take shelter under an altar, and Satsuke asks permission to it to be able to stay there until the rain stops. Kanta sees them, and walks past them nervously. He stops the goes back, awkwardly trying to hand her his umbrella, dropping it and running away when she looks at him confused. Mei and Satsuke walk home in comfort. Mei remarks that there are holes in the umbrella, and Satsuke smiles, pleased that Kanta has finally been nice to her. She returns the umbrella later, to Kanta's mother.
That night, Mei and Satsuke wait for their father at the bus stop. It is raining, and Satsuke has brought an extra umbrella for her father. When he is not on the first bus, she gets slightly worried, but assures Mei he simply missed the bus and will be here soon. Mei gets sleepy and Satsuke has to carry her on her back so she can sleep. Totoro walks up to her side and stands there, waiting for the bus. This is her first meeting of him, and she is scared. She notices he only has a leaf on his head to protect him from the rain, and offers him her father's umbrella, instructing him on how to use it. Totoro is delighted with the noises it makes when heavy raindrops fall on it, and proceeds to jump up and down once, causing everything to shake and lots of heavy raindrops to fall from the leaves. Satsuke sees Catbus approaching. Totoro boards Catbus, but not before dropping a parcel into Mei's hand, while she is still sleeping. Soon their father's bus arrives, and they tell him what happened, joyfully jumping up and down.
Satsuke writes her mother a letter, describing her encounter with Totoro. In it, she explains that they planted the seeds and nuts that were in the parcel, but they haven't sprouted yet. She also includes an illustration of a crab drawn by Mei. One night while the girls are sleeping outside, they awaken to see the three Totoros dancing around the seeds. They join in, and the seeds sprout up, and grow into a giant tree. Afterwards, Big Totoro takes them all on a ride on his flying, spinning top. Satsuke yells during the ride, "Now we know what makes the wind blow!"
In the morning they wake up, and, seeing that the tree is gone but the seeds have indeed sprouted, Satsuke says that it was only a dream, Mei countering that it wasn't a dream.
One day, after picking and eating vegetables in Granny's garden, they receive a telegram from the hospital. Since her father is at his job, Satsuke reads the telegram, which simply says, "Please call." She is terrified that something horrible has happened to her mother, and, following Granny's instructions, follows Kanta to his house to use the telephone. She calls her father, who assures her that everything will be alright, and to wait by the phone for him to call the hospital. Kanta's grandmother remarks to Kanta that his friend is very pretty, causing him to be embarrassed. Later, as she is walking home after receiving news about her mother's condition, Mei runs up to her. She tells Mei that their mother has a cold and can't come home to visit, as was planned. When Mei throws a tantrum, Satsuke yells at her, calling her stupid and running away.
Satsuke and Mei both fall into states of seemingly mild depression, both separately mourning the bad news. They are still mad at each other from the fight. Later, Satsuke breaks down, crying and asking Granny what they're supposed to do if her mother dies. Mei overhears and runs away. Satsuke realizes she might has gone to visit the mother in the hospital, and chases after her. She identifies the sandal found in the lake as not Mei's, and continues her search, as the sun begins to set. Exhausted and bruised, she runs to Totoro for assistance. He calls on Catbus, who takes her to her sister. They hug and make up, and then board the Catbus, which takes them to the hospital. There, they leave Mei's ear of corn on the windowsill for Mommy and sit in the tree with Catbus to watch.
In the ending scenes, they wave goodbye to Catbus, their mother comes home, and they play with neighborhood kids.
Satsuke has short black hair and light skin. She wears a yellow collared shirt under an orange short skirt with suspenders for most of the movie, as well as blue shoes. In the night time tree scene, she wears a blue pajama set. In the last part of the movie, she wears a yellow sundress. She described as very pretty, with lovely hair.