News / Arts & Entertainment

Japanese Anime Master Miyazaki Hangs Up Director Hat

Japanese director Hayao Miyazaki speaks during a news conference held to announce his retirement from film in Tokyo, Sept. 6, 2013.
Japanese director Hayao Miyazaki speaks during a news conference held to announce his retirement from film in Tokyo, Sept. 6, 2013.
Reuters
Oscar-winning Japanese animator Hayao Miyazaki said on Friday he will make no more of the full-length films that have brought him global fame, confessing that his real love is drawing and - at age 72 - he is tired of directing.
 
Miyazaki's latest film, The Wind Rises, claimed a coveted competition slot at the current Venice Film Festival. He won an Academy Award for Spirited Away and many other Japanese and international prizes.
 
But Miyazaki told a packed news conference that the stresses of directing long films made with the hand-drawing techniques he swears by were starting to wear him down.
 
“I have never once thought I was glad I became a director but I have been glad I'm an animator many, many times,” he told about 600 journalists gathered at a Tokyo hotel.
 
“To be an animator, if you are able to perfectly capture the water or the wind, you'll be really happy for the next few days ... But if you're the director, you have to make all the judgments. It's not good for my stomach.”
 
A bit of a break lies ahead but Miyazaki said he intended to work “for the next 10 years or so, as long as I can still drive a car to the studio”. He has numerous projects in mind, including renewing the exhibits at the popular Ghibli Museum west of Tokyo that showcases the work of his studio.
 
The Wind Rises, Miyazaki's 11th feature film, is based on the life of the man who designed Japan's feared Zero fighter plane used in World War Two and highlights the dangers of war and nationalism.
 
It triggered a wave of unprecedented criticism of Miyazaki, ranging from people saying he glamourised war to others who accused him of being a traitor.
 
The theme was underlined by Miyazaki in a scathing essay in mid-July about Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's proposals to revise Japan's pacifist constitution.
 
Painstaking process
 
Known for vivid colors and loving depictions of landscapes, Miyazaki's films - which include Princess Mononoke and My Neighbor Totoro - still rely primarily on hand-drawing each frame. Miyazaki's Studio Ghibli employs a team of animators but he developed the storyboards and drew many of the frames.
 
A recent television documentary on the making of The Wind Rises showed a disgusted Miyazaki heaving a pile of drawings into the rubbish. He is said to have redrawn thousands of frames of Princess Mononoke when they did not meet his standards.
 
Miyazaki said on Friday it was taking longer for him to direct and complete a film. The Wind Rises took five years, while at the start of his career the gap was much shorter.
 
“Every animation director does it differently but since I began as an animator, I have to draw,” he said, pulling off his glasses and leaning forward to show how he works.
 
“No matter how much I try to build up my strength before starting a film, the truth is that my concentration decreases year by year - and I feel it.”
 
Commentators said while the latest film was unusually personal and may have left Miyazaki with a rare sense of completion, they doubted his retirement would hold, noting he had “retired” several times in the past.
 
“He's the kind of person who really burns himself up directing a movie and I believe he feels that every one is his last,” said film commentator Yuichi Maeda. “After some time off I think he'll recover and want to make a movie again.”
 
But Miyazaki said this time was different, adding if his next movie took six or seven years to complete “that's it for my 70s.” He said his dream was to rest on Saturdays but he was not sure he would achieve it.
 
“A rest for me looks like work to other people,” he said.

You May Like

Video One Year After Thai Coup, No End in Sight for Military Rule

Since carrying out the May 22, 2014 coup, the general has retired from the military but is still firmly in charge More

Goodbye, New York

This is what the fastest-growing big cities in America have in common More

Job-Seeking Bangladeshis Risk Lives to Find Work

The number of Bangladeshi migrants on smugglers’ boats bound for Southeast Asian countries has soared in the past two years More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: Yoshi from: Sapporo
September 09, 2013 5:02 AM
I am sure those who watched his animations would be very touched by their beauty of scene and heart-warming stories. It is needless to say he is one of a kind supreme illustraiter but I would like to add he is a generous humanist. One thing not cited in this article among what he refferd at the press conference is as below.

He confessed he started drawing animations at the time when all people enjoyed luxury lives to lost themselves during the age of bubble economy a few decades ago. It is because he eagered to make people awaked to realize that the most important thing to live is not money, but.......generousity and love. I am confident his sentiment has been successfully conveyed to the heart of all goers. Thank you.

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Turkey's Main Opposition Party Hopes for Election Breakthroughi
X
May 22, 2015 10:23 AM
Turkey’s main opposition Republican People’s Party has sought an image change ahead of the June 7 general election. The move comes after suffering successive defeats at the hands of the Islamist-rooted AK Party, which has portrayed it as hostile to religion. Dorian Jones reports from the western city of Izmir.
Video

Video Turkey's Main Opposition Party Hopes for Election Breakthrough

Turkey’s main opposition Republican People’s Party has sought an image change ahead of the June 7 general election. The move comes after suffering successive defeats at the hands of the Islamist-rooted AK Party, which has portrayed it as hostile to religion. Dorian Jones reports from the western city of Izmir.
Video

Video Europe Follows US Lead in Tackling ‘Conflict Minerals’

Metals mined from conflict zones in places like the Democratic Republic of Congo are often sold by warlords to buy weapons. This week European lawmakers voted to force manufacturers to prove that their supply chains are not inadvertently fueling conflicts and human rights abuses. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video Class Tackles Questions of Race, Discrimination

Unrest in some U.S. cities is more than just a trending news item at Ladue Middle School in St. Louis, Missouri. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, it’s a focus of a multicultural studies class engaging students in wide-ranging discussions about racial tensions and police aggression.
Video

Video Mind-Controlled Prosthetics Are Getting Closer

Scientists and engineers are making substantial advances towards the ultimate goal in prosthetics – creation of limbs that can be controlled by the wearer’s mind. Thanks to sophisticated sensors capable of picking up the brain’s signals, an amputee in Iceland is literally bringing us one step closer to that goal. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Afghan Economy Sinks As Foreign Troops Depart

As international troops prepare to leave Afghanistan, and many foreign aid groups follow, Afghans are grappling with how the exodus will affect the country's fragile economy. Ayesha Tanzeem reports from the Afghan capital, Kabul.
Video

Video Poverty, Ignorance Force Underage Girls Into Marriage

The recent marriage of a 17-year old Chechen girl to a local police chief who was 30 years older and already had a wife caused an outcry in Russia and beyond. The bride was reportedly forced to marry and her parents were intimidated into giving their consent. The union spotlighted yet again the plight of many underage girls in developing countries. Zlatica Hoke reports poverty, ignorance and fear are behind the practice, especially in Asia and Africa.
Video

Video South Korea Marks Gwangju Uprising Anniversary

South Korea this week marked the 35th anniversary of a protest that turned deadly. The Gwangju Uprising is credited with starting the country’s democratic revolution after it was violently quelled by South Korea’s former military rulers. But as Jason Strother reports, some observers worry that democracy has recently been eroded.
Video

Video California’s Water System Not Created To Handle Current Drought

The drought in California is moving into its fourth year. While the state's governor is mandating a reduction in urban water use, most of the water used in California is for agriculture. But both city dwellers and farmers are feeling the impact of the drought. Some experts say the state’s water system was not created to handle long periods of drought. Elizabeth Lee reports from Ventura County, an agricultural region just northwest of Los Angeles.
Video

Video How to Clone a Mammoth: The Science of De-Extinction

An international team of scientists has sequenced the complete genome of the woolly mammoth. Led by the Swedish Museum of Natural History in Stockholm, the work opens the door to recreate the huge herbivore, which last roamed the Earth 4,000 years ago. VOA’s Rosanne Skirble considers the science of de-extinction and its place on the planet
Video

Video Blind Boy Defines His Life with Music

Cole Moran was born blind. He also has cognitive delays and other birth defects. He has to learn everything by ear. Nevertheless, the 12-year-old has had an insatiable love for music since he was born. VOA’s June Soh introduces us to the young phenomenal harmonica player.

VOA Blogs

New in Music Alley

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Harry Wayne Casey – “KC” of KC and the Sunshine Band – comes to VOA’s Studio 4 to talk with "Border Crossings" host Larry London and perform songs from his new album, “Feeling You! The 60s.”