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

UN Watchdog Urges Israel to Probe Possible Gaza War Crimes

More than 2,100 Palestinians, most of them civilians, were killed in a 51-day war in Gaza, along with 67 Israeli soldiers and six civilians in Israel More

New Kenyan 'Thin SIMs' Poised to Transform African Mobile Money

Equity's new technology is approved in African nation for one-year trial, though industry leader Safaricom says thin SIMs could lead to data theft and fraud More

Solar's Future Looks Brighter

New technology and dropping prices are contributing to a surge in solar power 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.
Talks to Resume on Winter Gas for Ukrainei
X
Al Pessin
October 25, 2014 4:21 PM
Ukrainian and Russian officials will meet again next week in an effort to settle their dispute over natural gas supplies that threatens to leave Ukraine short of heating fuel for the coming winter. VOA’s Al Pessin reports from London the dispute is complex, and has both economic and geopolitical dimensions.
Video

Video Talks to Resume on Winter Gas for Ukraine

Ukrainian and Russian officials will meet again next week in an effort to settle their dispute over natural gas supplies that threatens to leave Ukraine short of heating fuel for the coming winter. VOA’s Al Pessin reports from London the dispute is complex, and has both economic and geopolitical dimensions.
Video

Video Smugglers Offer Cheap Passage From Turkey to Syria

Smugglers in Turkey offer a relatively cheap passage across the border into Syria. Ankara has stepped up efforts to stem the flow of foreign fighters who want to join Islamic State militants fighting for control of the Syrian border city of Kobani. But porous borders and border guards who can be bribed make illegal border crossings quite easy. Zlatica Hoke has more.
Video

Video China Political Meeting Seeks to Improve Rule of Law

China’s communist leaders will host a top level political meeting this week, called the Fourth Plenum, and for the first time in the party’s history, rule of law will be a key item on the agenda. Analysts and Chinese media reports say the meetings could see the approval of long-awaited measures aimed at giving courts more independence and include steps to enhance an already aggressive and high-reaching anti-corruption drive. VOA’s Bill Ide has more from Beijing.
Video

Video After Decades of Pressure, Luxembourg Drops Bank Secrecy Rules

European Union finance ministers have reached a breakthrough agreement that will make it more difficult for tax cheats to hide their money. The new legislation, which had been blocked for years by countries with a reputation as tax havens, was approved last week after Luxembourg and Austria agreed to lift their vetoes. But as Mil Arcega reports, it doesn’t mean tax cheats have run out of places to keep their money hidden.
Video

Video Kobani Refugees Welcome, Turkey Criticizes, US Airdrop

Residents of Kobani in northern Syria have welcomed the airdrop of weapons, ammunition and medicine to Kurdish militia who are resisting the seizure of their city by Islamic State militants. The Turkish government, however, has criticized the operation. VOA’s Scott Bobb reports from southeastern Turkey, across the border from Kobani.
Video

Video US ‘Death Cafes’ Put Focus on the Finale

In contemporary America, death usually is a topic to be avoided. But the growing “death café” movement encourages people to discuss their fears and desires about their final moments. VOA’s Jerome Socolovsky reports.
Video

Video Ebola Orphanage Opens in Sierra Leone

Sierra Leone's first Ebola orphanage has opened in the Kailahun district. Hundreds of children orphaned since the beginning of the Ebola outbreak face stigma and rejection with nobody to care for them. Adam Bailes reports for VOA about a new interim care center that's aimed at helping the growing number of children affected by Ebola.

All About America

AppleAndroid

New in Music Alley

Beyond Category

At Washington’s Blues Alley jazz singer Jane Monheit and her quartet perform songs made famous by Judy Garland. Monheit sits down with "Beyond Category" host Eric Felten to talk about her music, the singers who influence her, and her life traveling with family on tour.