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

Philippines, Muslim Rebels Try to Salvage Peace Pact

Peace process faces major setback after botched military operation to find terrorists results in bloody gunbattle between government forces, Moro Islamic Liberation Front fighters More

Republicans Expect Long, Expensive Presidential Battle

Political strategist says eventual winner will be one who can put together strongest coalition of various conservative groups that make up Republican Party More

Video New Wheelchair Is Easier to Use, Increases Mobility

Engineers have come up with a lever-operated design that makes use of easily accessible bicycle technology 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.
Liberia's Almost Last Ebola Patient Grateful but Still Grievingi
X
Benno Muchler
March 26, 2015 3:41 PM
Beatrice Yardolo was to make history as Liberia’s last Ebola patient. Liberians recently started counting down 42 days, the period that has to go by without a single new infection until the World Health Organization can declare a country Ebola-free. That countdown stopped on March 20 when there was another new case of Ebola, making Yardolo’s story a reminder that Ebola is far from over. Benno Muchler reports from Monrovia.
Video

Video Liberia's Almost Last Ebola Patient Grateful but Still Grieving

Beatrice Yardolo was to make history as Liberia’s last Ebola patient. Liberians recently started counting down 42 days, the period that has to go by without a single new infection until the World Health Organization can declare a country Ebola-free. That countdown stopped on March 20 when there was another new case of Ebola, making Yardolo’s story a reminder that Ebola is far from over. Benno Muchler reports from Monrovia.
Video

Video Cambodian Land Grabs Threaten Traditional Communities

Indigenous communities in Cambodia's Ratanakiri province say the government’s economic land concession policy is taking away their land and traditional way of life, making many fear that their identity will soon be lost. Local authorities, though, have denied this is the case. VOA's Say Mony went to investigate and filed this report, narrated by Colin Lovett.
Video

Video US, South Korea Conduct Joint Military Exercises

The Eighth U.S. Army Division and the Eighth Republic of Korea Mechanized Infantry Division put on a well orchestrated show of force for the media this week during their joint military training exercises in South Korea. VOA’s Seoul correspondent Brian Padden was there and reports the soldiers were well disciplined both in conducting a complex live fire exercise and in staying on message with the press.
Video

Video Space Program Status Disappoints 'Last Man on the Moon'

One of the films that drew big crowds last week at the annual South by Southwest festival in Austin, Texas, tells the story of the last human being to stand on the moon, U.S. astronaut Eugene Cernan. It has been 42 years since Cernan returned from the moon and he laments that no one else has gone there since. VOA’s Greg Flakus reports.
Video

Video Young Filmmakers Shine Spotlight on Giving Back

A group of student filmmakers from across the United States joined President Barack Obama at the White House this month for the second annual White House Student Film Festival. Fifteen short films were officially selected from more than 1,500 entries by students aged 6 through 18. The filmmakers and their families then joined the president and a group of celebrities for a screening of their films. VOA’s Julie Taboh reports.
Video

Video VOA Exclusive: Interview with Afghan President Ashraf Ghani

Afghan President Ashraf Ghani, during his first visit as president to Washington, gave a one-on-one interview with VOA Afghan Service reporter Said Suleiman Ashna, about his request for a change in U.S. troop levels, the threat from the Islamic State, and repairing relations with the United States and Pakistan. The interview was held at Blair House, late Sunday, in Pashto.
Video

Video California Science Center Tells Story of Dead Sea Scrolls

The ancient manuscripts were uncovered in the mid-20th century, and they are still yielding clues about life and religious beliefs in ancient Israel. As VOA's Mike O'Sullivan reports, an exhibit in Los Angeles shows how modern science is bringing the history of these ancient documents to life.
Video

Video Angelina Jolie Takes Another Bold Step

Hollywood actress and filmmaker Angelina Jolie has revealed she had her ovaries and fallopian tubes removed to lower her odds of getting cancer. Doctors say the huge publicity over her decision will help raise awareness about the importance of cancer screening. VOA’s George Putic has more

All About America

Circumventing Censorship

An Internet Primer for Healthy Web Habits

As surveillance and censoring technologies advance, so, too, do new tools for your computer or mobile device that help protect your privacy and break through Internet censorship.
More

New in Music Alley

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

On the latest edition of "Beyond Category" blues singer and guitarist Corey Harris performs with his band and talks about his travels in West Africa tracing the roots of the blues.