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 China Investigates Powerful Former Security Chief

Analysts say move by President Xi is an effort to win more party support, take step toward economic reforms, removing those who would stand in way of change More

South Africa Land Reforms Still Contentious 20 Years Later

Activists argue that the pace of land reform is slow and biased; legal experts question how some proposed reforms would be implemented More

In Vietnam, Religious Freedoms Violated, UN Finds

Beliefs reportedly prompt heavy surveillance, intimidation and travel restrictions 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.
Gazans in Shelled School Sought Shelteri
X
Scott Bobb
July 30, 2014 8:16 PM
Israel's air and ground assault against Hamas-led fighters in Gaza has forced many Palestinians to flee their homes, seeking safety. But safe places are hard to find, as VOA’s Scott Bobb reports from Jabaliya.
Video

Video Gazans in Shelled School Sought Shelter

Israel's air and ground assault against Hamas-led fighters in Gaza has forced many Palestinians to flee their homes, seeking safety. But safe places are hard to find, as VOA’s Scott Bobb reports from Jabaliya.
Video

Video Rapid Spread of Ebola in West Africa Prompts Global Alert

Across West Africa, health officials are struggling to keep up with what the World Health Organization describes as the worst ebola outbreak on record. The virus has killed hundreds of people this year. U.S. President Barack Obama and other world leaders are watching the developments closely as they weigh what actions, if any, are needed to help contain the disease.
Video

Video Michelle Obama: Young Africans Need to Embrace Women's Rights

U.S. first lady Michelle Obama urged some of Africa's best and brightest to advocate for women's rights in their home countries. As VOA's Pam Dockins explains, Obama spoke to some 500 participants of the Young African Leaders Initiative, a six-week U.S.-based training and development program.
Video

Video Immigrant Influx on Texas Border Heats Up Political Debate

Immigrants from Central America continue to cross the U.S.-Mexico border in south Texas, seeking asylum in the United States, as officials grapple with ways to deal with the problem and provide shelter for thousands of minors among the illegal border crossers. As VOA's Greg Flakus reports from Houston, the issue is complicated by internal U.S. politics and U.S. relations with the troubled nations that immigrants are fleeing.
Video

Video Study: Latino Students Most Segregated in California

Even though legal school segregation ended in the United States 60 years ago, one study finds segregation still occurs in the U.S. based on income and race. The University of California Los Angeles Civil Rights Project finds that students in California are more segregated by race than ever before, especially Latinos. Elizabeth Lee reports for VOA from Los Angeles.
Video

Video Vietnamese Staging Chinese Product Boycott After Oil Rig Spat

China recently pulled an oil rig from an area of the disputed South China Sea that Vietnam also claims. Despite the action, the incident has had a lingering effect on consumers in Vietnam. VOA's Reasey Poch reports from Hanoi on an effort to boycott Chinese products.
Video

Video A Summer Camp for All the World

VIDEO: During workshops and social gatherings, the Global Youth Village summer camp encourages young people to cooperate and embrace their differences, while learning to communicate with people from other countries. VOA's Deborah Block has more.
Video

Video From Cantankerous Warlock to Incorruptible Priest, 'Harry Potter' Actor Embraces Diverse Roles

He’s perhaps best known as Mad Eye Moody, the whimsical wizard in the Harry Potter franchise. But character actor Brendan Gleeson's resume includes dozens of films, and he embraces all the characters he inhabits with equal passion. In an interview with VOA’s Penelope Poulou, Gleeson discussed his new drama "Calvary" and his secret to success.

AppleAndroid

New in Music Alley

The Hamilton Live

Acclaimed jazz saxophonist Tia Fuller has made a name for herself appearing with such high-profile artists as Beyonce, Esperanza Spalding, and Terri Lyne Carrington. Tia and her quartet performed music from her CD “Angelic Warrior” on our latest edition of "The Hamilton Live."