Hayao Miyazaki: biography
Hayao Miyazaki is a famous Japanese animator, director, screenwriter, producer and just an object of worship of modern fans of classical animation. Critics do not get tired of applauding the talent of the creator, journalists note the deepest humanism of Hayao's works, and the audience willingly goes to the cinema for every new animated film.
Admirers have considered Miyazaki good storyteller, and his petite figure (Hayao's height is 5 feet 38 inches), benevolent smile and soft nature also contributed to this image. However, the director himself has repeatedly admitted that he looks at the world with a fair share of pessimism.
Childhood and youth
Hayao's childhood was a difficult period for Japan: the boy was born in 1941, amid the Second World War. The changes that shook the world left an indelible imprint on Hayao's fate and personality, making him an opponent of fascism and a convinced pacifist.
From early childhood, held in the city of Akebono-Cho, the artist admired aircraft, which later appeared in the vast majority of his works. The boy's father, Katsuji Miyazaki, during the war years, worked at the factory Miyazaki Airplane that produced parts for aircraft model 6M Zero.
The family of the future director was large, Hayao became the second of four sons. Together with his father and brothers, the boy traveled in Japan: the family often had to move because of the mother's illness, who was suffering from tuberculosis. The constant change of places lasted more than ten years, from 1947 to 1955. In 1956, a miracle happened - Miyazaki's mother fully recovered after a severe period in the course of the disease.
Frequent moving did not prevent the young man from getting an excellent education. In 1958, Hayao graduated from Toyotama High School and thought about entering the prestigious University of Tokyo.
Hayao decided on his career path early on. Animation interested him once and for all. As a high school student, the young man saw the animated film Legend of the White Snake. The impression from the cartoon was so strong that Miyazaki decided to devote himself to animation.
The student tried a hand at creating his own manga (a Japanese comic book) but quickly ran into difficulties. First, Hayao did not know how to draw people; at one time, he came up only with sketches of planes. Secondly, comparing the drawings with the frames of the anime that inspired him, the aspiring artist realized that he copied the style of the animator in detail. The audience never saw his first work: Miyazaki burned down his own creation in horror.
In 1963, the young man was enrolled at the Gakushūin University, where he studied Politics and Economics – subjects far from the world of animation. But even during his student years, Hayao managed to gain valuable experience: throughout the years of study, he was a member of the University book club. The main object of attention of book lovers was children's literature; the members carefully studied works of European authors.
After graduation, 22-year-old Hayao joined Toei Animation, one of the largest animation studios in Japan. Yesterday's graduate began with the basics and quickly climbed the career ladder. In 1963, Hayao worked as a phase artist – he drew intermediate stages of the movement of the anime characters of Wan Wan Chuushingura. Two years later, in 1965, the head of the Studio noticed the young artist's talent. The masters highly appreciated his contribution to the creation of the black-and-white cartoon Gulliver's Travels Beyond the Moon and even allowed to change the ending of the picture.
From 1969 to 1971 Hayao managed to work on three projects - the trilogy The Wonderful World of Puss'n Boots, the screen version of the manga Flying Phantom Ship, which popularized anime in the European countries, and the animated film Animal Treasure Island. This time, Miyazaki was involved in drawing storyboards and key figures. At the same time with the creation of cartoons, the artist painted manga. In the same period, the graphic novel People of the Desert saw the light of day. Miyazaki published his works under the penname Akitsu Saburō.
Work in Toie brought the aspiring artist experience and useful connections. In the Studio Miyazaki perfected the technique under the guidance of renowned Japanese animator, Yasuji Mori, and met Isao Takahata, his future colleague, and close friend.
Despite his apparent career success, Hayao was dissatisfied with the horrible working conditions. Along with other animators and Takahata, he founded a trade union defending the interests of workers of animation studios. The riot was followed by inevitable punishment: the management of Toei took down the cartoon The Great Adventure of Horus, Prince of the Sun. Hayao himself drew the storyboards, and Isao Takahata directed the animated film. The turning point came in 1971. The friends decided to change the Studio.
In the same year, Miyazaki, together with his partners, founded an independent project A-Pro, but the start of their work had to be postponed. Studio TMS Entertainment became the intermediate point for them. There, Miyazaki and Takahata worked together to continue the series Lupin the Third. In TMS, the partners worked for two years.
The next stop was a long collaboration with Nippon Animation, where Miyazaki made his debut as a director in 1978. His first job was the anime series Future Boy Conan, based on the novel The Incredible Tide.
A year later, the animators changed the Studio again and returned to TMS. Already recognized animator, Miyazaki continued to direct. Finally, Hayao created his first own feature animated film, Lupin the Third: The Castle of Cagliostro. The success of the film was deafening, Lupin the Third is still on the list of the best anime ever created in Japan.
In an interview with cult animator, he often said that he gave up manga because of dissatisfaction with the results. Fortunately for fans of the creator, the audience had a very different opinion.
In 1982, the magazine Animage began to publish manga authored by Hayao. The central character of the illustrations was a Princess living in a post-apocalyptic world and fighting for the purity of nature. Nausicaä of the Valley of the Wind quickly gained popularity, and the head of the publishing house Tokuma Shoten proposed the film adaptation. Miyazaki agreed, the development of the painting began immediately.
By tradition, Hayao brought Takahata to the project: Isao took over the production of the picture. Due to the tight schedule of the creator of the full-length cartoon, it appeared on the big screen in 1984. Critics reacted favorably to the film.
The success of the first tape inspired the 43-year-old director. Along with Isao Takahata and the editor of Animage, Miyazaki created the famous Studio Ghibli which gave the world the brightest masterpieces of Japanese animation. Studio Ghibli officially appeared in 1985, and a year later presented to the audience the debut project – a full-length film Castle in the Sky.
In 1988, came out the legendary My Neighbor Totoro. The film takes the audience to the provincial Japan of the mid-20th century, where two sisters are experiencing adventures and meet with a strange but cute spirit of the forest – Totoro. Charming spirits were loved in Japan and abroad, the characters of the anime became familiar to adults and children, and Totoro himself took pride of place on the emblem of Studio Ghibli.
Totoro revealed a bright feature of the work of the Japanese genius: the main characters in his animated films are often little girls. Brave, bold and clever little women appear in the Kiki's Delivery Service, the Oscar-winning cartoon Spirited Away and the mystical Princess Mononoke. It is believed that Princess Mononoke brought Miyazaki and Studio Ghibli worldwide fame.
Particularly striking success came to the picture in the United States; recognition culminated in the contract with Walt Disney, signed in 1996. According to American cartoonists, Miyazaki was determined when it came to developing a deal. The director demanded from the Studio to reproduce the cartoon precisely as it was in the original. One day, the animator sent the Americans a samurai sword, stained with red paint, and signed the parcel with the phrase: "Do not cut."
After completing the Princess Mononoke, the director first expressed the desire to abandon the Studio and go to non-commercial animation. Plans were ruined by a tragic event - the death of Yoshifumi Kondō, one of the critical animators of Studio Ghibli.
Miyazaki continued his work. Another project was the film Spirited Away, which was released in 2001. A string of awards speaks eloquently about its success: The Japan Academy Prize, The Golden Bear, taken on Berlin festival 2002, and, finally, an Oscar, received a year later.
The main character of the picture was a little girl Chihiro, whose parents, once in a magical land, turned into pigs. To save them, their daughter gets a job from the owner of this market and wizard, Ubabe. During her stay in the magical place, Chihiro meets Haku, a dragon and a boy in one person, and also the God of Kaonashi (Faceless), an old man, Kamaji, and a girl, Rin.
In 2004, the list of triumphs joined the picture Howl's Moving Castle, the plot of which is based on the fairy tale by British author Diana Wynne Jones. The history of its creation is quite unusual: Miyazaki agreed to complete the work of another director, Mormon Hosoda.
Alas, the ups were inevitably followed by a fall. In 2006, the Studio completed work on Tales from Earthsea, a full-length anime, a film adaptation of series of books by Ursula K. Le Guin. Miyazaki for years tried to achieve agreement on adaptation. However, his son began to work on the film began. In the process of filming the relationship between the young and the experienced director became extremely strained, and Ursula herself was disappointed with the debut work of Goro.
Controversial reviews of the Tales from Earthsea did not make the director leave the animation world, and in 2008 in movie theaters appeared a feature film, Ponyo. Miyazaki proved the accident of failure: the new project won two awards in Japan and two awards at the 2009 Venice film festival.
Hayao gave the world not only amazing cartoons; one of his projects was the Museum of Animation. The idea of creating the Ghibli Museum was first announced in 1998, but due to the busy schedule of the artist, the beginning of the work was repeatedly postponed.
The construction began only in 2000. The director himself worked on the drafts of the building. Hayao wanted the architecture of the main building to become a valuable part of the exhibition. The official opening took place on October 1, 2001. The Museum of anime studio is made in the form of a labyrinth, walking through which visitors meet the characters of their favorite movies.
After the release of Ponyo in 2008, the director took a break, which lasted six years. During this period, Miyazaki participated in the writing of scripts for two new films by Ghibli (The Secret World of Arrietty and From Up on Poppy Hill) and only in 2014 again engaged in directing.
Adoring the aircraft Hayao could not abandon the creation of the animated film The Wind Rises, the plot of which was based on the life story of Jiro Horikoshi, a famous Japanese aircraft designer, who worked on aircraft engines A6M Zero.
After presenting his work at the Venice film festival in 2013, Miyazaki officially told the press about his retirement. A year later, his name was included in the Science Fiction and Fantasy Hall of Fame. And in November 2016, the news appeared that was enthusiastically received by numerous fans: the master of anime was working on a new project.
The director worked on a short film Boro the Caterpillar. In his new work, Hayao decided to experiment with 3D technology. The premiere took place on March 2018 in the Museum of Ghibli.
The animator willingly shares plans for new projects with the press and openly expresses his political stance, but little is known about Miyazaki's personal life and family.
Hayao's wife is Akemi Ōta, an employee of the animation Studio. The wedding took place when the animator was 24 years old. In marriage, the couple had two sons, Gorō Miyazaki and Keisuke Miyazaki. The eldest son continued his father's work, and Keisuke is professionally engaged in wood carving.
The creative work of Hayao Miyazaki, thanks to the many fans around the world, has become a real subculture. Wise quotes from his animated films became known to the whole world. On behalf of Hayao, there is a page on Instagram, where screencaps from the famous cartoons of the master are presented. An interesting fact is that on social media, there is a fan blog contributed to Miyazaki, where one can find food art, copying screenshots from the animated films of the director.
Hayao Miyazaki now
Hayao Miyazaki has a net worth of $50 million. The creative biography of the director is not yet complete. To the delight of fans of Hayao Miyazaki, the producer of the Ghibli Studio, Toshio Suzuki said that the next full-length picture of the master How Do You Live? will see the light of day in the next three to four years.
The script was based on the plot of the book of the same name written in 1937 about the boy Junichi Honda, nicknamed Koperu in honor of the scientist Nicolaus Copernicus. The young man loses his father and is forced to move into the house of his rich uncle, where he becomes the subject of bullying from his cousins.
The works of Miyazaki's students give hope to the admirers of anime, who want to see new masterpieces. In the spring of 2018, came out the animated picture Mary and the Witch's Flower by Hiromasa Yonebayashi, the director, who learned much from the master, working under his guidance on the creation of scenes from the films Spirited Away and Howl's Moving Castle. The new director's work of Hiromasa was released within the Ponoc Studio, but, according to him, the group of artists kept the approach to the creation of animation that is characteristic of the Studio Ghibli.
Animator Makoto Shinkai is also often called "the next Hayao," even though the artist himself says that his skills are overrated.
- 1984 – Nausicaä of the Valley of the Wind
- 1986 – Castle in the Sky
- 1988 – My Neighbor Totoro
- 1989 – Kiki's Delivery Service
- 1992 – Porco Rosso
- 1997 – Princess Mononoke
- 2001 – Spirited Away
- 2004 – Howl's Moving Castle
- 2008 – Ponyo
- 2013 – The Wind Rises
- 2018 – Boro the Caterpillar
- Totoro became a symbol of the Studio Ghibli; it also appeared in the cartoon Toy Story 3.
- Spirited Away is the first animated picture of the director, the profit from which had reached $200 million even before it was out in the United States.
- My Neighbor Totoro became part of the program of aesthetic education in Japanese schools.
You cannot change fate. However, you can rise to meet it if you so choose.
Whenever someone creates something with all of their heart, then that creation is given a soul.
Just follow your heart and keep smiling.
A heart's a heavy burden.
Inspiration opens up the future for us.