A Gifted Director
by tachibana on June 22, 2017 - 1:51am
Do you know a person who is a gifted director in Japan? I think you know the man who founded Studio Ghibli. His name is Miyazaki Hayao. Have you heard of this name? He is famous in the world. His job is not only a movie director, but also an animator and a cartoonist. He has a good sense to make something such as animation movies, drawing pictures and so on, but he doesn’t depend on it. He is very stoic with himself. Why is he famous around the world? I want you to know about him.
First, what kind of life did he live? He was born in Tokyo in 1941. When he was an elementary school student, he was not good at sports, but he was amazingly good at drawing pictures. He also liked reading comic books of Teduka Osamu, Sugiura Sigeru and more. Then he gradually began to be interested in animation, but his first dream was a cartoonist. When he was a high school student, he watched “Hakujaden”. It is an animation movie. He was moved by the movie, and he had decided to become an animator since he was a high school third grader. He became an animator in 1963. He had made many animation movies. Sometimes he made them with his son, Goro. I think he also has talent. Until now Hayao had been successful, but it was just the beginning.
Miyazaki Hayao made Studio Ghibli famous, which in turn, made himself famous in the world. I will explain Studio Ghibli. It was established in 1985 by the investment of Tokuma Shoten (publishing company). There, mainly animation movie production was done, but from 1990 onwards they started to produce various genres of products. For example, making short movies, and live action movies. They also do music business. At first, they hired staff every time they made one movie, and when the movie was completed, they dissolved, but now, in order to keep superior human resources, they hired animators as full time employees. They want to make movies with high quality. Do you know the meaning of “Ghibli”? It means hot air blowing in the Sahara Desert. Miyazaki Hayao named this, because he wants to blow hot air in Japanese animation industry.
Which do you like the most in Ghibli works? “Sen to Chihiro no Kamikakushi (Spirited Away)”, “Majyo no Takkyubin (Kiki’s Delivery Service)”, “Ponyo” and so on, there are many. These stories are very interesting. He was hiding messages in each movie. He uses fantasy stories to convey various social problems to the world. For example, "Heisei Tanuki Gassen ponpoko (POMPOKO)" deals with pollution problems and damage due to rapid urbanization. When I was a high school student, in social studies class, I learned about social problems based on Ghibli work of "Tenku no Shiro Laputa (Laputa, the Castle of the Sky)", "Hotaru no Haka (Grave of the Firefly)" and so on. His works are very innermost and tell us important things to live in the world.
Did you learn about Miyazaki Hayao from my essay? Do you understand his wonderful characteristics? I first asked “Why is he famous around the world?”. I think it is because he cherished his own perspectives. Movies are containing his opinions and emotions were sometimes criticized, but he kept making works without giving up. I think that his strength to keep making movies without giving up made him famous. I want everyone to watch his Ghibli works, examining his hidden messages.