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Submitted on
August 15, 2012
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The genius of Miyazaki - Art History

Wed Aug 15, 2012, 12:52 AM

If you haven't heard his name, you must have heard about at least one of his creations. So, who's Miyazaki? It's easier to say who he's not.

Hayao Miyazaki by GunsmithcatHayao Miyazaki by jdelgadoThe Many Faces Of Miyazaki by Mellerz-Forever::CP: Hayao Miyazaki:: by HerFavoriteThings

Hayao Miyazaki was born on the 5th of January 1941 in Bunkyo, Tokyo, as a second of four sons. His father was a director in young Miyazaki's uncle's factory producing rudders for fighter planes - this is where Hayao became highly interested in aviation, which often appears in his films.

Escape from Suliman by TsaoShinSophie and the Wizard by duastrecollab - Hauru and Sophie walk by MadziaVelMadzikHowl's Room by Sangcoon

When Miyazaki was a little kid, his mother suffered from Pott's disease (sort of tuberculosis) and spent a few years in a hospital. Some says that a very similiar motif appearing in "Tonari no Totoro" ("My neighbour Totoro") was strongly inspired by that part of his life. Also, during his childhood, Miyazaki had to change his place of residence and switch schools several times, which influenced his films a lot, too.

Cat Bus and Totoro by BubblesjungleMini Totoro and the Moon by LeafyeTotoro by UrbanMayTotoro by jorgecarrero

It was common in postwar Japan that children and teenagers wanted to become manga artists and Miyazaki wasn't an exception. He was interested especially in works of Osamu Tezuka and it took plenty of time until Miyazaki got rid of a great Tezuka influence in his creations.

Laputa by kimag3500Laputa Robot Sculpture by cyathulaCaptain Dola by otenba-bekkiLaputa Castle in the Sky by StudioLG

In 1963 Miyazaki graduated from Gakushuin University (degrees in political science and economics) and in the same year he got a job at Toei Animation and gained his first recognition on "Gulliver's Travels Beyond the Moon", a Toei production, in 1965, as an in-between artist. Since 1968 he's started getting more important roles in animating, as a chief animator, concept artist, scene designer and storyboarder.

Princess Mononoke by LilleahWestLa mononoke by VinetsuMononoke Hime fan art by AzertipPrincess Mononoke by SparkOut1911

Studio Ghibli, an animation and film studio, was founded in 1985 by Miyazaki and Isao Takahata. Its logo features a forest spirit Totoro, from the movie "Tonari no Totoro", which is said to be the most famous Ghibli production. So far, the studio has won 3 Animage Anime Grand Prix Awards, a Golden Bear and an Oscar for Best Animated Feature (for "Spirited Away", which is  the only film outside the English-speaking world that got this prize). Miyazaki himself was a director of 8 from 18 feature films from this studio (or 9/19 if you count "Nausicaä of the Valley of the Wind" in).

Spirited Away by MaylarSpirited Away by daniellesylvanSpirited Away by LiniArivaSpirited Away Haku by FleetingEmber

His dedication to the studio and to animation in general has been reported to effect negatively on his family relations. However, Hayao's son, Gorō, decided to follow his father's path and since then he's directed two films in Studio Ghibli,  "Tales from Earthsea" (2006) and "From up on Poppy Hill" (2011). Gorō is supported by his father, despite the fact that Hayao said that "he doesn't want to create a dynasty of animators".

Ponyo by SoupAndButterPonyo by AzuraLinePonyo by kittyspitPONYO by dodostad

Miyazaki's films often include pacifist themes, a border and relationship between nature and technology. The main character is usually an independent girl or young woman. Despite the usual bright and positive general look, they hide much less positive and bright elements underneath - or, according to some other Ghibli movies, it's vice versa. Nevertheless, watching those films is always a great way to spend your time.


This is a part of a project run by :iconarthistoryproject:
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Vinetsu Featured By Owner Aug 31, 2012  Hobbyist General Artist
tanya3286 Featured By Owner Aug 18, 2012  Professional Writer
I loved reading this...!! :love:

I'm such a huge Miyazaki fan.... Thanks again for doing this article :rose: :tighthug:
STelari Featured By Owner Aug 18, 2012  Professional Traditional Artist
Thank you! (:
tanya3286 Featured By Owner Aug 19, 2012  Professional Writer
HerFavoriteThings Featured By Owner Aug 16, 2012  Student Traditional Artist
Thanks for the feature, I'll try to promote this article. c:
STelari Featured By Owner Aug 17, 2012  Professional Traditional Artist
Thank you!
YvonneVetjens Featured By Owner Aug 16, 2012  Professional Traditional Artist
Nice to read about this, makes me want to watch Spirited Away again...
STelari Featured By Owner Aug 17, 2012  Professional Traditional Artist
Oh me too, I want to refresh all of them now.
erinclaireb Featured By Owner Aug 16, 2012
Nice work on the skin, and a lovely feature :)
SRaffa Featured By Owner Aug 16, 2012  Professional General Artist
Essential, and beautifully presented!
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