Who is Hayao Miyazaki? 


As a professional creator, Hayao Miyazaki brings ideas to life.

LunaBella Peralta, Events editor

Storytellers fascinate audiences across the world as they create immersive worlds of fantasy, and Hayao Mizakai is no exception as his storytelling has created the famous mystical worlds of his critically acclaimed films.

Miyazaki holds an impressive reputation in Japan’s entertainment industry as an animator and director. However, prior to his success as an acclaimed storyteller, Miyazaki occupied his younger years with aircrafts, comic books, and small animation positions. These events had a significant impact on his life as he often depicts his past in his films.

Hayao Miyazaki was born on January 5th, 1941. His father was an airplane manufacturing director and that business sparked Miyazaki’s fascination with aircrafts, which were featured in his films The Wind Rises and Nausicaä of the Valley of the Wind.

Shortly after his birth he and his family moved from Tokyo to Katsuji to escape the bombings of World War II. Katsuji’s differing environment allowed Miyazaki to explore forests and nature which came to inspire his film My Neighbor Totoro (Hayao Miyazaki 1941).

After graduating from Gakushuin University, Miyazaki joined Toei Animation where he learned the basics of animation and impressed many of his coworkers with his imagination. In 1968, Miyazaki worked on his first motion picture under Toei in where he worked with animation director, Isao Takahata (Miyazaki Hayao).

In the early ’80s, Miyazaki began his manga series Nausicaä of the Valley of the Wind, which was turned into an animated feature with the help of Takahata. With its success, the two created their own animation studio, Studio Ghibli.

Studio Ghibli became Miyazaki’s playground as he expressed his imagination and creativity through his films. The studio’s most iconic film, My Neighbor Totoro, was unsuccessful upon its release in 1988, however, it gained popularity once marketing took off. Miyazaki’s Ghibli films revolved around themes representative of reality such as war, environmental protection, and unity. Studio Ghibli started to catch international attention with its release of Princess Mononoke and in 2003 the studio’s film, Spirited Away, received an Oscar for a best-animated feature (Hayao Miyazaki 1941).

Since then the Studio and Miyazaki have made countless other films that have demonstrated the art of storytelling.