Studio Ghibli announced on September 1 that Hayao Miyazaki is retiring. The director will hold a press conference on Friday to further explain the reasons for his retirement.
In an unexpected turn, Studio Ghibli’s president Kouji Hoshino made the announcement at the Venice Film Festival, where The Wind Rises has been nominated for an award. President Hoshino stated that the director had decided to retire, leaving The Wind Rises as his final movie. Considering that Miyazaki is now 72 years old, this is not exactly a great surprise, though it will surely sadden many Studio Ghibli fans.
Hayao Miyazaki, who studied animation in university, is responsible for many of the most well-known anime films in the world, including Princess Mononoke and My Neighbor Totoro. Released in 2001, Spirited Away broke box office records, becoming the highest grossing film in Japanese history, a record that remains unbroken, in addition to winning an Academy Award for Best Animated Feature Film. In honor of his significant contributions to film, Miyazaki was selected as a Person of Cultural Merit in Japan last year.
This July, the famed director said in an NHK interview that he tries not to let his tough work schedule affect his health, despite the fact that he’s so busy each day. Miyazaki also added that every time he works on a full-length film, he approaches it as if it were to be his last.
Though many will surely be sad to learn of Miyazaki’s withdrawal from directing, he’s certainly produced a significant and esteemed filmography. Even if the director never makes another film, he’s already created a legacy that anyone would be very proud of.
Here’s to a relaxing and healthy retirement. You’ve certainly earned it, sir!