It’s been over a year since the Japanese release of anime legend Hayao Miyazaki’s last film, The Wind Rises. A highly personal film which serves as a powerful closing statement to his storied career, many had hoped it would win Miyazaki his second Oscar, only for the nod in the Best Animated Feature category go to Disney’s juggernaut (and endorser of traditional Japanese cuisine) Frozen.
That doesn’t mean the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences has no love for Miyazaki, though, as it’ll soon be bestowing an honorary lifetime achievement award upon him.
The award will be presented as part of the sixth annual Governors Awards program, in which the Academy recognizes those who’ve made continuing contributions to the world of cinema. Miyazaki is the first Japanese filmmaker to receive a lifetime achievement award from the organization since 1990, when one was given to period piece director Akira Kurosawa during the Oscar ceremony.
When informed of the Academy’s decision, Miyazaki commented with his typical humility, saying: “Honestly, I don’t think there’s any need to give awards to people who have retired, but nonetheless, it is an honor.”
▼ Besides, it’ll look nice on the shelf, surrounded by a couple of Totoro plushies.
Miyazaki famously refused to attend the 2003 Academy Award ceremony, at which his Spirited Away won Best Animated Feature, in protest of U.S. military action in Iraq. In contrast, he has expressed his intention to attend the upcoming ceremony, which is scheduled to be held November 8 in Hollywood.