Hayao Miyazaki, 宮崎 駿
Researching on Hayao Miyazaki’s films, ‘Nausicaa, of the Valley of the Wind’ and “Princess Mononoke”, the Director himself, the theme and messages conveyed through his films which will serves as a fundamental reference to the theme I am working on.
Hayao Miyazaki born in BunKyou, Japan on 5 January, 1941. He is a manga artist and an outstanding film and anime director. Having experienced the World War II and watching his father making the rudders for the fighter planes, he developed a fascination with aviation and the grievous impact of the war, which left a deep lifelong impression in him. Miyazaki’s works create an enchanting fantasies and thought-provoking scenarios, addressing on issues such as environmentalism, pacifism, feminism, totalitarianism, vicissitudes of self-development, humanity relationship to nature and technology. A number of western authors such as Ursula K. Le Guin, Lewis Carrol, Diana Wynne Jones, Jean Giraud, Antoine de Saint-Exupery and Roald Dahl have influenced him greatly in his works.
Ghibli Studio Inc, was founded in June 1985, by directors, Hayao Miyazaki and Isao Takahata and producer, Toshio Suzuki, after the success of “Nausicaa”, written and directed by Miyazaki. The studio situated at Koganei, was designed by Miyazaki himself, from the blue print, to arranging meetings and choice of materials for the construction. The studio itself reflects on Miyazaki’s environmental perspective. The design of a deliberate small car park and prominent bicycle parking facilities. Abundant of indoor greenery and a garden roof where weeds are allowed to grow freely. Encourages his staff to take breaks to save energy. In October 2001, Miyazaki again designed the Ghibli Museum which was built at Mitaka Inokashira Park. The museum enable visitors to step into an enchanting and tantalizing world just like his films and with a gigantic garden roof, which apply his policy on weeds. The museum has no formal route. It encourages the visitors to relish its space from the heart, a motto of his, “let’s lose our way together”.
Nausicaa, of the Valley of the Wind
This film was released in Japan on 4 March 1984 and was presented by WWF (World Wide Fund for nature). The film started from after one thousand years later, the Earth ecosystem and Civilisation was destroyed by the apocalyptic war, “The Seven Day of Fire”. Poisonous gases, noxious fungus, and rotwood infested the jungle and spreading widely across the world. The main of life that is unaffected by the contamination are the large insects, especially Ohmu. This film revolves around the relationship between the insects, habitat and among different human communities.
The human is being portrayed as characters that dominate the environment by venting their discord and vengefulness to attain the purpose of their objective through power, technology and all possible means. “We are capable of acquiring knowledge and using it to control matters relating to natural depletion.” The main character, Nausicaa, is standing on the opposite side, who opposed to the attainment of tyrannical control of the environment, seeking instead to achieve understanding and possibility of peaceful alliances with the nature.
The Nature in this film is being depicted as deadly to the human due to the poisonous fumes and fungus, and the large insects that dominate the forest . But it was discovered by Nausicaa that deep beneath forest, the plants are actually purifying the soil and water by absorbing the toxins. The forest is toxic due to the fact that the soil and water is tainted by man.
What inspired Miyazaki’s imagination to create Nausicaa was due to the Pollution of Mercury at Minamata Bay. The fishes are left untouched as they are inedible. They adjusted to the contaminated environment by learning how to absorb the poison and indefatigably continued to reproduce. The phenomenon of natural resilience is different from human strategies, as what Miyazaki commented,” The Nature of Nausicaa’s world has absorbed the poison man created and is adapting to it and getting on with the business of living….The technology of human world is clumsy by comparison, driven by expediency and availability rather than planning and innovation…”
Nausicaa’s ending does not delivery definite guarantees of peace and harmony for the future generations of humans and nature but hints at the trials that future holds and amplify the pervasive sense of darkness that dominates the main body of the film. It invites the viewers to ponder on how people may live together and raises individuals’ awareness by means of their own actions. The director remarked, ” It’s not like we can coexist with Nature as long as we live humbly, and we destroy it because we became greedy. When we recognize that even living humbly destroys Nature, we don’t know what to do. And I think that unless we put ourselves in the place where we don’t know what to do and start from there, we cannot think about environmental issues.”
The Anime Art of Hayao Miyazaki, Dani Cavallaro published by McFarland & Company, Inc.