The Life of Hayao Miyazaki

This evening, I watched Never Ending Man, a documentary following Hayao Miyazaki, the famed founder, writer and director of Japan’s Studio Ghibli. It was a fascinating watch, as Miyazaki is, himself, a fascinating man. He wears a white apron in nearly every shot of the film, at home and in the studio, and there’s more often than not a cigarette hanging lazily from his mouth, tucked into his top lip and wobbling as he talks.

The films starts with Miyazaki’s announcement to the press that he will be retiring from the movie industry – only to see him quickly return to work on a short film, then hint at the launching a feature film near the end.

There were several quotes from Miyazaki that stuck out to me… I want to share them here.


“Self satisfied people are boring. We have to push hard to surpass ourselves.”

“I’ve got things I want to do, but don’t feel I can. I want to create something extraordinary. I just don’t know if I can do it.”

“You’re drawing people, not characters.”

“I don’t like the word ‘challenge.’ I just trudge along. Forward, always forward.”

“I just sketch anything that catches my attention.”

“All important things in the world are a hassle.”

“When I’m tired, my pencil escapes.”

“What a bustling world, full of strange wonder!”

“If we’d tried to please, we’d be long forgotten.”

Hayao Miyazaki was born January 5, 1941, in Tokyo, Japan. He just turned 80, and is about halfway through the making of what he says will be his final feature film. He is making it for his grandson.

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