Manga master Hayao Miyazaki announces The Wind Rises will be his last film

PUBLISHED : Monday, 02 September, 2013, 12:00am
UPDATED : Friday, 06 September, 2013, 7:41pm

Japan's Hayao Miyazaki, a director of feature-length animations and manga artist who has been compared to Walt Disney, is retiring after a five-decade career, the head of his production company said yesterday.

"Miyazaki has decided that Kaze Tachinu will be his last film and he will now retire," Koji Hoshino, head of Studio Ghibli, which was co-founded by Miyazaki, said at the Venice Film Festival.

The film, entitled The Wind Rises in English, is Miyazaki's first in five years. It tells the story of a fighter plane designer and is one of 20 movies competing for the Golden Lion award at the festival on the floating city's Lido island. Hoshino said Miyazaki would hold a press briefing in Tokyo.

The 72-year-old Miyazaki, pictured above at the Venice Film Festival in 2008, has won hearts and accolades around the world in a career that began in the 1960s, blazing a trail for the genre of Japanese cartoons known as "anime". His most famous works internationally have been Princess Mononoke, pictured bottom left, and Spirited Away, bottom right. The latter won an Oscar for best animated feature, the first Japanese film to do so.

His latest and final work, The Wind Rises, carries a subtle anti-war message, reflecting Miyazaki's pacifist views, and has drawn criticism from Japan's vocal right-wing activists.

It centres around the life of Jiro Horikoshi, a fighter jet designer during the second world war, who as a child dreamed of becoming a pilot and went on to design the Mitsubishi long-range A6M fighter aircraft.

"This is the first of Miyazaki's films that has as its protagonist a real historical figure," Hoshino said.

Agence France-Presse