100 Quotes by Hayao Miyazaki

Hayao Miyazaki, a masterful animator and storyteller, conjures cinematic worlds that enchant and inspire audiences of all ages. Born in 1941 in Tokyo, Japan, Miyazaki's creative genius is the driving force behind Studio Ghibli, a studio renowned for its beautifully crafted animated films. Miyazaki's films, including "Spirited Away," "My Neighbor Totoro," and "Princess Mononoke," resonate with a blend of fantasy, ecological consciousness, and a deep understanding of the human spirit. His animations navigate complex themes, offering a visual tapestry where magical realms coexist with the challenges of reality. Through intricate character development and breathtaking landscapes, Miyazaki imparts valuable life lessons while fostering empathy and environmental awareness. His ability to capture the wonder and vulnerability of childhood, interwoven with the intricacies of adulthood, has earned him international acclaim. Miyazaki's legacy extends beyond the screen, leaving an enduring mark on both the animation industry and the hearts of those who find solace and inspiration in his captivating tales.

Hayao Miyazaki Quotes

Life is a winking light in the darkness. (Meaning)

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Is someone different at age 18 or 60? I believe one stays the same. (Quote Meaning)

You may not like what's happening, but just accept it, and let's try to live together. (Meaning)

You must see with eyes unclouded by hate. (Quote Meaning)

Whenever someone creates something with all of their heart, then that creation is given a soul. (Meaning)

The creation of a single world comes from a huge number of fragments and chaos. (Quote Meaning)

Modern life is so thin and shallow and fake. (Meaning)

In order to grow your audience, you must betray their expectations. (Quote Meaning)

We get strength and encouragement from watching children. (Meaning)

I would like to make a film to tell children it's good to be alive. (Quote Meaning)

Engineers turn dreams into reality. (Meaning)

Humans have both the urge to create and destroy. (Quote Meaning)

I get inspiration from my everyday life. (Meaning)

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Cut off a wolf's head and it still has the power to bite. (Quote Meaning)

I like underwater life.

Many of my movies have strong female leads - brave, self-sufficient girls that don't think twice about fighting for what they believe in with all their heart. They'll need a friend, or a supporter, but never a savior. Any woman is just as capable of being a hero as any man.

I’ve become skeptical of the unwritten rule that just because a boy and girl appear in the same feature, a romance must ensue. Rather, I want to portray a slightly different relationship, one where they two mutually inspire each other to live– if I’ m able to, then perhaps I’ll be closer to portraying a true expression of love.

Reality is for people that lack imagination.

Always believe in yourself. Do this and no matter where you are, you will have nothing to fear.

When you watch the subtitled version you are probably missing just as many things. There is a layer and a nuance you're not going to get. Film crosses so many borders these days. Of course it is going to be distorted.

I am an animator. I feel like I'm the manager of a animation cinema factory. I am not an executive. I'm rather like a foreman, like the boss of a team of craftsmen. That is the spirit of how I work.

Life is a winking light in the darkness.

It is the fate of modern life that we repeatedly lose touch with nature, the environment, the planet. But we try to regain it again and again. It's like a circle. In children's hearts and souls when they're born into the world, nature already exists deep inside them. So what I want to do in my work is tap into their souls

I believe that fantasy in the meaning of imagination is very important. We shouldn't stick too close to everyday reality but give room to the reality of the heart, of the mind, and of the imagination.

The creation of a single world comes from a huge number of fragments and chaos.

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You must see with eyes unclouded by hate. See the good in that which is evil, and the evil in that which is good. Pledge yourself to neither side, but vow instead to preserve the balance that exists between the two.

There are all kinds of values within the films but I don't make message films.

Whenever someone creates something with all of their heart, then that creation is given a soul.

I’d like to see Manhattan underwater. I’d like to see when the human population plummets and there are no more high rises, because nobody’s buying them. I’m excited about that. Money and desire—all that is going to collapse, and wild green grasses are going to take over.

I do believe in the power of story. I believe that stories have an important role to play in the formation of human beings, that they can stimulate, amaze and inspire their listeners.

In the past, humans hesitated when they took lives, even non-human lives. But society had changed, and they no longer felt that way. As humans grew stronger, I think that we became quite arrogant, losing the sorrow of 'we have no other choice.' I think that in the essence of human civilization, we have the desire to become rich without limit, by taking the lives of other creatures.

Those are shrines. Some people believe spirits live in them.

Nobody has the right to sit in judgment and decide what's good or bad for you.

In our work, the question is, how much you absorb from others. So for me, creativity, is really like a relay race. As children we are handed a baton. Rather than passing it onto the next generation as is, first we need to digest it and make it our own.

No matter how many weapons you have, no matter how great your technology might be, the world cannot live without love.

I would like to make a film to tell children "it's good to be alive".

Engineers turn dreams into reality.

Almost all Japanese animation is produced with hardly any basis taken from observing real people, you know. It's produced by humans who can't stand looking at other humans. And that's why the industry is full of otaku!

I think we should stop using nuclear power plants because it's an old system that we can't control.

It’s disgusting. On trains, the number of those people doing that strange masturbation-like gesture is multiplying.

Prizes do not mean anything to me. I think it is more important to make a child aware of the existence of a weird creature like a water spider that breathes through its backside.

We live in an age when it is cheaper to buy the rights to movies than to make them.

The characters are born from repetition, from repeatedly thinking about them. I have their outline in my head. I become the character and as the character I visit the locations of the story many, many times. Only after that I start drawing the character, but again I do it many, many times, over and over. And I only finish just before the deadline.

We each need to find our own inspiration. Sometimes it is not easy.

I wanted to convey the message to children that this life is worth living.

See with eyes unclouded by hate.

I don't like games. You're robbing the precious time of children to be children. They need to be in touch with the real world more.

We are not trying to solve the world's problems... However, even in the midst of hatred and killing, there are things worth living for. A wonderful encounter, or a thing of beauty can still exist.

To be born means being compelled to choose an era, a place, a life. To exist here, now, means to lost the possibility of being countless other potential selves.. Yet once being born there is no turning back. And I think that's exactly why the fantasy worlds of cartoon movies so strongly represent our hopes and yearnings. They illustrate a world of lost possibilities for us.

We get strength and encouragement from watching children.

Animators can only draw from their own experiences of pain and shock and emotions.

I managed to work for more than 50 years with just paper, pencils and film. My son's generation and the one coming up after can't work with just paper and pencils any more. I managed to avoid using a computer. I don't even have a cellphone. I feel lucky I managed to live like that.

It would be wonderful if I could see the end of civilization during my lifetime.

Actually I think CGI has the potential to equal or even surpass what the human hand can do.

Virtual reality is a denial of reality. We need to be open to the powers of imagination, which brings something useful to reality. Virtual reality can imprison people.

I believe nostalgia has many appearances and that it's not just the privilege of adults. I think children too can have nostalgia. It's one of mankind's most shared emotions. It's one of the things that makes us human. When you live, you lose things. It's a fact of life. So it's natural for everyone to have nostalgia.

The principle I adhere to when directing, is that I make good use of everything my staff creates. Even if they make foregrounds that don't quite fit with my backgrounds, I never waste it and try to find the best use for it.

You always have to appeal to your audience. You always have to consider how well your project will do in terms of admissions. I abandoned many stories because of that. But I don't get too down about it. It's something I accepted from the time I decided to work in films.

Do everything by hand, even when using the computer.

I intend to work until the day I die. I retired from feature-length films but not from animation. Self-indulgent animation. It's nice that I have the mini-theater in the museum. Most of the museum visitors attend the mini-theater screenings and we've never had a complaint about the quality of the films. I'd like to continue to make films that leave the audience satisfied, but I also think it's pointless unless I offer them the kind of animation they can't get anywhere else. They're fun to do. They're short so it's less stressful.

Airplanes are the most beautiful when they are in the air.

The single difference between films for children and films for adults is that in films for children, there is always the option to start again, to create a new beginning. In films for adults, there are no ways to change things. What happened, happened.

I'd like more of the world go back to being wild.

In order to grow your audience, you must betray their expectations.

What you mean by 'peace' is nothing more than the endless repetition of human folly.

The concept of portraying evil and then destroying it - I know this is considered mainstream, but I think it is rotten. This idea that whenever something evil happens someone particular can be blamed and punished for it, in life and in politics is hopeless.

I get inspiration from my everyday life.

When a man is shooting a handgun, it's just like he is shooting because that's his job, and he has no other choice. It's no good. When a girl is shooting a handgun, it's really something.

I wish I was better at art. I love some of the great artists of the 19th century and, compared to them, I just feel I lack this technique that they had. They have so much skill.

My process is thinking, thinking and thinking - thinking about my stories for a long time.

The love of weaponry is often a manifestation of infantile traits in an adult.

Cut off a wolf's head and it still has the power to bite.

You never know how a film will play, whether it will be successful or not, or whether it will touch the audience. I always said to myself that whatever happens, big audience or small, that I would not let the results have an impact on my way of working. But it would be a bit silly for me to change my methods when I have a big success. That means my methods work well.

Modern life is so thin and shallow and fake. I look forward to when developers go bankrupt, Japan gets poorer and wild grasses take over.

Is someone different at age 18 or 60? I believe one stays the same.

I think talent decides everything. More than the method, what's important is the talent using it. There's nothing inherently wrong or right about a method, whether it be pencil drawings or 3-D CG. Pencil drawings don't have to go away, but those who continue to use the medium lack talent. So sadly, it will fade away.

Since I am a person who starts work without clear knowledge of a storyline, every single scene is a pivotal scene.

Its not a story in which the characters grow up, but a story in which they draw on something already inside them, brought out by the particular circumstances. I want my young friends to live like that, and I think they, too, have such a wish.

Humans have both the urge to create and destroy.

"To have a film where there's an evil figure and a good person fights against the evil figure and everything becomes a happy ending, that's one way to make a film. But then that means you have to draw, as an animator, the evil figure. And it's not very pleasant to draw evil figures."

At the time, sword and sorcery stories were quite popular. There were female warriors waving swords around as well, but the genre is populated entirely with people who have absolutely no responsibility to anyone, so I knew my story would have to be completely different from any of these.

Children understand intuitively that the world they have been born into is not a blessed world.

We depict hatred, but it is to depict that there are more important things. We depict a curse, to depict the joy of liberation.

I think 2-D animation disappeared from Disney because they made so many uninteresting films. They became very conservative in the way they created them. It's too bad. I thought 2-D and 3-D could coexist happily.

When I start creating a villain, I start liking the villain and so the villain is not really evil.

I create women characters by watching the female staff at my studio. Half the staff are women.

Some people spend their lives interested only in themselves.

I try to dig deep into the well of my subconscious. At a certain moment in that process, the lid is opened and very different ideas and visions are liberated. With those I can start making a film. But maybe it's better that you don't open that lid completely, because if you release your subconscious it becomes really hard to live a social or family life.

When I say I get inspiration from my real life, I think of my real life as extending about 300 meters radius around me. So what I see in that area is what inspires me.

All my films are all my children.

I think it's really good for a family or children to have a dog, cat, bird or whatever to grow up with.

Maybe that's what these films are doing. They are my way of blessing the child

Plants exist in the weather and light rays that surround them - waving in the wind, shimmering in the sunlight. I am always puzzling over how to draw such things.

Rather than making that a good project, I like to make the kinds of films that children can understand in five minutes what the film is about.

I find it pointless sitting in my house not working, though I like to go on extended vacations from time to time.

In fact, I am a pessimist. But when I'm making a film, I don't want to transfer my pessimism onto children. I keep it at bay. I don't believe that adults should impose their vision of the world on children, children are very much capable of forming their own visions. There's no need to force our own visions onto them.

I'm not going to make movies that tell children, "You should despair and run away".

You always have to appeal to your audience. You always have to consider how well your project will do in terms of admissions. I abandoned many stories because of that. But I don't get too down about it. It's something I accepted from the time I decided to work in films. I could always do something else if I got sick of it, like draw manga, or make my own films. I found it pointless sitting in my house not working, though I'd like to go on extended vacations from time to time.

I don't intentionally make deep movies.

There are so many ships in the animation sea that are computer driven, that I think we can have at least one that's just a log raft that we can row by hand.

If [hand-drawn animation] is a dying craft, we can't do anything about it. Civilization moves on. Where are all the fresco painters now? Where are the landscape artists? What are they doing now? The world is changing. I have been very fortunate to be able to do the same job for 40 years. That's rare in any era.

But remember this, Japanese boy... airplanes are not tools for war. They are not for making money. Airplanes are beautiful dreams. Engineers turn dreams into reality.

I myself become terrified of death when I am in a negative state of mind. But the thought of death ceases to bother me once I become productive.

Any woman is just as capable of being a hero as any man.

I can't stand modern movies. The images are too weird and eccentric for me.

The villains are all parts of me. For years I've been wondering what it would be like if all those negative elements were forced onto the main character's side. I can understand a character with that kind of anger.

If you're going to retire, retire early.

― Hayao Miyazaki Quotes

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Tal Gur is an author, founder, and impact-driven entrepreneur at heart. After trading his daily grind for a life of his own daring design, he spent a decade pursuing 100 major life goals around the globe. His journey and most recent book, The Art of Fully Living, has led him to found Elevate Society.

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