Hayao Miyazaki was born on 5 January 1941, in Bunkyo, Tokyo, Japan, and is a manga artist, film director, screenwriter, author, animator, and producer, probably best known for co-founding the film animation company Studio Ghibli. He’s worked on numerous anime feature films with the company in a career that now spans five decades. All of his efforts have helped put his net worth to where it is today.
How rich is Hayao Miyazaki? As of mid-2016, sources estimate a net worth that is at $50 million, mostly earned through a successful career in animation. He’s worked for big companies, and has been responsible for creating some of the most successful animations from Japan. He’s also won numerous awards, and all of these efforts have ensured the position of his wealth.
Hayao Miyazaki Net Worth $50 million
As a child, Miyazaki experienced a bit of World War II as his father created airplane parts for Japanese war planes. They had to flee his hometown to live outside targeted war zones, and because of their business the family could live comfortably. He attended Omiya Junior High, but even before that had already aspired to create manga – he actually destroyed a lot of his early work because he believed that copying other artists was hindering his own development. He then attended Toyotama High School, and became interested in animation after viewing “The Tale of the White Serpent”, and learned how to become a better animator and manga artist. After matriculating, he attended Gakushuin University, graduating with a degree in political science and economics during 1963.
Hayao soon found work at Toei Animation as an in-between artist; he worked on “Watchdog Bow Wow” but really found recognition after helping create “Gulliver’s Travels Beyond the Moon”. He then became the chief animator for “Hols: Prince of the Sun”, and later helped create “Puss in Boots”; the character, with Miyazaki’s help would eventually become the studio mascot. He would then have a hand in creating “Flying Phantom Ship”, “Animal Treasure Island”, and “Ali Baba and the Forty Thieves”, all of which helped his net worth to rise. In 1971, he left Toei and went to A Pro, co-directing the first “Lupin III” series. He then created “Panda! Go, Panda!” shorts along with Isao Takahata, then the two would move to Zuiyo Eizo and would work on various projects including “Future Boy Conan” and “The Incredible Tide”.
After leaving Nippon Animation in 1979, he directed his first feature anime film entitled “The Castle of Cagliostro” which was a “Lupin III” film. After creating “Sherlock Hound”, he would then work on “Nausicaa of the Valley of the Wind” which also had a manga series of the same name. Miyazaki would start to explore more concepts and themes including human interaction, then in 1985, he along with a few others would found Studio Ghibli and create the first film entitled “Laputa: Castle in the Sky”. He then helped create the hit “My Neighbor Totoro” which is a story about two girls and their interaction with forest spirits. He subsequently worked on “Kiki’s Delivery Service” and “Porco Rosso” which was released in 1992, which marked a different style from what people had known from Miyazaki. In 1995, he worked on “Princess Mononoke” and would later create the company’s biggest success entitled “Spirited Away”, a film about a girl who is forced to live in a spirit world; it is considered the most successful and highest grossing Japanese animated film, and earned numerous awards including an Academy Award.
In 2004, Miyazaki came out of retirement to complete “Howl’s Moving Castle”. He would get several lifetime achievement awards while working on animation projects such as “Shuna no Tabi”, but he continued making numerous films for Studio Ghibli including “Gake no ue no Ponyo”, “The Secret World of Arrietty” and “The Wind Rises”. Eventually in 2013, it was reported that Miyazaki was retiring from making full length animated films, but he is still involved with the company.
For his personal life, it is known that Miyazaki married Akemi Ota in 1965 and they have two sons. One of his sons would become an animator as well, and the two have collaborated on several projects.
According to animator, Yasuo Ôtsuka, who mentored both Miyazaki and Isao Takahata, Miyazaki got his sense of social responsibility from Takahata and with out him Miyazaki would probably just be interested in comic book material.
He frequents collaborates with writer-director Isao Takahata.
He co-founded Japanese anime company Studio Ghibli.
Is considered to be one of the greatest animators of all time, held in the same rank as Walt Disney and Ralph Bakshi.
Worked from 11am to 9pm every day and only took Sundays off, not Saturdays or holidays.
Kept a photo journal documenting how the 2008 financial crisis affected his town.
Got the name for Studio Ghibli from an airplane, the Italian Caproni Ca.309, whose nickname was Ghibli.
Russian animator Yuriy Norshteyn is Miyazaki's friend and praised by him as "a great artist." Norshteyn's "Yozhik v tumane" (1975)_ is one of Miyazaki's favourite animated films.
Miyazaki has had a somewhat uneasy relationship with Osamu Tezuka. Miyazaki honors Tezuka as among the creative artists who inspired him to become an animator, but stated that he felt humiliated when one day someone compared his style to Tezuka's; he felt he had to develop his own style apart from Tezuka's. He had also become increasingly critical of Tezuka's role in the development of anime in Japan and he criticized other animators for the reverential treatment, to the point of worship, given towards Tezuka.
His favourite novels are Ursula K. Le Guin's "Earthsea" series, and he keeps her books at his bedside.
Miyazaki and French writer and illustrator Jean Giraud (a.k.a. Moebius) have influenced each other and had become friends as a result of their mutual admiration. Moebius named his daughter Nausicaa after Miyazaki's heroine.
Miyazaki illustrated the Japanese covers of Antoine de Saint-Exupéry's novels "Night Flight" and "Wind, Sand and Stars" when they were published and released in Japan; he also wrote an afterword for "Wind, Sand and Stars".
Miyazaki claims that he does not believe young manga artists should imitate the work of their predecessors. In his opinion, influence is supposed to drive the medium forward; and although Miyazaki markets his own name brand well, he is nevertheless also critical of the godlike status bestowed on himself. He sees such praise as stifling instead of encouraging the exploration of creativity and the development of a personal style in younger artists.
Preparing Studio Ghibli for two new feature film productions. [December 2008]
He and animator Isao Takahata had wanted to do an animated version of Astrid Lindgren's Pippi Longstocking. This dated back to 1971, when Miyazaki and Takahata prepared to do an animated film called "Pippi Longstocking, the Strongest Girl in the World" ("Nagakutsushita no Pippi, Sekai-ichi Tsuyoi no Onna no Ko"). They traveled to Sweden and not only did extensive research (he scouted the area of Visby in Gottland, where Pippi Longstocking (1969) was filmed), but met Lindgren in person to discuss the project with her. After their meeting with Lindgren, their permission to complete the project was denied and the project was canceled. Among what remains of the project are beautiful watercolored storyboards by Miyazaki himself. Since then, Miyazaki based many of his young heroines on Pippi Longstocking, especially Mimiko in Panda! Go Panda! (1972).
Refused to attend 2002 Academy Awards out of protest over the American invasion of Iraq.
For a long time many of his films were not available in America following the original poor English language version of Nausicaä of the Valley of the Wind (1984), which cut roughly 20 to 30 minutes of time, changed character names and diluted the film's themes. Miyazaki was so upset over this poor handling that he refused to give the distribution rights to anyone who did not agree to follow a more strict translation of the Japanese dialogue and not remove any scenes. Walt Disney Studios eventually agreed to these terms and have been steadily releasing his films ever since, including a new English language version of Nausicaä that restores the lost footage and plays at its proper length. Miyazaki has stated he is very pleased and impressed with Disney's handling and dubbing of his films.
In 1985, along with friend and fellow animator Isao Takahata, founded Studio Ghibli.
He is sometimes called the "Walt Disney of Japan", but he hates that title.
Strong female characters
[gorging on food] Sometimes shows a character or a group of characters gorging on a meal.
Often features a pig or an animal related to a pig in his films
Many of his films criticize the use of violence as a means to an end while promoting peaceful reconciliation with one's enemies.
Female protagonists often become part of residences which are monumentally dirty in some respect and need their skills to clean it. (Howl's moving castle by Sophie in Hauru no ugoku shiro; The large bath in Yubaba's bathhouse by Chihiro/Sen in Sen to Chihiro no kamikakushi; The pirate's kitchen by Sheeta in Tenkû no shiro Rapyuta.)
Films often feature incredibly complex machines maintained by strange male characters. (The pirate's airship by the old man in Tenkû no shiro Rapyuta; The bathhouse boiler room by Kamaji in Sen to Chihiro no kamikakushi; Howl's moving castle by Calcifer in Hauru no ugoku shiro.)
Often sets his films in Japanese-influenced versions of European cities
[Aliases] Main characters often have an alias, like "Princess Mononoke"or "Porco Rosso" and are seldomly referred to their real names.
[Labour] Films involve scenes with labour or hommages to working class people and children or women helping out (esp. in "Spirited Away" and"Mononoke").
Usually includes scenes or stills during the closing titles that let the viewer see what happened to the characters after the events described in the movie.
Films often have two main characters (male and female) one of which is magical or has an unusual past.
Films often involve human protaganists entering a strange land that are forbidden or otherwise inaccessible (ie: the floating islands of Castle in the Sky, the forests in Princess Mononoke, the spirit land in Spirited Away).
Frequently makes references to nature, ecology and pollution in his films (Ponyo, My Neighbor Totoro, Nausicaä, Princess Mononoke, and Spirited Away).
Frequently uses music by Jô Hisaishi
Frequently includes scenes or sequences in which characters fly
His films usually focus on young protagonists or have children that play key roles in the plot.
You see, what drives animation is the will of the characters.
To choose one thing means to give up on another. That's inevitable.
The world isn't simple enough to explain in words.
I have learned to accept the fact that I can be useful only in an area in my immediate proximity--say within a 30-meter radius, or 100 meters at most, in a manner of speaking. I've got to accept my own limitations. In the past, I used to feel obliged to do something for the world or humanity. But I have changed a lot over the years. There was a time when I dabbled in the socialist movement, but I must say I was quite naive. When I saw Mao Tse-tung's picture for the first time, I found his face revolting. But everyone told me that he was a "great, warmhearted man," so I tried to think it was just a bad picture. I should have trusted my own gut feeling. That certainly wasn't the only time when I made a bad decision. I still am a man of many mistakes.
Last year and this year, several friends and colleagues of mine died in their 40s and 50s. Death comes to the young and old alike in no set order. It compels you to imagine that the Grim Reaper is ever lurking behind you. 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.
[When commenting on an animators work in Princess Mononoke] I think those who are into hobbies besides animation are no good after all. It's OK to have some preferences or favorite things of course, but basically only those who could be totally in absorption of what animation demands are qualified as animators. It's good to have extra knowledge about what seems interesting but if it gets as big as to forget about the job, it'd show on the paper I recognize. The animators are to dissolve frustrations only by animating the characters, or so I believe.
My process is thinking... thinking... and thinking. If you have a better way, please let me know.
[When asked if Studio Ghibli and Pixar have a rivalry] The illustrators at Pixar are all people I hold dear, we are not in competition. Our relationship is one that is based on friendship.
[pitching the proposal for Princess Mononoke (1997)] There cannot be a happy ending to the fight between the raging gods and humans. However, even in the middle of hatred and killings, there are things worth living for. A wonderful meeting, or a beautiful thing can exist. We depict hatred, but it is to depict that there are more important things. We depict a curse, to depict the joy of liberation. What we should depict is, how the boy understands the girl, and the process in which the girl opens her heart to the boy. At the end, the girl will say to the boy, "I love you, Ashitaka. But I cannot forgive humans." Smiling, the boy should say, "That is fine. Live with me."
Do everything by hand, even when using the computer.
[on the future of hand-drawn animation] I'm actually not that worried. I wouldn't give up on it completely. Once in a while there are strange, rich people who like to invest in odd things. You're going to have people in the corners of garages making cartoons to please themselves. And I'm more interested in those people than I am in big business.
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 think about the way the computer has taken over and eliminated a certain experience of life, that makes me sad. When we were animating fire some staff said they had never seen wood burning. I said, "Go watch!" It has disappeared from their daily lives. Japanese baths used to be made by burning firewood. Now you press a button. I don't think you can become an animator if you don't have any experience.
I can't believe companies distribute my movies in America. They're baffling in Japan! I'm well aware there are spots . . . where I'm going to lose the audience . . . Well, it's magic. I don't provide unnecessary explanations. If you want that, you're not going to like my movie. That's just the way it is.
[response to the otaku view of cute female lead characters as a form of wish fulfillment] It's difficult. They immediately become the subjects of rorikon gokko [play toy for Lolita Complex guys]. In a sense, if we want to depict someone who is affirmative to us, we have no choice but to make them as lovely as possible. But now, there are too many people who shamelessly depict such heroines as if they just want such girls as pets, and things are escalating more and more.
Well, yes. I believe that children's souls are the inheritors of historical memory from previous generations. It's just that as they grow older and experience the everyday world that memory sinks lower and lower. I feel I need to make a film that reaches down to that level. If I could do that I would die happy.
Personally I am very pessimistic. But when, for instance, one of my staff has a baby you can't help but bless them for a good future. Because I can't tell that child, "Oh, you shouldn't have come into this life." And yet I know the world is heading in a bad direction. So with those conflicting thoughts in mind, I think about what kind of films I should be making.
Actually I think CGI has the potential to equal or even surpass what the human hand can do. But it is far too late for me to try it.
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.
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.
[discussing CGI animation] I've told the people on my CGI staff not to be accurate, not to be true. We're making a mystery here, so make it mysterious.
[asked about his work's role in modern pop-culture] The truth is I have watched almost none of it. The only images I watch regularly come from the weather report.
When I talk about traditions, I'm not talking about temples, which we got from China anyway. There is an indigenous Japan, and elements of that are what I'm trying to capture in my work.
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'm not going to make movies that tell children, "You should despair and run away".