Hayao Miyazaki Announces He Is Coming Out Of Retirement To Make One Last Feature Film

Hayao Miyazaki Announces He Is Coming Out Of Retirement To Make One Last Feature Film

The film he is currently working on, 'How Do You Live?' is based on a 1937 novel of the same name by Genzaburo Yoshino. It is expected to be released in 2023.

The magical world of Hayao Miyazaki has managed to capture the imagination of people far and wide through Studio Ghibli. Starting from the '80s till now, the Japanese animation film studio has brought us gems like My Neighbor Totoro, Grave of the Fireflies, Spirited Away, From Up on Poppy Hill, and When Marnie Was There among others. 

Miyazaki is one of the original co-founders of the studio along with director Isao Takahata and producer Toshio Suzuki. Five of the studio's films are among the ten highest-grossing anime feature films made in Japan. In 2013, Miyazaki worked on The Wind Rises following which he announced his retirement from feature films. But seems like he could not stay away from what he does best for too long.


The 80-year-old artist has announced that he will be coming out of retirement to work on one last feature film. This is definitely not the first time he has come out of a "retirement" since previously he had said the same in 1998 and then again in 2013. After he returned from his hiatus in 1998, he came up with the idea for what was going to be Spirited Away which came out in 2001. It went on to become the highest-grossing film in Japanese history. We can only imagine what he has in store this time.


When asked by The New York Times why he decided to come out of retirement again to make a feature film, he stated, with a grin, "Because I wanted to." In fact, he had effectively come out of retirement just a year later when he approached Suzuki and told him he wanted to make another movie. At first, he tried to talk him out of it but eventually relented and even stated, “The whole purpose of Studio Ghibli is to make Miyazaki films.” And so Studio Ghibli has decided to make a new film but neither Miyazaki nor Suzuki were willing to divulge details about what to expect.

Source: IMDb

They were however forthcoming while teasing eager fans with what the new film will be based on. They have stated that the next film will be based on a 1937 novel, How Do You Live?, by Genzaburo Yoshino. It follows the story of a 15-year-old boy named Junichi Honda, nicknamed Koperu after astronomer Nicholas Copernicus, and his uncle as the young boy learns to deal with spiritual growth, poverty, and the overall experience as human beings. A very apt theme for Miyazaki who has in the past presented themes of environmentalism, feminism, love, and family in all his films. 

The actual content can be anything and Suzuki has described it as “fantasy on a grand scale.” When asked by the interviewer, “The title of your next film is How Do You Live? Will you give us the answer?” Miyazaki responded by saying, “I am making this movie because I do not have the answer.”


In 2013, when he was asked about what he wanted to convey through his films he had stated, "Since I entered this world (of animation) after being influenced by many works of children's literature, fundamentally, I felt that what had to be at the base of our work was transmitting to children that this is a world that is worth living in." With regard to his retirement, he had said, "I want to be able to work for another 10 years. I want to continue with my work as long as I am able to drive to and from work. As one measure of how long I want to continue to work, I have settled on 10 years." The film he is currently working on, How Do You Live? is expected to be released in 2023.

Recommended for you