Author says 'The Wind Rises' is full of lies

By Casey Baseel

In listening to people talk about anime director Hayao Miyazaki, there’s a collection of words you’ll hear over and over. Genius. Visionary. Legend.

So it was a little surprising to hear the man behind one of Japan’s most popular films from the last year instead voice his suspicions that Miyazaki isn’t quite right in the head.

After two decades of writing for television, Naoki Hyakuta scored a hit with his debut novel, 2006’s "The Eternal Zero." The fictional tale focuses on a pair of siblings in modern-day Japan who’re searching for information about their late grandfather, a kamikaze pilot who died in World War II despite continually telling his comrades that he wanted to return home alive.

The sacrifice and patriotism in "The Eternal Zero" struck a chord with enough readers to make the novel a huge hit, and it was adapted into a film that opened at the tail-end of last year and went on to be a huge box office success.

An upcoming "Eternal Zero" TV miniseries is further testament to the franchise’s many fans. Miyazaki, however, isn’t one of them. In an interview published before the "Eternal Zero" movie opened, the Studio Ghibli co-founder, generally not one to mince words, made the following comment:

“They’re making a movie about the Zero, now. The script is based on a piece of historical military fiction that’s full of lies, though…They’re just trying to continue fabricating legends about the Zero.”

Given Miyazaki’s numerous anti-war statements, it’s a safe bet that he was taking issue with what he felt was the "The Eternal Zero’s" glorification of Japan’s role in World War II.

Hyakuta was quick to respond that his intentions were nothing of the sort. In addition to taking to Twitter to defend himself, the author appeared on an episode of TV Osaka’s "Takajin no Money Black" talk show. After reiterating his stance of being “thoroughly opposed to war and kamikaze attacks,” Hyakuta went on to specifically address his quarrel with Miyazaki.

“Miyazaki hasn’t read my book, or seen the movie based on it, you know?” the author claimed. “That guy,” Hyakuta’s continued, pointing to his head before being cut off by a censor’s bleep, “I wonder if he’s all right in the-.”

Following that jab, Hyakuta decided to finish up his one-two combination by taking a shot straight at Miyazaki’s own Zero-inspired work. The director’s final theatrical anime, 2013’s "The Wind Rises," is adapted from a manga drawn by Miyazaki that combines elements of an unrelated and fictional 1930s novel with almost the exact same name, historical events from the life of Zero designer Jiro Horikoshi, and Miyazaki’s own ideas and symbolism.

Hyakuta’s take on that mix of reality and fiction? “'The Wind Rises' is full of lies.”

Since it’s hard to discuss war without also discussing politics, Hyakuta also offered a succinct summary of his personal leanings. “I’m just a simple patriot,” he asserted. “Who I hate are people with anti-Japanese or traitorous sentiments.”

And, we’re guessing, people named Hayao Miyazaki, too.

Source: Yahoo! Japan

Read more stories from RocketNews24. -- Survey: 96% of Japanese moviegoers have watched a Hayao Miyazaki film -- Studio Ghibli’s Hayao Miyazaki to retire from filmmaking -- Studio Ghibli is not Studio Goro – Hayao Miyazaki’s son denies being his father’s successor

© RocketNews24

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Anime can be a great medium ffor misrepresenting to new generations what took place before and during the war. Most thinking people recognize this. And the Chinese and Koreans can play this game too!

-7 ( +3 / -10 )

This right wing hack will have a very short self life. He is the liar.

5 ( +9 / -4 )

The majority seem so obsessed with anything that can be construed as "anti-Japanese". It seems to be on the increase, and I'm honestly getting so sick of seeing people start frothing at the mouth anytime someone makes a vaguely critical comment about Japan or (especially) it's wartime past.

5 ( +11 / -6 )

To be able to criticize your own country is the very essence of "freedom." All countries make mistakes - mine and yours and everyone else's. The people who refuse to admit that - or who attack others for admitting that - are historically the people who cause, support, and allow the bigger problems in the world.

14 ( +18 / -4 )

I have seen the movie, it is very nice, but there's absolutely no doubt whatsoever it glorifies the kamikaze concept in an extreme manner. I was kind of surprised they had the balls to release a film this blatant in the current climate, it works very well as a story, but it is a farce. An authentic film on this topic showing the forced drugs, pressuring, general apathy towards living would be very hard to sit through. The vague ending is somewhat redeeming, but it's very obvious which of the two outcomes the director feel is canon.

8 ( +9 / -1 )

Most "true stories" are full of lies and some have won Oscars.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

I haven't seen Eternal 0, but Wind Rises is a war porn smoking commercial. Too bad that was Miyazaki's swan song.

-7 ( +3 / -10 )

This is kinda funny & sad, I mean who would have thunk a country that cant even slightly admit its own role in WWII etc that white washes history for decades would result in this kind of "thinking" well doh!!!

I for one am not surprised by whats happening in Japan the last couple decades, but it IS sad & entirely avoidable, but alas here we are watching Japan slide back to the past! If it gains enough momentum watch out, the masses WONT be able to stop it, just like in the past!

-4 ( +1 / -5 )

“I’m just a simple patriot,” he asserted. “Who I hate are people with anti-Japanese or traitorous sentiments.”

Well, there's a difference between 'simple patriotism' and outright insane nationalism, and Hyakuta is a bigot who falls into the latter, unfortunately. It's HIM that's not right in the head, plain and simple, for he does indeed glorify war, and it's his crap writing that is full of lies and that moves people here because, as usual, it makes Japan ever-the-victim.

In any case, Hyakuta can enjoy his limited fame in Japan and NOWHERE else, while Miyazaki, for good reason, still enjoys and will always be legend around the world. Says a lot about personal politics, doesn't it?

5 ( +11 / -6 )

There have been a long succession of movies that glorify the Zero pilots. They or at least their letters are enshrined at Chiran and other places from which they set off, and prime minister Koizumi named a collection of the letters as his favourite book. I must say that they make great reading. http://www.geocities.jp/kamikazes_site_e/isyo.html http://muse.jhu.edu/login?auth=0&type=summary&url=/journals/manoa/v013/13.1voge.html My keyboard gets wet.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

After watching "The Wind Rises", one of the first things I did was google more about it and, to my surprise, almost none of the storyline is based on fact outside of general names and setting.

For example, one of the main drama points involved a sickly (and possibly dying) wife. In fact, his wife remained perfectly healthy for a long time and gave him two sons.

Additionally, Miyazaki's portrayal of Jiro was anti-war or kind of troubled about what he had created where in reality he was very proud of his contributions as an engineer and how they were an asset to Japanese military power.


1 ( +3 / -2 )

If you want to see a real Zero, go to Yasukuni Shrine, where one is proudly on display.

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

I don't go to either of these guys for a history lesson and no one should watch a two hour movie and feel they're now well informed about a complicated person or a period of time.

Go to movies for entertainment and read to be informed, but before you believe what you see or read, know the sources.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Yawn... Japan sliding back to militarism... yawn.... Every country on the planet makes movies and TV series about their wartime past... including Germany. Or are only the victors permitted to make war movies?

"Oh but they don't glorify it!" Some of them do hero worship the Wehrmacht... not the SS, but I've seen a few that show the average German soldier in the same light as we would show a Tommy or Yank. German war movies range from the "Green Beret" type nonsense through to "Platoon" type war horrors. When all's said and done these films are entertainment... they aren't some kind of extreme right propaganda or intended to brainwash the people viewing them. At least credit the audience with some intelligence.

As for the Zero... there's one in the Tokyo science museum too. Very impressive. Not as impressive as a Spitfire, Hurricane or Lancaster... but still.

I have the Wind also Rises on DVD... just haven't watched it yet.

-3 ( +2 / -5 )

Timtak - thanks for the link. As you said - makes great reading.

But for me the "greatness" was the disturbing (to me) manner in which they believed in the the Divinity of the Emperor, and the notion that their death was for a glory greater than their own insignificance.

Their heartrendering notes of filial devotion are indeed admirable, but the needlessness and emptiness of their deaths wrings no tears from me, rather a furthering of the hate of war pigs who sent them to their untimely demise.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

I saw Eternal 0, and thought it had a strong anti-war message.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

“Who I hate are people with anti-Japanese or traitorous sentiments.”

In other words, anyone whose opinions different from yours.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Hyakuta’s take on that mix of reality and fiction? “‘The Wind Rises’ is full of lies.”

I doubt Miyazaki intended to produce a historically correct documentary. He wanted to raise awareness of the Zero machine, the people who designed it and why and its influence in the Pacific War.

“I’m just a simple patriot,” he asserted. “Who I hate are people with anti-Japanese or traitorous sentiments.”

Very strong language, especially the term 'traitorous'.

And, we’re guessing, people named Hayao Miyazaki, too.

We guessing, Casey Baseel, who are you guessing for? Just yourself or do you have a larger mandate? Don't trump up assumptions, come up with positive proof, don't defame Miyazaki without that.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Fiction: a story that is not based on a real event.

I'm unimpressed with the original author. Anything he says is immediately suspect because of his own history of questionable "truth":

Another viewer, Shinzo Abe, the prime minister, declared himself “moved” by the film. Naoki Hyakuta, the author of the best-selling novel on which it is based, is close to Mr Abe. Last year Mr Abe chose Mr Hyakuta as a governor of NHK, the public broadcaster. Mr Hyakuta’s beliefs are right-wing even for a conservative and, while campaigning for another right-winger, Toshio Tamogami, in the race for the governorship of Tokyo this month, he declared that the massacre of Chinese civilians by Japanese soldiers in Nanjing in 1937 “never happened”.


1 ( +1 / -0 )

gokai_wo_manekuNOV. 20, 2014 - 04:47PM JST If you want to see a real Zero, go to Yasukuni Shrine, where one is proudly on display.

Or just turn on the evening news and something about Abe is sure to turn up.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Miyazaki and Hyakuta are both story-tellers with very different ideologies. Of course they won't like the way the other tells a story about the war. I find it sad they must call each other liars when they have both produced works of fiction.

Pro-war and anti-war, patriotism and criticism, well isn't that what the war was? Many human beings, many voices drowned together in conflict: people proud of Imperial Japan and proud of uniforms, people who were not; people afraid, people with secret regrets and dashed dreams; people who longed for victory and people who just wanted peace and quiet... all going through the same cataclysmic events.

So both Eternal Zero and Wind Rises have their place. To say you must tell stories only through a pro-Japan lens, or only through an anti-war lens, is to limit the storyteller.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

I refuse to get worked from a story on "Rocket News" that was on Yahoo Japan. I'd might as well get upset reading the "Three Little Pigs". Both are as close to reality. But in any case, yes Abe is the real Zero.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

I watched this title movie. It is Junichi Okada ftomV6 to have played a chief character. And Mao Inoue played his wife. This movie is very very very sad. But I think it is great movie in Japan. I want to people all of the world to watch this movie. It was touched by the figure which he was going to survive for a beloved family.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

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