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Miyazaki's new film sounds a warning for Japan

By Elaine Lies

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History repeats is the lesson that History teaches.....

4 ( +8 / -4 )

Masturbatory nonsense... and of course there is the right-wing masturbatory counter reaction to this.

An online article about the film was bombarded with nearly 3,000 comments, from disappointment at Miyazaki’s “intrusion” into politics, to those calling him a traitor.

-13 ( +0 / -13 )

I saw the movie yesterday.

It was very beautiful.

7 ( +10 / -3 )

It is SO telling that some nutbags would call Miyazaki a 'traitor' for not standing behind a Prime Minister -- grandson of a war criminal -- who wants to scrap a constitution which calls for peace.

11 ( +18 / -7 )

“This movie is nothing more than a hymn to the Zero,”

You cannot avoid people to think about it considering the rise of nationalism pledged by Abe and the timing (probably just coincidental btw). I read somewhere somebody who already wrote : "how will feel the Japanese audience about an anime on the sentimental life of the A-bomb inventor" ? The message sent by this anime is not very clear and might play against Miyazaki's intention.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

How long does it take for a movie like this from the idea until it hits the screen? And how many "prime" ministers have been in office since then? But of course you still could argue that Miyazaki wanted to show the parallels between the time after the earthquake now and than is getting rather afraid now that his fears have already become reality to some part.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

You cannot avoid people to think about it considering the rise of nationalism pledged by Abe and the timing (probably just coincidental btw). I read somewhere somebody who already wrote : "how will feel the Japanese audience about an anime on the sentimental life of the A-bomb inventor" ? The message sent by this anime is not very clear and might play against Miyazaki's intention.

I'm not sure how anyone can possibly watch this movie and not see it as anti-war.

7 ( +7 / -0 )

There's an old saying which goes "that was then, this is now". The period in which we live now is not even remotely similar to the Japan of the 20''s and 30's. Those were the days of empires and colonialism, and when Japan was very much a two-class society where a scant few controlled a great many, and owned most of the land. Those were also the days of eugenics, which was a widely-believed "science", and which had a lot to so with the promotion of racial identity/superiority, and which was one of the basic premises of nationalism.

Those were also the days of invention of terrible weapons of war, the consequences of which the people of the age were not fully aware of. Had the Japanese knew the full capability of long-range bombers, machine guns which fire 600 rounds per minute, or fist size bombs which could vaporize another human being in the blink of an eye, and that these weapons could be used against themselves, perhaps they would have more carefully considered their actions.

The days of empire and eugenics are over, and we know very well what weapons of war (which now are far more terrible) are capable of. There will be no second rise of a Japanese empire. The sun is setting, and will not rise again for another age, if ever.

-1 ( +4 / -5 )

Making comments about this movie without having seen it is a waste of time.

Go and see it.

It's beautiful.

Joe Hisaishi's music is gorgeous.

There is not just one, but several messages in this movie.

It's more of a personal statement than anything else.

Trying to tie it to Abe is a bit nonsensical as this cartoon has been several years in the making.

3 ( +5 / -2 )

Bertie: Ultimately what you take from it is most important, be it good or bad.

"Trying to tie it to Abe is a bit nonsensical as this cartoon has been several years in the making."

Not nonsensical by any means. For one thing, the essay this article talks about, by Miyazaki, was written mid-July. For another it's not Abe's first time in power, nor his first attempts at altering the constitution. Thirdly, Abe is a symbol of a dangerous political trend -- hence the comparisons between the time the movie is set in, and with the essay.

0 ( +5 / -5 )

I saw it on Sunday. It didn't grab me. It was a strangely monotonous experience. One thing I don't like is all the smoking.

Filmmaker Hayao Miyazaki was one of the first public figures to start a cigarette fund, and sent over nearly 1000 boxes to smokers in Tohoku. A case-hardened smoker himself, Miyazaki said in a TV interview that in times like these, nicotine is a source of nourishment, and that it was folly to apply normal health standards to those under severe strain. Did the ¥700-per-pack bit of news cause him to spit on the floor of Studio Ghibli? One sincerely hopes so.


-5 ( +1 / -6 )

Master M may be a decent film maker and example of an early anime developer but the world has moved on from both his 1960s liberalist views and his style of story telling. His films are pretty one dimensional, and lack much of the depth of younger and more developed Anime Directors. His artistic flair remains very good. His comments on history are innacurate however but it is undestandable. His is NOT the role to lecture the people faced with the real risks and challenges of leading the country. They know very well the dangers involved in both overly asserting Japan's hegonomy and forgetting to remember it. I am sure that Abe and the other leaders dont mind the nudging much and wish Master M well with his films. The Zero succeeded by the way because it has Zero armour protection, hence it was very light and fast compared to the planes of its era..but once the American designers captured a Zero after the raids on Alaska when it crashed on a beach, they were quickly able to design planes to over match it almost immeidately It had been a risk and it paid off for a while but only for a while.

-7 ( +2 / -9 )

Whether you agree with Miyazaki's message or not, he succeeded in making people think and discuss on the subject. Everyone has different opinions, but it's really important that we listen to one another and keep the dialogue open.

3 ( +4 / -1 )


"All the smoking" whether you agree with it or not, is historical realism.

People smoked then. A lot. There were ashtrays everywhere.

Miyazaki pays close attention to detail. The sound of people walking across the wooden floor of the Manpei Hotel in Karuizawa, for example.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

I love the way this article ends with a quote from a random housewife!

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Similarities...gimme a break!! So people seriously think that Japan can afford to go on war??? No way! And China is not same as it used to be!! If Japan and China could afford war then we would have already been in middle since the senkaku problem arose!! Its a nice animation with real story mixed with animation.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

History repeats itself, but it never repeats itself the same way twice. Like a time changing fractal design.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

CrisGerSan what is the point of making movies. You may into watching pointless movies but many people have been moved by the movies which Miyazaki has made. This movie is all so much more poignant because many of us have never experienced the horrors of war. The story which he is telling is that through innovation can choose it's future but it depends on how that innovation is used.

He also knows that history does repeat again. It was Germany who was defeated not once but twice and one wonders if it will take two turns for Japan to learn the same lesson. It was the Showa Emperor who stated that the snows may cover the trees cold and deep and that the time for spring to come may be long. I hope he is wrong and that the spring of war which came in June 1942 never comes again.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

War is human nature. Sometimes even if you try to avoid it, it finds you regardless. If China is preparing itself for war then Japan must also prepare itself. The only way out if for each country to reflect upon the price of war. Miyazaki does exactly this and he should be honored. It is also up to China and Korea to go through the same self evaluation. If China and Korea do not seek reason themselves, then regardless of what Japan does, war will become reality.

Old men with nothing to lose start wars, young man with everything to lose pays with their lives.

4 ( +4 / -1 )

I agree with most of the more positive comments based on readers ratings. It is also an inevitability that is far easier to be bad then good. I also will only make one additional comment. Governments wage war not people! People argue, people fight; sometimes even to the death, but never do people have death tolls in the millions. Mark one thing; Japan is a small Island nation, China is not, and North Korea is nothing more than an insane regime of overfed top echelon military that saber rattle to play up to the Wolds stage, while the rest of its population starves! How can you not be concerned? How can you not do all in your power to posture yourself? The meek will not inherit the earth, at least not now. While Miyazaki’s films are the most stunning and earnest and beautiful, all of which I own all have a central theme, and all send clear messages of humanity, and thoughtfulness. I am afraid it is regrettably just his wish, and we can only aspire to learn from this! However governments start wars, people only pay the price for them. We are people, and even in the most democratic of nations people are thrust into situations they cannot control, and that failure is in war!

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Murdering innocent people is never glorious thing. War is meaningless. I want to believe this movie's theme is pacifism.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

@crisgirsan Most people who warn their fellow humans that others do not are all artists. Nobody listens to the artist and takes them for a fool. You sir are not in a posistion to tell anyone for what they are and qaulified to do. There is no degree for common sense.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

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