Interviewer: What was the original idea for “Princess Mononoke”?
Miyazaki: When Japanese history is depicted in Japanese movies, it always takes place in the capital and only features samurais and people of certain classes. I found this strange. The real protagonists of history should have lived in borderlands and fields, living more abundant and profound lives. So one factor was that I wanted to make such people the main characters and uncover hidden things in places other than the capital.
Another thing is, in this era when humans are starting to question human existence, I felt that this questioning is not just a problem for adults and philosophers but is instinctively spreading among children. I felt I had to answer how I think about this issue. The main reason I made this film is that I felt Japanese children were questioning, ‘Why do I have to live?’
Interviewer: So is “Princess Mononoke” a movie for children?
Miyazaki: I was thinking of it as a movie for teenagers, but in reality, during the process of making the film, the question of whether the movie can really be made or not became a more pressing issue than for whom the movie was made. So I don’t know for whom I made it. But in reality, various people come to the theater, I hear many reactions, and the reactions of teenagers most closely match my thoughts, so I think my initial plan was correct.
Interviewer: Do you think it will be equally successful overseas?
Miyazaki: When I predict things, I always predict the worst-case scenario, so I’m not surprised no matter what happens. I’ve already made enough predictions (laughs).
Interviewer: When watching the movie, I felt that you might have been influenced by director Akira Kurosawa.
Miyazaki: I love Akira Kurosawa’s ‘Seven Samurai.’ I love it, but the Japan depicted there is not Japan. I thought it was different from Japanese history. So when I set the stage in ancient Japan, I thought I had to make my own period drama and worked hard on it. The samurais in ‘Seven Samurai’ are modeled after the Russian intelligentsia and the many laborers in Japan who were in a miserable situation after losing the war. Therefore, a history featuring such samurais and peasants does not exist in Japan. Rather, the peasants were also samurais. All peasants had weapons. But for the Japanese after the war ended, ‘Seven Samurai’ was very realistic. I thought, however, it was a mistake to bring the same model to the present day, where the 20th century is about to end, when making a movie set in Japan. But Akira Kurosawa’s work is so great that it became a curse, binding everyone and giving a strong impression that this is what Japanese history should be like. So it took me a lot of time to escape from that curse.
We Must Think More Deeply About Human Beings and Existence
Interviewer: This movie “Princess Mononoke” contains various elements both technically and content-wise. Which part was the most difficult for you as a director?
Miyazaki: That was just the story (laughs).
Interviewer: What was the source of the difficulties with the story?
Miyazaki: There’s a formula for making a story. Generally, you can make any story by fitting it to that formula and altering the flavor. I felt that for this movie, however, I could not go about it that way, which made it challenging. This impact spread throughout the whole work. For instance, normally, you would add a few more shots to express the protagonist’s feelings more clearly, but with this film, I felt that such things should not be done. Essentially, this movie is not for mentally healthy and robust individuals. For those carrying enough pain themselves, the depictions of Ashitaka and San alone should be enough to convey their suffering. Though it was only after making the film that I understood that those who are healthy and happy would not comprehend this.
Interviewer: This work seems quite different from your previous ones.
Miyazaki: In a sense, I felt as if I had unavoidably ended up here, continuing on from the works I have made up to this point.
Interviewer: For “Princess Mononoke,” which parts are fiction and which parts are based on real events?
Miyazaki: It’s true that the Japanese perception of nature drastically changed in the 15th century. But aside from that, most of it is fiction. On the other hand, they were making iron back then. There was a period when lots of iron was produced by carving into mountains and cutting down trees to make charcoal in the mountains. But there shouldn’t have been such large factories, nor would there have been women working at these iron-making sites. Mixing these fictional and non-fictional elements together to trick the audience is the real pleasure of this job.
Interviewer: What similarities do you see between the 15th century and today?
Miyazaki: It’s said that the way contemporary Japanese think and feel was formed around the 15th century. The 15th century saw a great leap industrially. In other words, with economic growth, people started to engage in more thoughtless actions without ideals.
Interviewer: So, although the setting is in the past, is this film depicting criticism towards modern Japanese society?
Miyazaki: Rather than criticizing modern Japan, I feel we need to think more deeply about the nature of human beings and our existence. That will probably end up as a criticism of how Japanese society is today. However, nothing new comes from mere criticism. I think we should aim to create a new sensibility.
Interviewer: “Princess Mononoke” gives the impression of being based on Japanese mythology.
Miyazaki: I think it’s more influenced by the story of King Gilgamesh than by Japanese mythology. Although it’s not mythology, people who were wandering in the mountains making iron were thought of as monsters by the ancient people living at the foot of the mountains and by the farmers. Various legends remain here and there about such people, stories of princesses with burns or giant men who lost their legs or hands due to work accidents. In Japan, these legends are mostly concentrated in regions where people were traveling in the mountains making iron. This had a big impact on me.
Interviewer: Were there any specific Japanese legends incorporated into the film?
Miyazaki: For example, the god Shishigami, who takes the form of a deer, is reminiscent of old dances with performers wearing antlers, and there are many giant legends like Daidarabotchi (Forest god) spread throughout Japan. I did not, however, directly use these as visual references. Instead, I felt I needed to give them a different form, assigning a different meaning to the same word, ‘Daidarabotchi.’ So, while I was influenced by these legends, I never dreamed of making a film based on mythology.
Interviewer: Are Shishigami and Kodama products of your imagination?
Miyazaki: While I put some flavor into these elements, I think there were plenty of similar things to them. Not just in Japan, but people living in forest-covered countries all had such things. I believe the Celts, one of the tribes in ancient Europe, and the Germanic tribes living in Central Europe during the Roman Empire period had them too. As human power grew stronger, however, and the darkness of the forest faded, I think these creatures turned into beings that only exist in fairy tales.
Kodama Emerged from the Eeriness and Mystery of the Forest
Interviewer: I’m intrigued by the Kodama, can you tell me more about them?
Miyazaki: I pondered on how to shape the image from a time when a forest was not just a collection of plants but also had spiritual significance. It’s not merely about having many big trees or being dim that makes a forest. It’s about the strange feeling when stepping into it, or feeling as if someone is watching from behind, or the mysterious sounds that seem to come from somewhere. When I thought about what form to give to express such “presence,” Kodama came to mind. They are entities that are visible to those who can see and invisible to those who can’t. They appear and disappear, existing beyond concepts of good and evil.
Interviewer: Mr. Miyazaki, have you ever seen or felt the presence of Kodama?
Miyazaki: I do get the sense that ‘something is in the forest’.
Interviewer: Is that the feeling of there being a living creature?
Miyazaki: Well, it’s more of a sense that ‘something is there’. Maybe it’s life? I realize this when my young son, who came into the forest with me, suddenly gets scared. In the mountain villages of Japan, there are places known as ‘mountains you must not enter’. Even men who are entirely unafraid to walk in the mountains alone are struck with tremendous fear when they enter these places. It’s not about whether it’s an animal, a bird, or a tree that causes this.
I think city dwellers also have chances to sense this something that should be called a forest. In various parts of small villages in Japan, there are small shrines. These shrines are often in such places. Shrines are built in places where it seems like something might be. So when you go there to pray, you say, ‘Please be calm,’ ‘Please do not harm humans.’ It’s not about praying for the salvation of one’s soul.
That’s why Ashitaka was also saying ‘calm down, calm down’ a lot, but the concept of ‘please be at peace’ is already at the core of the Japanese view of nature.”
Interviewer: I would like to ask you about the concept of the curse god. Why does a forest god become a curse god?
Miyazaki: One reason is the issue of ‘absurdity’. It’s the same problem as why does one person get sick and not the other. Modern medicine would explain it as ‘you were infected here’, but why was that person infected and not me is something that can’t be explained. In other words, for most people, it is unexplainable why calamities fall upon them.
Another key point in ‘Princess Mononoke’ is the theme of how to control hatred that has become uncontrollable. The task set for me was whether Ashitaka’s affection could soothe San’s hatred towards humans.
San’s hatred towards humans does not disappear. But only Ashitaka accepted that. ‘Let’s live together even so,’ Ashitaka says to San, but I guess San will continue to slash Ashitaka’s chest many times, right? [laughs] The Ashitaka who chose the path of great suffering on his own and decided to live in the most difficult place is a boy who said ‘let’s live together anyway’. In other words, he wants to save the people of the iron-making town and San also. He wants to keep the mountains alive. But he also has to make iron. This is very contemporary. We have to live as modern people. It’s tough, isn’t it? [laughs]
The people in the iron-making town are kind, but when San enters, they become extremely cruel. They surround her and try to kill her, or ridicule her. But they are ordinary people. Ashitaka sees this and does not deny all those people. There are such things, but he still tries to accept them. And Ashitaka tries to control his uncontrollable arm power. That process is the process of trying to control the hatred that explodes inside oneself. But I did not explain anything about that. The more I explain, the more false it feels, and I cannot answer the question from the children who watched this film, asking why Ashitaka can control his hatred and I cannot. But that’s exactly why I made this film.
Interviewer: Not just Lady Eboshi, but all the women in “Princess Mononoke” seem very strong. Why is that? There’s an impression that Japanese women aren’t like that.
Miyazaki: I think Japanese people believe that Japanese women have always been kind, but that’s a lie. It was only when Japan encountered America and Europe and had to modernize, men’s arbitrary economic activities were entirely acknowledged. In reality, up until a bit before that, Japanese women had quite a lot of rights and initiative.
If you look into Japan’s history, women from about 130 years ago were strong, free, generous, engaged in production, and occupied various important roles. Of course, there were few women among the national authorities, but in actual daily life, women had enough power and asserted themselves.
Interviewer: Lady Eboshi is depicted as a very revolutionary character, shaving the mountains and destroying nature. What are your thoughts on this combination?
Miyazaki: If we label the people who destroy the forest and nature as villains, low-level, barbaric people, then the problem of humanity would be much easier to solve. It’s not that. The tragedy of humanity lies in the fact that those who tried to push the best part of humanity ended up destroying nature. Therefore, I believe that if we don’t look at that, our perspective of history, no, of the Earth, becomes distorted.
In other words, it’s wrong to think that humans will be happy if the ecological problems are solved. While solving ecological problems, we have to think properly that humans are unfortunate beings. The weight of life is the same for animals, humans, and plants. Humans are part of nature, those who destroy nature, and at the same time, beings who live within the nature they have destroyed. I think we should understand and recognize this properly, and think more carefully and deeply about this issue.
Interviewer: Are San and Ashitaka contrasting entities standing on the side of nature and humans respectively?
Miyazaki: San is not representing nature, but rather, she holds anger and hatred against the acts committed by humans. In other words, she represents the doubt that humans living in the present have against humans.
In fact, San and Ashitaka are living their lives to the fullest representing the feelings of many children around us. So, the adults didn’t understand, but when Ashitaka told San to ‘live’, there were quite a lot of children who decided in their hearts to ‘live on’. I received many letters like that.
Interviewer: This movie seems to have the intention of expressing the relationship between humans and nature.
Miyazaki: Rather, I wanted to talk about human history, what humans have ended up doing.
Interviewer: The relationship between nature and humans in this movie is depicted not as a simple confrontation but as a very intricate one.
Miyazaki: Nature has a wonderful, kind, and pleasant aspect, but at the same time, it has a frightening, terrifying, cruel, and violent aspect. Civilization is trying to tame it in some way, and as a result, it is facing the crisis of destroying nature itself.
Therefore, if you don’t depict a real view of nature when talking about nature’s problems, the movie will be boring to watch. So, I wanted to depict not the trendy ecological view of nature, but the nature that humans have originally faced.
Interviewer: Do you think Japanese audiences are receiving this film as a message to the natural environment?
Miyazaki: Those who want to take it that way are probably people who decided to do so before watching the movie. I didn’t make this movie as a message about environmental issues. Rather, I intended to challenge the common understanding of environmental issues.
In other words, instead of separating the Earth’s environment and humans, I wanted to make a movie that includes whether humans can overcome the hatred that gradually increases within them, in a world that encompasses humans, other living beings, the Earth’s environment, water, and air, etc.
I Wanted to Break the Relationship Diagram of Wonderful Nature and Foolish Humans
Interviewer: At the end of the movie, the forest revives, why did you make it that way?
Miyazaki: In reality, just because humans have once destroyed nature, it doesn’t all turn into a desert. Nature also revives repeatedly. I think it’s about what humans learn from it at that time. If we could never recover once we made a mistake, probably, mankind would have been extinct already.
When the Japanese talk about nature now, they often say that the current nature has become shabby, and there was a more abundant nature 50 years ago. But in fact, that nature 50 years ago was also nature created by cutting a lot of trees and planting different trees.
Real nature is nature that also contains a lot of fear, and it’s different from the nature that has been revived by the power of civilization.
So when we talk about ecology, I don’t think saying that it’s destruction because the nature in front of us is disappearing reflects a deep consideration of the relationship between humans and nature.
The nature revives at the end of the movie, but that’s the same as the forests coming back to life in Europe trying to revive them after the forests disappeared during the Industrial Revolution, or in Japan, after cutting a lot of trees to make iron, the forests still came back to life. However, the revived forest may be a bright forest, but it’s different from the old, most life-rich, abundant forest. Unless we think about the things between nature and humans with that understanding, I think we can’t think about the future correctly.
What Humans Have Done in Their Desire to Escape From Unhappiness is Messing up the Earth
Interviewer: In this film, humans and humans, nature and humans are fighting, it seemed like there was no attempt to talk.
Miyazaki: In reality, there’s no discussion, right? But the only way is to actually have a discussion. That’s why Ashitaka chose the most difficult path. The same goes for the world from now on. I think we’ve come to a point where we have to choose the most difficult path.
Interviewer: Is there a connection between you living in the mountains now and this way of thinking about nature?
Miyazaki: I think there is. Right now, the inside of the mountains is gradually turning into a city, and in that sense, the sense of crisis and anxiety are stronger as you go into the mountains. In other words, compared to the houses in the city, the houses in the mountains have a stronger sense of crisis that nature is being destroyed rapidly. So, I can’t feel at ease (laughs).
Interviewer: Are the issues of the natural environment in Japan largely due to Japan’s geographical characteristics?
Miyazaki: Of course, I think that’s part of it, but the strongest sense of crisis is that a very important part of the Japanese people’s hearts toward nature, their identity, is collapsing.
Even now, Japan is a place with many forests. There is a lot of greenery. But I have a sense of crisis about the way that greenery exists and how it is treated. If you think about it just in terms of Japan, I think that in another 50 years, Japan will have calmed down quite a bit and become a green-rich country.
When I was young, I thought, ‘What a foolish country Japan is, it must be the most foolish country in Asia.’ But actually, when I realized that neighboring Korea, China, Singapore, the Philippines, Malaysia, they are all foolish in the same way, I was very anxious about how to accept the reality that their efforts to be a little richer, to escape from the misfortune caused by being a little poor, are messing up the planet they live on. It was much easier when only Japan was foolish. I can’t help but think that mankind is foolish at this rate. On such a problematic earth, how should children live, adults have to answer. With that obligation in mind, I made this movie.
Interviewer: Is it about pointing out the contradiction that it’s wrong to cut down trees in Brazil now is the argument of developed countries, even though they have actually been doing the same thing?
Miyazaki: No. I wanted to make a movie that humans are not wise, blessed beings, and yet we must live.
In other words, the heroine in this movie denies humans. She considers the existence of humans to be ugly. That’s also a problem that many people living in this world today have. They can’t think of humans as precious. Among the creatures on this earth, they start to think that humans may be the ugliest creatures. I think that was unthinkable in the 19th century.
There is no answer to that. I don’t think I have the right answer. Rather, I just want to suffer with that problem.
Interviewer: I would like to ask about Animism. What do you think about religion?
Miyazaki: There are still strong feelings in many Japanese as religious sentiment. It is a heart that believes there is a very pure place at the deepest part of their country, where humans should not set foot, and that there is abundant water flowing out and protecting the deep forest. I intensely hold the religious sense that it is most wonderful for humans to return to such a place with a sense of purity. There is no bible, no saints. Therefore, on the level of world religions, it may not be recognized as a religion, but for Japanese people, it is a very certain thing.
Therefore, on the level of world religions, it may not be recognized as a religion, but for Japanese people, it is a very certain religious sentiment. The forest that becomes the setting of ‘Princess Mononoke’ is not a portrayal of a real forest, but an attempt to depict the forest that has been in the hearts of the Japanese people since the beginning of the old country.
Wanted to Depict Both Good and Evil, the Two Sides of Things
Interviewer: This film has elements of complexity and violence, what are your thoughts on that?
When making the film, I was prepared for it to be complex. But when making a film, thinking “The audience won’t understand” or “They won’t be able to comprehend” is arrogant. If you depict the world so that it can be understood, it becomes small and shabby. However, people living in this modern age, including those who have watched this film, realize that “the world cannot be understood in such a simple schema”. The more we try to make it easy to explain, the more false the world becomes. I was confronted with this issue and decided to stop explaining everything.
For example, the character Moro the Wolf God is very kind and cruel at the same time. Without this, her existence cannot be understood. And to her, her daughter San is both incredibly cute and simultaneously a grotesque creature, because she’s human.
In this film, I wanted to depict both sides of things, that is, the good and the bad that exist simultaneously, which made the production extremely difficult.
Interviewer: So, you intended for the characters to possess this unidimensionality?
Miyazaki: This movie isn’t meant to determine what is evil. That’s why both good and evil exist within each person. I believe that’s what the world is like.
Interviewer: But don’t you think it’s too violent for children to watch?
Miyazaki: I fully recognize that there are such concerns. However, violence already firmly exists within children’s inner selves. Avoiding it won’t make any convincing arguments to children, and I myself don’t think this is a movie made for the enjoyment of violence, so I don’t believe it’s a particular problem.
Interviewer: Didn’t Japanese children get shocked by the violent scenes?
Miyazaki: I think they were shocked, they were concerned. But everyone who saw the movie understood that it wasn’t a film made for the enjoyment of violence. Violence and hatred that can’t be controlled are piling up inside very ordinary, gentle children of today. That’s why children aren’t satisfied with only being given candies and chocolates just because they’re kids. I wanted to convey to children that there can be beauty, even when blood is shed.
Most of Ashitaka’s actions boil down to how to control the hatred that has arisen within himself. It’s the same as how today’s Japanese children are perplexed by the violence lurking within them. They wonder why they get frustrated with themselves, hate others, and can’t make friends.
There are questions, not only about violence, but also about whether human beings are truly blessed or not. Neither adults nor the Ministry of Education has answered these questions. They only teach how to live a good life and end it easily. When they tell you to study, Japanese parents only say, “Study because learning is important.” As a result of continuing this for decades, the whole society has come to a deadlock.
Violence is one of the attributes of human beings, something that humans have had from the beginning. But it becomes very unfortunate for those who can’t control it. Recently, the number of people who hate everyone else is increasing. One of the motives for making this movie was to ask whether humans can control and dissolve that hatred. So, I had absolutely no hesitation in including the issue of violence in this film. And I can say with confidence that children will absolutely not hurt others by imitating ‘Princess Mononoke’.
One of the Greatest Features of Studio Ghibli’s Works is How They Portray Nature
Interviewer: Compared to previous works, I felt the art in ‘Princess Mononoke’ was exceptional. Was that due to technological advancements, or was it something you desired as a director?
Miyazaki: Not just me, one of the greatest features of Studio Ghibli’s works is the way nature is portrayed. Rather than nature existing as a stage that is subordinate to the characters, we have the idea that nature exists, and humans are in it. That’s because I think the world is beautiful. It’s not just human relationships that are interesting, but the whole world, that is, the scenery itself, the climate, the time, the light, the plants, the water, the wind, I think they’re all beautiful, so I think we’re trying to incorporate them as much as possible into our works. Sometimes I wonder why we go through so much trouble (laughs).
Interviewer: If you’re so committed to nature, why don’t you make live-action films?
Miyazaki: Japanese live-action cameras fail to capture Japanese scenery. In the era of black and white, due to the characteristics of film, directors like Akira Kurosawa and Kenji Mizoguchi created very attractive frames. However, since the advent of color, it has become very boring. I think that’s because Japanese movies have failed to capture the world we live in. So it’s not stimulating. It looks shabby. I think the island we live on is deeper and more beautiful. I believe our poor paintings are better for expressing that. Another reason is that we’ve destroyed the landscape too much. Therefore, it’s a huge hassle to do it in live-action. We have to remove telephone poles, buildings on distant mountains, and concrete on the banks of rivers. It’s very difficult.
Interviewer: Have you ever wanted to make a live-action film?
Miyazaki: I don’t think I have the talent for that, and there aren’t any great actors in Japan. The faces of the Japanese today aren’t made for pictures. Maybe in about five years, there might be some good faces (laughs). They are faces that are not seriously facing life. So, I don’t like any Japanese actresses when I look at their faces. But I think I would like them if they were next to me (laughs).
Interviewer: So, the advantage of doing animation for you is indeed the ability to depict nature?
Miyazaki: Yes, that’s right. That’s why I was very happy when I depicted the outskirts of a small town in the 15th century, and thought, ‘This is something people in live-action couldn’t create’ when it was turned into film. However, because it wasn’t a special shot, I don’t think any of the audience noticed (laughs), but I was incredibly happy.
The Biggest Characteristic of Studio Ghibli’s Works Lies in the Depiction of Nature
Interviewer: I felt that the art in “Princess Mononoke” was wonderful compared to previous works. Is this due to technological advancements or was it the director’s desire?
The biggest characteristic of Studio Ghibli’s works, not just mine, lies in the way nature is portrayed. Instead of having nature as a stage that serves the characters, we have a mindset where nature exists first, and then humans are in it. This is because we think the world is beautiful. It’s not just the relationships between humans that are interesting, but the entire world – that is, the landscape itself, the climate, time, light, plants, water, wind, we think they’re all beautiful, and we strive to incorporate them into our works as much as possible. Sometimes, we wonder why we struggle so much (laughs)
Interviewer: Why do you insist on depicting nature, but not using live-action?
Japanese live-action cameras fail to capture the Japanese scenery. In the era of black and white, directors like Akira Kurosawa and Kenji Mizoguchi created very attractive scenes due to the characteristics of film, but since the shift to color, it has become very dull. I believe this is because Japanese films fail to capture the world we live in. That’s why it’s not stimulating. It’s shabby. I think our island, where we live, is deep and beautiful. To express that, I think our clumsy paintings are still better. Also, we’ve destroyed the scenery too much. So, when we try to do it in live-action, it takes a lot of work. We have to remove telegraph poles, buildings on the mountains, concrete on the banks of rivers. That’s a very difficult task.
Interviewer: Have you ever wanted to do a live-action film?
I don’t think I have that talent, and there aren’t such great actors in Japan. The faces of Japanese people today are not suitable for paintings. Maybe good faces will appear in about five years (laughs). They’re not facing life seriously. Therefore, I don’t like any Japanese actresses’ faces. But I think I would like them if they were next to me (laughs).
So, the advantage of doing animation for you is that you can draw nature, right?
That’s right. So, when I drew the outskirts of a small town in the 15th century, and it turned into a film, I was very happy thinking that real-life people couldn’t make this. But since it’s not a special shot, I don’t think the audience will notice it (laughs), but I was very happy.
Small-eyed protagonists can also be cute, that’s the dream of creating animations
Interviewer: I would like to ask about the technical aspects of “Princess Mononoke”. Why do the characters have very large eyes?
There are two reasons. One is that our work is not outside the framework of Japanese popular culture. If we deviate from that, it involves a very large business risk. The other is because we think it is beautiful.
However, it is my dream to create an animation where a protagonist with small eyes appears, and the protagonist is really adorable. This is probably a task that we have to spend more time on when we draw animation pictures or create movements, observing children and expressing it. This is a new theme that young people who will gather at Ghibli in the future must challenge. This is a very big, attractive theme because it’s about how far we can deviate from the common sense of popular culture and create our own world.
Interviewer: How would you feel if called the “Disney of Japan”?
Walt Disney is a producer, isn’t he? I am an animator on the ground, or a director, so I’m troubled when compared to him. I’ve met some of the Nine Old Men who worked with Walt Disney. They were pioneers of Disney animation. I respect them.
Interviewer: What do you respect about the Nine Old Men?
It’s their personality. It might sound very abstract. I don’t know what each one of them was doing, but their confidence and pride that they created an era were very comfortable to talk to.
Interviewer: Many animations are influenced by Disney, what influenced you as a director?
People of the generation 10 years older than us were influenced by Disney, and technically, Walt Disney’s past works, “Snow White”, “Fantasia”, “Pinocchio”, were all wonderful, but as for portraying human hearts, they were very simple and not very enjoyable. Rather, I was more impacted by animations such as “The King and the Mockingbird” made in France in the 1950s, “The Snow Queen” made in the USSR, and “The Tale of the White Serpent” made in Japan. These works portrayed the hearts and thoughts of humans. I was moved by these works and entered this world thinking that animation is the best way to express human hearts.
Interviewer: How do you see the future of the film industry?
“The best part of a movie is that people who watch it in a movie theater get upset if it’s boring. If it’s a TV show, it ends when you turn it off, and if it’s manga or novels, you can stop reading if you don’t like it. But most people watch movies to the end. So, it’s interesting when it’s interesting, but it’s annoying when it’s annoying. In other words, critiques can still exist. Critics can get angry. I think that’s the greatest potential of movies. So, rather than whether it remains as a business, I think movies won’t disappear as something that gives us a chance to get upset or happy in life.”
Interviewer: It is said that “Princess Mononoke” is your last work.
I was originally an animator, and the animator was the director. But I can’t be an animator anymore. In that sense, it’s the last work as an animator.
Do you have any new projects in mind for the future?
I do, but I need to ask myself, “Can you still do it?” while considering my physical strength. But the older you get, the more you want to do it even though you should be less and less able to do it (laughs). I’m trying to be careful about that.