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The story of filmmaker Hayao Miyazaki's life and work, including his significant impact on Japan and the world
A thirtieth‑century toxic jungle, a bathhouse for tired gods, a red‑haired fish girl, and a furry woodland spirit—what do these have in common? They all spring from the mind of Hayao Miyazaki, one of the greatest living animators, known worldwide for films such as My Neighbor Totoro, Princess Mononoke, Spirited Away, Howl’s Moving Castle, and The Wind Rises.
Japanese culture and animation scholar Susan Napier explores the life and art of this extraordinary Japanese filmmaker to provide a definitive account of his oeuvre. Napier insightfully illuminates the multiple themes crisscrossing his work, from empowered women to environmental nightmares to utopian dreams, creating an unforgettable portrait of a man whose art challenged Hollywood dominance and ushered in a new chapter of global popular culture.
Susan Napier is the Goldthwaite Professor of Rhetoric and Japanese Studies at Tufts University. She is the author of Anime from Akira to “Howl’s Moving Castle”: Experiencing Contemporary Japanese Animation, among other books.
“Hayao Miyazaki is the preeminent animation auteur of our times. Susan Napier powerfully and intelligently captures and describes the complexities and contradictions that lie at the heart of both Mr. Miyazaki and his creations.”—Neil Gaiman
“Susan Napier has written the first thorough and enlightening biography of this amazing artist, who revolutionized the world of animation. This is a startling biography about a startling artist!”—Jack Zipes, University of Minnesota
“Providing expert guidance to the radically inventive mysteries of Hayao Miyazaki’s films, Susan Napier shows exactly how Japan’s master of animation taps into the wonders of the natural world.”—Maria Tatar, editor of The Annotated Brothers Grimm
“An insightful, fascinating, and revealing study of Miyazaki and his worlds by one of the world’s foremost experts in Japanese animated films, Miyazakiworld is a true achievement.”—Karen Thornber, Harvard University
“In Miyazakiworld, Susan Napier demonstrates her gift for narrative and passion for enchantment in exploring the spacetime between the fantasy worlds of Hayao Miyazaki’s creation and the grittier worlds that created him.”—Jennifer Robertson, author of Robo Sapiens Japanicus: Robots, Gender, Family, and the Japanese Nation
“This wonderful, lively book introduces the whole life and career of Miyazaki via commentary on the narratives and themes within his films, and some manga, and his personal life.”—Sharon Kinsella, The University of Manchester