Hayao Miyazaki Comes out of Retirement with One Last Movie: How Do You Live?

Hayao Miyazaki’s last movie How Do You Live? Open first in Japanese theatres on July 14th of 2023, after a resounding promotional silence that entailed the absence of a trailer, a voice cast list, or any other form of traditional promotion for such a highly anticipated project.


Japanese manga artist, renowned animation director , Hayao Miyazaki was born on January 5, 1941, in Tokyo City, Empire of Japan. His father, Katsuji Miyazaki was the director of Miyazaki Airplane, his uncle’s company, which specialized in manufacturing rudders specifically for fighter planes. While his father’s work is behind the love of flight that Miyazaki expresses in his films, his family’s direct involvement in the wartime aviation industry explains the atmosphere of guilt within which this love is conveyed. It also explains why some of his movies, such as Nausicaä and Princess Mononoke present morally ambiguous antagonists with redeeming qualities. Despite primarily targeting children, Miyazaki’s films do not offer overly simplistic depictions of life. On the contrary, his narratives present a quintessential space for the complexities of being human to overtly unfold.

In 1985 Miyazaki co-founded Studio Ghibli, a renowned animation studio and production company, with producers Toshio Suzuki and Isao Takahata (director of Grave of the Fireflies). Studio Ghibli produced films like Castle in the Sky (1986), Grave of the Fireflies (1988)  My Neighbor Totoro (1988), Princess Mononoke (1997) Spirited Away (2001), and Howl’s Moving Castle (2004). Five of Studio Ghibli’s films rank among Japan’s top ten highest-grossing anime feature films. Spirited Away holds the second spot, earning 31.68 billion yen in Japan and over US$380 million worldwide.

Sameh Toumine