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Japanese Animator Hayao Miyazaki Announces Retirement

Kevin Blair Kevin Blair
September 6th, 2013 9:50am EDT

Hayao Miyazaki

Acclaimed Japanese filmmaker Hayao Miyazaki has officially announced his retirement.

The animator spoke during a press conference in Tokyo on Friday following up on the announcement his production company Studio Ghibli made earlier this week at the Venice Film Festival.

“I’ve mentioned that I would retire many times in the past, so a lot of you must be thinking ‘Oh, not again,' ” Miyazaki said during the press conference, according to the New York Times. “But this time I am quite serious.”

The 72-year-old director/animator has made 11 feature films, including Howl's Moving Castle, Ponyo and the Oscar-winning Spirited Away.

Miyazaki's latest, and final film, The Wind Rises (Kaze Tachinu), made its debut at the Venice Film Festival earlier this week. The film is about Jiro Horkioshi, the engineer who designed the Mitsubishi Zero fighter planes used by Japan in World War II. It took Miyazaki five years to complete.

“My work is really about sitting at the desk and drawing,” he said. “And at my age, you just reach a point when you have to put down the pencil a bit earlier each day and go home.”

Miyazaki stayed in Japan during the Venice Film Festival, when Studio Ghibli CEO Koju Hoshino announced that the director would be retiring. Hoshino explained that Miyazaki would make his formal retirement announcement during the film's domestic premiere in his native country.

Disney's Touchstone Pictures is expected to release the film in the U.S. later this year.

The Wind Rises

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Photo Credits: WENN; Studio Ghibli