Hayao Mizayaki

When approached by fans, Hayao Miyazaki, acclaimed director of award winning movies such as Spirited Away and Princess Mononoke, always refuses to sign autographs. It wasn’t always like that, but one specific event made him shy away from putting pen to paper for his admirers. A separate, unrelated event convinced him to make a rare exception to his “no autograph” rule.

Hayao Miyazaki was shocked when he found out that his signature was being sold for unbelievably high prices ranging from 300,000 to 500,000 yen (US$3,055 to $5,092). The famous director was saddened to know that the autograph he signed for what he thought was a loving fan was being sold as a commodity for a profit. Disconcerted by what he called “business prices” for his signature, Miyazaki vowed to never sign autographs again.

However, he did make one exception to his rule. Following the Tohoku earthquake and tsunami, Miyazaki took a trip up north to visit the children in disaster-stricken areas. He held an event where he autographed anything the children asked him to sign. In Miyazaki’s eyes, even if they sold his signature for a profit, that little bit of money would be going to people who truly needed it.

So if you’re ever in Japan and find yourself staring face-to-face with the man himself, don’t feel bad when he declines your request for an autograph. Just know that behind that refusal is a really good reason from an extraordinary man.

Source: Yahoo! Japan News
Image: Wikipedia