The Asia-Pacific Journal‘s Asato Ikeda recently transcribed an illuminating interview with famed director Hayao Miyazaki originally printed in Studio Ghibli‘s monthly Neppu magazine.

In it, Miyazaki delves deep into his life, talking about his childhood thoughts on war, his feelings on Japan and its warpolicies,his father, current politics, and the Abe administration.

Here are a couple of snippets, but for the full interview, click here.

Regarding patriotism, and his changed perceptions of World War II as he grew older:

I am the kind of person who becomes passionate and ends up thinking there might be something more important than my own life and that I should sacrifice my life for it. If I had been born a bit earlier, I would have become a passionately patriotic military boy. If I had been born a lot earlier, I would have volunteered to fight and died on the battlefield. I think it was a time when you would have realized what war really was only when you were about to die.

Regarding his conflicting feelings regarding Japan’s wartime activities:

Because of all this, even after I grew up, I did not want to sing Japanese songs. Singing Russian folk songs instead, I wished I could have had a homeland that I could love. It is not that I liked Russia better, but because I didn’t have any firm beliefs back then, I thought there might be something more important than myself to believe in.

Regarding current politics:

Right now, when their statements turn out to be controversial, politicians evade them, saying that they did not mean it. I am appalled to see high-ranking government officials and politicians who do not have historical consciousness and firm opinions. Those who are short of thought should not change the Constitution. They determinepolicies without any real study of the issues, but rather with spontaneous ideas or by listening to people who say superficial things.

Source: The Asia-Pacific Journal via Truth-Out.org

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