One of Japan’s leading art directors leads the way in raising funds for an issue that’s close to his heart.

As the only country in the world to have experienced the devastation of a nuclear bomb — two, to be precise — people in Japan know firsthand the immense suffering that a nuclear war can bring.

For Japanese animator Nizo Yamamoto, the topic of war hits particularly close to home, as he hails from Nagasaki, one of two Japanese cities, the other being Hiroshima, to be bombed in 1945.

▼ Nizo Yamamoto

Born in Nagasaki in 1953, just eight years after the nuclear bomb killed tens of thousands of people in the region, Yamamoto witnessed the aftereffects of the war firsthand, so when longstanding tensions between Russia and Ukraine erupted into war last week, the situation played heavily on the animator’s mind.

He felt compelled to help, and as an animator, he thought to use his craft to that end, sharing the below tweet on 28 February.

The tweet reads:

“I oppose Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.
At the moment, I’m thinking about what I can do for the Ukrainian people.
I’d like to make a personal donation through UNICEF and draw a picture to sell, donating all the proceeds. I’ll announce details at a later date.”

Yamamato is one of the country’s leading anime artists, having worked as art director on big-name films like Ghibli’s Laputa: Castle in the Sky, Princess Mononoke, and the tear-jerking war film Grave of the Fireflies.

▼ Yamamoto’s work on Princess Mononoke (top), Laputa: Castle in the Sky (bottom left) and The Girl Who Leapt Through Time (bottom right)

He also provided background art for movies like Spirited Away, Only Yesterday, Whisper of the Heart, and Weathering With You.

With the Nizo Yamamoto Art Museum in Nagasaki dedicated to his works, the talented anime artist has a loyal following of fans who will definitely jump at the opportunity to own one of his original paintings.

While Yamamoto is yet to reveal details about what type of artwork he’ll be selling and how it will be made available, you might want to keep an eye on his Twitter account for updates.

Here’s hoping his initiative will work to raise a generous amount of money for an issue that’s close to the animator’s heart. Because when art is the way you make a living, it makes sense for it to be the way you make a difference too.

Source: Twitter/@kaieisha_nizo_y
Top image: Studio Ghibli
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