Octogenarian walks the walk when looking out for the safety of others. 

If there’s one thing Studio Ghibli director and co-founder Hayao Miyazaki loves other than drawing and making anime, it’s his car.

The 82-year-old has long made the commute from his home in Saitama Prefecture to the Studio Ghibli offices in Tokyo’s Mitaka in his humble little vehicle, a Citroën 2CV.

The compact car is so beloved by Miyazaki that it featured in the first film he ever directed, Lupin III: The Castle of Cagliostro, all the way back in 1979. The director even named his personal atelier after it, calling it 二馬力 (“Nibariki”), which translates to “Two Horsepower” or “2CV”, as the car’s 375-cc flat two-cylinder engine is classed as a “deux chevaux-vapeur” (“2CV”) vehicle under French tax classifications.

▼ Miyazaki’s Citroën 2CV outside the 2CV atelier, which also goes by the cute name “Butaya” (“Pig Shop”).

Even family, friends and colleagues associate the car with the director, so much so that his son Goro included a similar model of the vehicle (albeit with a different grille) in his first CGI film for Studio Ghibli, Earwig and the Witch.

▼ The car in the film even has the number plate “MYZ“, which presumably stands for “Miyazaki“.

Given the longstanding love Miyazaki has for his vehicle, it was a sad day on 10 September when Aichi Prefecture Governor Hideaki Omura announced that the director had given up his Citroën.

Speaking at an event held in Nagoya City that called for the prevention of accidents by the elderly, the governor said that after driving his beloved car every day, Miyazaki came to the realisation that it was dangerous and voluntarily returned his driver’s license last year.

His son Goro and longtime friend, producer and Ghibli co-founder Toshio Suzuki then took the car off his hands, and according to Miyazaki’s wishes, it will be exhibited at Ghibli Park, which is located in Aichi Prefecture.

While it may be sad to hear that the director no longer gets to slide into the worn driver’s seat of his Citroën every day, it’s heartening to know it will live out its days at Ghibli Park, bringing joy to everyone who sees it.

It’s also heartening to know that the director took heed of the government’s requests that elderly drivers give up their licenses and graduate from driving, in light of increasing accidents involving elderly drivers. If Miyazaki can make the difficult decision to give up a vehicle he loves so much, then perhaps other seniors can follow his example to help safeguard other drivers and pedestrians. Either way, we’re glad he took the precaution to protect himself, because Miyazaki is a man that needs to be protected at all costs, especially now that he’s out of retirement and working on more movies.

Source: Mainichi Shimbun
Featured image ©SoraNews24
Insert images: Wikipedia/Qck24, Studio Ghibli

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