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Among Rumored Blacklists, Studio Ghibli Makes Its Voice Heard

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Protests don't get any more polite than this. Late last week, a banner appeared on a Studio Ghibli building outside Tokyo's city center. The banner read: "Studio Ghibli wants to make movies with electricity that's not from nuclear power plants."

The banner has cute sunflowers drawn on it. Studio Ghibli is well within its right to protest. Japan is a free country. The Japanese entertainment industry, however, is not.


The ongoing Fukushima nuclear disaster has caused the country to re-examine its energy policy, with protesters calling for Japan to stop using nuclear power. According to Yahoo! News, between 75 and 80 percent of Japanese are in favor of eliminating the country's 54 nuclear plants.

The majority of Japanese celebrities are trying to help by encouraging people to donate to relief efforts or appear in public service announcements.


Hayao Miyazaki, responsible for classics like My Neighbor Totoro, is a known technophobe who doesn't own a computer and compared iPad use to masturbation. Studio Ghibli's protest isn't his latest anti-technology rant, and he's not alone in his outcry.

Some like author Haruki Murakami, Japan's most famous novelist, are openly criticizing the government and the country's nuclear dependence. One actor, Taro Yamamoto has also been vocal about his anti-nuclear, anti-TEPCO opinions.

"I can't stay silent while Japan continues the state terrorism of nuclear power," Yamamoto tweeted."

The Fukushima nuclear plants are owned and operated by TEPCO (The Tokyo Electric Power Company).


There are rumors that TEPCO even created a blacklist of actors and musicians who are protesting the nuclear industry.

After participating in a protest and letting his feelings known via Twitter, Yamamoto left a television drama he was slated to appear in. His agency said Yamamoto wasn't leaving the show, but Yamamoto later quit the program and left his talent agency of 13 years.


"I can't stay silent while Japan continues the state terrorism of nuclear power," Yamamoto tweeted.

Studio Ghibli's protest is far gentler, if not engimatic. "This is an honest expression of Mr. Miyazaki's feelings," a Ghibli spokeswoman told Japan Real Time. The banner doesn't express an ultimatum or a demand, but a simple and honest desire in a complex world.


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(Top photo: 2ch)