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The Time Hayao Miyazaki Went Off on America

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Hayao Miyazaki is one of Japan’s most celebrated anime creators. He also has the reputation of being a bit outspoken of his opinions. Like how using an iPad is like masturbation, or that time he said he hated cars because they were American. Wait, what?


An image has recently surfaced on Japan’s popular online billboard, 2ch, that features part of a hand-written essay with doodles by Miyazaki that seem to harbor quite a bit of resentment towards the West.



“I dislike the United States that dropped the nuclear bombs and does not regret it, I’m anti-security council, I’m against neutral alliance, and against Americanization, so obviously, I had no interest in riding an automobile.

I hate people who are proud that cheap Japanese cars are popular in America, and I look at people who wear badges of the U.S. Army and U.S. Air Force that filled Vietnam with dioxins as enemies, so I’m against motorization. So why did such a man come to ride in an automobile?

When my wife’s belly began to grow the young me believed that as a husband, it was my duty to carry the same weight. So I decided that even though I did not know if it was a boy or a girl (since it hadn’t been born yet), in order to take my child to nursery school, I would go to driving school, a place that still gives me shivers to remember. All driving schools should burn to the ground!

My wife went through quite an ordeal with a difficult birth, but it was an equally difficult birth for me-” (the image cuts off here)

The essay is an account of how Miyazaki learned to drive, but the setup, written in the present tense (at the time) seems to show quite a bit of resentment towards the west. While the clear connection is missing from the text, the implication is that Miyazaki hated cars because they were an American invention. There are also a couple of doodles by Miyazaki depicting an angry younger version of himself.


The one on the upper right shows him spewing anti-Western vitriol with lines like, “Anti-jeans, anti-bourbon, anti-burgers”, “Hooray for suteteko! Fuck briefs!”, “Anti-fried chicken, anti-cola, anti-American coffee”, “What’s ‘my car’ you moron!?”, “Anti-New York, Anti-West Coast, Disneyland go back to America!”


The image on the lower left features an angry young Miyazaki at driving school arguing with his driving instructor as he learns to drive.

Now, before you say “But, I thought Ghibli liked Disney...” Note that the essay is quite old and was written by a much younger Miyazaki than the one we know now who seems to get along quite well with Disney. The image is apparently from the book, Hayao Miayazi Image Board Collection (宮崎駿イメージボード集) that was published in 1983. Editor’s note: I say “apparently” because I can’t actually confirm with a hard copy since the book is out of print and used copies are extremely overpriced.)


A lot has happened in the past 32 years, and Miyazaki has obviously either changed his stance since then or has come to terms with how things are and has learned to go with the flow. Hearing accounts of how stubborn Miyazaki could be as a director, I doubt he would have let Studio Ghibli embrace Disney as it has if he still felt that way. Of course, while Miyazaki does own a car, it’s a Citroen C4. A French automobile...

Maybe he even enjoys the occasional hamburger now and then.

Top image: 映画「夢と狂気の王国」

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