Does Miyazaki Think Women Artists Signal the End of Anime?

Hayao Miyazaki

Hayao Miyazaki, who has been known to often take a negative tone about the animation industry and society in general, recently tweeted that he gets the feeling that the Japanese animation industry is “done for,” and as evidence, cited the emergence of women animators. Here’s what he said in Japanese:

They say it’s over for animation in Japan. When we look for new hires only women respond, and I get the feeling that we’re done for. In our last hurrah we borrow from outside staff (i.e. outsource), but soon we won’t be able to do that forever.

The tweet would seem to indicate that he somehow correlates the end of Japanese animation with women employees, but that may not be the case. Blogger Anne Ishii asked him to clarify and he responded with a five-part tweet, that perhaps made things a little better but also confused the issue further with some tangent about women bus drivers. The ambiguity may partly be due to translation issues and partly because Twitter is an awful forum for having meaningful discussions of any kind.

Considering that Miyazaki is arguably the most successful feature animation director of all time, his comments are worthy of discussion, and I, for one, am curious to hear him explain further what he meant when he said, “I think it would be great to see a female animation director, but as far as Ghibli’s concerned, I can’t think of a single one for us.” To read Miyazaki’s entire commentary, go to the Hooded Utilitarian blog. If you’re familiar with Japanese society and have a different understanding of what he’s saying, please share your thoughts.


  • Kevan

    Not to be an apologist, but given Miyazaki’s track record of featuring strong female roles in his films, I feel this has to have been misinterpreted. At face value, I feel that what he is insinuating is that in the current state of mainly seeing women apply for animation jobs, there is a lack of applicants in general. An entire sex giving up on an industry would indicate half of the usual amount of applicants have disappeared, which as a director must be frightening. 50% less applicants means 50% less young people of great skill to take the mantle. Now my apologist view comes in that the reason for him bringing sex into the conversation rather than just a number figure is probably both cultural and generational.

    • http://beesbuzz.biz/ fluffy

      Also, it may be that if they are only getting female applicants, that in Japan they are considering animation to only be “women’s work” which means it’s become mundane stuff that nobody ambitious wants to get into, regardless of gender.

      There is almost definitely a major cultural barrier at play here, and I have to wonder how those tweets were translated to begin with. Japanese doesn’t really have words for “man” or “woman,” but instead you say “person of masculinity” or “person of femininity,” and those in turn can take on some pretty odd connotations depending on context.

      • Jeff

        What about 男 and 女?

      • http://beesbuzz.biz/ fluffy

        My understanding is that “otoko” and “onna” mean “manhood” and “womanhood,” respectively, and can be used as shorthand for “man” and “woman,” but the proper formal phrases (to which I alluded) are “otoko no hito” and “onna no hito.” There isn’t a very good direct mapping between Japanese and English on a lot of things though.

      • James Ciambor

        Fluff I have to disagree entirely. Its not because its mundane work there is still enthusiasm to produce among certain artists. Its not like they are being relegated to this position. Its just that we are within a period of animation, were it is somewhat of a females renaissance. Both gender’s have a critical eye for the arts and one must not overshadow the other.

        The issue is that Myiazaki is stating is actually precisely correct, women are starting to become the majority. However I would never put that in a negative or positive context. I think its great that women are getting away, from their Ink and Paint origins and getting into more meaningful work. Though I will disagree with any assertions or laments, on how it is still a male dominated industry.

        Also for all the death of anime, what about our own industry its on life-support as well. Both countries are well past their prime.

    • Geoff Gardner

      Well said Kevan, that is exactly what I was thinking when I read this. It is all to easy in the Internet Age to read quotes and make a misinterpretation.

    • James Ciambor

      Kevan its obvious that they live in culture and atmosphere were women are treated in a different context than men. This doesn’t mean they haven’t been able to succeed many female manga artists have achieved recognition. The fact of the matter is that most foreign societies don’t have laws against discriminatory actions, nor are certain groups allowed to express themselves. So I’ve wondered about the vitriolic comments about our own country.

      Most important point is that despite the fact that they may have heroine leads doesn’t make progressive in this context. Walt Disney himself had heroine leads more often the male leads, yet it wasn’t until recent decades that women were enabled to go beyond the ink and paint department. Its the way of the world and no film should indicate what kind of politics go on within the studio. Face Value impressions can be deceiving.

  • Steve Gattuso

    I get the impression that what he’s trying to say isn’t quite as bad as it looks, but that Japanese language and culture isn’t accurate enough on gender issues to convey his meaning.

    A longer dialog than a collection of Twitter posts is required on this subject.

  • Jason H

    Guy is old fashioned. Heck I used to feel uncomfortable talking to my grandma since she used racial slurs even though she was quite intelligent.

    Despite his knock against females, he probably feels that there just aren’t that many animators coming out of Japanese schools. Historically if your company only got reels from women, you’d think that there’s few folks since women animators were quite rare.

    He isn’t noticing the cultural shift of the equalization of sexes working in the field. Keep in mind this is Japan. They still have issues with women working in ANY ‘man’ field just like the US.

    • O

      You have no idea what you’re talking about and using simple generalizations here.

      This isn’t a knock in any form.

  • http://danielhamman.carbonmade.com hellohue

    Miyazaki’s love for female employees has been one of the consistent things throughout his career. Even the bathrooms at Ghibli are apparently designed to be in the best condition and location for female animators, and he has had a strong team of female animators working with him since the late 70s up until now.

    His female animators are all fantastic artisans, and have been animation directors/supervisors throughout his past films. I think he is referring here to directors [of an entire film] when mentioning female animators. It seems he means to say that women are incredible assets to the team, like workers in a cotton mill (or the way the women build the plane in Porco Rosso), but might not be interested in directing.

    If you follow the work of Miyazaki’s core female animators throughout the years, Atsuko Tanaka, Kagawa Megumi, Makiko Futaki to name a few, they are consistent in bringing his work to life by focusing on the micro elements to animation; grass, birds, trees, water, running, to bring life to the bigger story that has been left to Miyazaki, Takahata or others.

    • amid

      Fascinating! Thanks for sharing, Hellohue.

    • Orly

      “I think he is referring here to directors [of an entire film] when mentioning female animators. It seems he means to say that women are incredible assets to the team, like workers in a cotton mill (or the way the women build the plane in Porco Rosso), but might not be interested in directing.”

      How do you get all that from those brief comments?

      I wonder how often he has asked any of his female animators if they might be interested in directing-if he does indeed mean to say he thinks they might not be interested. And “workers in a cotton mill”…do you mean female animators at Ghibli are effects technicians, not involved in the character animation in his films? That they can build the planes, like in Porco Rosso, but not fly them?
      Genuinely curious about this.

      • http://danielhamman.carbonmade.com hellohue

        To tell the truth, the comments did shock me, but for all Miyazaki’s follies and contradictions, I can’t see this dodgy translation meaning what it seems to.

        Miyazaki is, in many ways, a tyrant, and it’s been said many times that Ghibli is not the dream studio many think it to be. He is tough, but only in the interest of quality, and I don’t think he is specifically calling out women animators for being poor in any way.

        Think about it, in a production situation, you need to depend upon those who are consistent. You make it sound like there is something wrong with animators being effects technicians. A spirit that seems to exist at Ghibli is that being an artisan is in no way a bad thing. Hearing the animators or background artists talk it’s clear they are typical humble Japanese.

        I’m sure the female animators have been asked at some point to direct, but even his most trusted male animators are perfectly happy to remain his right-hand man (as said by Katsuya Kondo). I see this as a sign of loyalty to his auteur vision rather than suppressed spirits. There are many directors at Ghibli who were chosen but couldn’t make it for whatever reason.

        Maybe it’s the fact that it’s so easy to crash a plane that these women prefer honing their skills on the ground. Again, there is not at thing that is suppressive or misogynist about it, simply humility.

      • Jason H

        I think there’s alot of truth to this. I imagine working under Disney would be quite scary and imposing. Heck I know people who are at Pixar that are scared to death of Brad Bird.

        Having a vision with strong yet correct opinions while working on a film is quite stressful.

    • Tom D

      To what might you attribute his remarks? Do you think he was misinterpreted somehow? I know he’s a crank, but this seems more harsh than he’s ever been.

    • LLLookAtYouHacker

      “Miyazaki’s love for female employees has been one of the consistent things throughout his career. Even the bathrooms at Ghibli are apparently designed to be in the best condition and location for female animators, and he has had a strong team of female animators working with him since the late 70s up until now.”

      Which (ironically) is sexist. *Sigh* Idiots.

  • http://www.hoodedutilitarian.com NoahB

    The website is the Hooded Utilitarian (with an “ed”). The post is by Anne Ishii.

    Thank you for the link!

  • James Fox

    the end of anime in the US at least has many indications like:
    - Otakus neglecting to buy DVDs and watch nothing but fansubs
    - the closures of Geneon, ADV, Tokyopop and Central Park Media
    - Anime elitism (i.e. Weeaboos)
    - Lack of quality product (i.e. Neglect of good anime like Kaiketsu Zorori)

    • Chris Sobieniak

      All very good reasons right there (and how I’ve noticed that slide over the past decade).

      • James Fox

        Thanks.

  • http://www.kicreativestudio.blogspot.com Ki Innis

    Things are not looking good here in Japan. Economy-wise and animation industry wise.

    Keep in mind Miyzaki-san is an older generation bird and probably doesn’t have the saavy of politically correct tweeting.

  • http://braveandboldbackgroundpaint.blogspot.com/ William Joseph Dunn

    I’m surprised he tweets.

    • Santiago

      To tell you the truth is a freaking BOT just posting excerpts of Miyazaki’s interviews. I follow Miyazaki daily and never in all this years have known that he tweets(non of the big ghibli fan sites have mentioned it either).

    • Ramon

      yeah me too. can this twitter account be verified somehow. i remember in a documentary about him and the studio where he kinda scorned technology; mostly electronic correspondences.

  • B.Bonny

    My impression of Miyazaki’s position on western feminism, based on his work, is that he is pre-feminist.

    He doesn’t consider women as baby machines or domestic drudges, but he projects the other extreme, that women are magical creatures to be worshiped and taken care of instead of equals.

    Feminism, per se, hasn’t really taken root in Japan and to my knowledge neither has affirmative action. If men aren’t being hired into animation, then they’re getting more reward doing something else.

    I’m not surprised. Anime displays little of the vitality it once had. I believe this is due to the population implosion going on there and the lack of a young male audience.

    • Iritscen

      “My impression of Miyazaki’s position on western feminism, based on his work, is that he is pre-feminist [...] that women are magical creatures to be worshiped and taken care of instead of equals.”
      How many of his films have you watched, *really*?

    • http://dokdibujos.blogspot.com Dokeck

      I agree, he has an idealized vision on chilhood and feminism in his movies. For fiction it does well, not so much for the real world.
      I love his movies anyway.

  • Toonio

    Remember Japanese stick to traditions and they think we are wrong the same way we think they are wrong.

    Change will come to Japan in it’s due time so nothing to freak about. It’s Miyazaki for crying out loud.

    if people that think alike befriend each other, could this mean the big round Lass doesn’t like women in animation neither?

  • http://n/a Tony Claar

    “The ambiguity may…. partly be…. because Twitter is an awful forum for having meaningful discussions of any kind”.
    This sentence is a sign of the times we live in AND it is an UNDERSTATEMENT. It sounds like a cartoon! The fact that we even have to explain that Twitter may be inadequate, if not counter-productive, if not a crazy choice to have ANY kind of meaningful, emotional, nuanced, witty, subtle, sophisticated, uplifting, engaging, or effective dialogue is a joke!! Have we all lost our minds??? It’s TWITTER, gang! You-TWIT-on-it….need I say more?
    Miyazaki knows what he’s talking about: it’s up to us dummies to catch up to his insight and wisdom. He certainly didn’t mean that “women” are the cause of the downfall of Japanese animation; currently, they are SAVING it. The rest you can figure out for yourselves……

  • http://www.colleenlynnecox.com Colleen

    I read this and chatted with a few friends abroad about this, and here’s what we thought – as I understand, culturally in Japan the expectation is that women, upon marriage, usually leave their jobs to start a family life, but if they want to be married and work that’s frowned upon (especially so if you have children) – so the issue may not be how Miyazaki perceives women (as hellohue points out, I actually believe Miyazaki to be a feminist!) but his concerns are of the possible transient nature of a female employee. Miyazaki may be saying that, because of cultural expectations, female animators are in a position of having to choose between a career or companionship – thus they will opt for companionship over a lonesome workaholic life and/or chastisement from their family/friends/etc. to stop putting their family/husband second after their work.

    Men, alternatively, are expected to be breadwinners, and thus are perceived as more stable members of the industry. My friends told me of men with working wives being mocked or perceived as bad providers or subservient to their wives … so you can imagine how that could effect a relationship.

    Thus the perception that female animators are unable to be fully committed members of the animation industry in Japan … etc.

    That’s the take from myself and my friends, I love to hear what you guys think about that.

  • http://thequietly.com spookymeggie

    A couple of thoughts…

    Miyazaki is one of the many animation professionals that I admire, but would never want to work under or be scrutinized by. A person of genius is rarely a person of charm.

    As to the tweets, I’ve heard this sort of statement from many, many Canadian and American animators (usually older than 40, usually white males) about how all the new applicants are women (or Indian, or Chinese, or Korean…). Sometimes it’s just an observation, sometimes it’s a complaint. What’s happening right now is a changing of the guard –and that is VERY SCARY to the old soldiers! A field that has historically been very closed to us is modernizing, in part thanks to technology rendering a lot of so-called old-timers obsolete (another complaint– perhaps a valid one–I hear regularly, though not the case at Ghibli) and I am hardly surprised to hear grumbling about it. Think about the generation differences here — If these 40+ fellows are distressed by being replaced by a girl when their mothers likely worked outside the home, just think how the world has shifted around 70 year old Miyazaki! Women couldn’t even be tea-cart pushing Office Ladies when he was young, and Japan still isn’t exactly a feminist utopia…

    While studying animation, my classmates were predominantly female, and of many races (The girls washroom was graffitied with the words “ink and paint department”). And good for us, I say! I’m glad people are calling others out on this sort of mindset and comment. Let’s reward skill and work ethic and put aside ageist, sexist and racist notions.

  • Santiago

    Quick question! this is the first time I’ve heard of Hayao Miyazaki having a tweeter, he doesn’t seem like the person to tweet, is that an official tweeter?!

  • Mister Twister

    I do not understand: if you are not sure what Miyazaki’s tweet was about, why did you create such an alarmist title??

  • http://www.caricaturesbydave.com Dave Stephens

    Only women applying IS a “fail”.

    If only women apply, only women will animate.

    If “only men” is a “fail”, then so is “only women”.

    Men and women, being quite different, have different strengths to offer, true, and different weaknesses, also true.

    In America, speaking of the strengths of women is accepted and encouraged. However, speaking of ANY weaknesses of women invites abuse – such negative speech is Politically Incorrect. I would imagine that more honest comparisons of strengths and weaknesses are quite common in Japan though it is publicly rare here in the USA…

    • Tara

      What do you consider the strengths and weaknesses of women in animation?

      On a side note, I understand that it’s statistically true that women are better at some things at men and men are better at some things than women. But I don’t think it’s fair to generalize a group, whether it be based on their gender, race, religious beliefs (or lack thereof), etc. That doesn’t help anyone.

  • http://www.pigtailstudio.com/ Hotara

    Is the twitter bot actually him?
    Cause it sounds like an excerpt from the Berkeley interview that I saw recently.

    You all can go check it out if you want :)

    http://bryoncaldwell.blogspot.com/2011/08/hayao-miyazaki-interview-at-uc-berkeley.html

  • Lei

    Isn’t that twitter account just a “bot”? One of those that just tweet automatically. http://blog.japantimes.co.jp/japan-pulse/theyve-got-a-twitter-bot-for-that/

  • http://www.animationsfilme.ch Satoshi

    It’s so clear: The remark about women is very cleary to understand as a “loss in general”, but not a loss on behalf of the women, but as a loss of the other, missing half. It’s in no way adressed against women, nor is he taking a side for or against women oder men, it’s not even a Discussion about Gender. There are too less Animators in Japan. The ones that stayed and are still interested in the Jobs are mostly women.

  • http://www.hoodedutilitarian.com NoahB

    Miyazaki tweeted about women in anime; Anne Ishii questioned him about it; he then provided a fuller response, which was an interview excerpt.

    If you read the original post, Anne explains the back and forth more clearly.

  • Dr.Truth

    Hey Miyazaki,
    maybe a female director might give some much needed fresh ideas to your overrated, overhyped, sleep inducing, yawn fests that you call animated films.
    I’ve always thought Miyazaki was a hack. You need NODOZ to get through his movies!!!! Watching grass grow would provide more stimulation!! Female animators rule!!!

    • Santiago

      What kind of animated films do you find interesting then?

  • Dave

    So wait… The answer to the question, which is based on only part of what someone said, is posted in the same article you wrote? And even when it’s doubly answered in the comments section you don’t correct/update the post body that suggests someone you don’t even know has a problem with women animators?

  • Mizuka

    Just to clarify things, the twitter account is NOT Miyazaki’s official twitter, but a bot that tweets things that Miyazaki has previously said in interviews, the art of~ books, etc.

    As for the quote… Although I can speak Japanese fluently I’m still kind of confused as to what Miyazaki’s saying. What I got from reading the quote is similar to what Dave Stephens said in a earlier comment: just like “only men” is fail, so is “only women.” Only women are responding to new hires, and although he jokes that having an all-female company might be a good thing, Miyazaki’s concerned that the industry is becoming lopsided. The comments about outsourcing is his concern that no animation happens in Japan anymore, therefore the loss of identity of “Japanese Animation.” They can’t rely on China all the time.

    I do still kinda feel misogynistic undertones from how he worded it, but I don’t think that was his intent.

  • Kelfeth

    Considering how a certain cranky someone dissed Lauren Faust for creating a girly show, and we Americans are supposed to be more feminist than the Japanese . . . is this a shock?

  • http://benjamindrake.blogspot.com Benjamin Drake

    Wait hang on, Miyazaki has a Twitter account?

  • muffles

    Taking this as it is written and not probably what he might mean…It shows that he is losing his grip to age. The Japanese have a historic bad relationship with their own female children- and their aging and declining population shows it big time.

  • Jeffy Lube

    Reminds me of execs blaming hand drawn animation as a failing format rather than focusing on the lackluster writing of their projects.

    Japanese animation is dying! It’s the..the..women’s fault. Yeah, that it!

  • muffles

    Hmm… that blog is very misleading. That is not Miyazaki’s Twitter, just an account that Tweets various things he has said.

  • MissConception

    Not to be the devil’s advocate in all of this, but has anyone ever thought of taking this at face value? Despite cultural barriers and misunderstandings, he did in fact bring gender into the equation. This immediately denotes he has preconceived notions about women and is making judgements based on them. If he was truly unbiased, he wouldn’t have mentioned it at all. If he were to make a similar comment suggesting that an increase in black applicants meant the end of anime, he would immediately be deemed a racist despite “cultural differences.”

    Honestly, I really don’t care if this aging animation tycoon is sexist or a feminist or whatever. And I am a female animator. But sometimes, what people said is what they meant.

  • http://www.cementimental.com Tim Drage

    It says right in the description of the ‘Miyasan_bot’ twitter that it’s an unoffical account tweeting Miyazaki quotations – http://twitter.com/#!/miyasan_bot (google translate it i guess)

  • Carina

    I love Miyazaki’s work, but as someone that lives in Japan and speaks Japanese I think that the tone of the original posts is definitely what it sounds like in the English translation that was provided. For anyone who has visited the Ghibli museum, I think one thing that stands out for me every time I go there is that there is a display about “women’s roles” in Ghibli animation and it is limited only to ink and painting, just like in the early days of Disney. But we are talking about a studio that first opened in the 80′s… It’s true Miyazaki’s movies portray strong female leads, but it’s important to remember that these are fantasy movies. Many Japanese anime and movies from other studios also portray openly homosexual characters, but this is something that is understood as purely “fantasy” and is in not accepted in Japanese society. I don’t think that Miyazaki “hates” women or thinks they are inferior, but I suspect he may be like most Japanese men his age and strongly believe that men and women should work to the uptmost while staying within the “roles” that are established for them by society. Though he marvels that women these days want to engage in such unfeminine job choices as “bus driver”… so hey! anything’s possible… lol

  • Carina

    Actually, reading the English translations I think they may be a little more “flattering” than the original Japanese if you are looking for excuses to accuse Miyazaki of sexism. In his post about it now certainly being an age where many women choose to become bus-drivers (a job that is traditionally not considered very feminine but certainly women can do just as well), he then asks the reader if they would be ok with women being “all over” cotton mills. However, the word he chooses and they translate as “all over”(だらけ)”darake” can only be used in instances of there being a lot of something that is negative (such as say blood or holes) somewhat like how the English word “infested” can only be negative. Ok, it’s not as super negative as that just made it sound, but the word has a certain flavor to it that I think indicates he is trying to point out there are some jobs, such as cotton picking, which are more suited to men (in this case because of muscles and it “just not being women’s work”) and it would just be “unnatural” for there to be a lot of women doing.

    • Carina

      One final thought… the original says “jyousei darake no bouseki koujo ni nattemo ii ka” which literally means “is it ok to BECOME a cotton mill full of women” not “is it ok to have women all over cotton mills”. But I still don’t know what he means!!!!

  • Carina

    Hm. Oopsy. This is why it’s important to research everything before posting something to make yourself look super dumb. Turns out 紡績工場(Cotton Mill) in Japan is a place where pretty much only women work doing manual labor. Here is an image from one:
    http://img.blogs.yahoo.co.jp/ybi/1/91/a2/libai036/folder/1132098/img_1132098_63215594_0?1289878266

    So, I also am puzzled by where he was going with that comment. The use of “darake” makes it sound decidedly negative to have a lot of women in the work place, but I am confused about why he specifically brings it up.

  • Gray64

    Firstly, given that he once threatened to fire an animator for even suggesting they employ computers in the animation process, I am surprised that Miyazaki looked past his antipathy for technology and got a Twitter account.

    I’m not sure if this could be part of the issue, but traditionally, being an animator, an in-the-trenches animator, in Japan doesn’t pay very well. It’s possible that fewer men are getting into it for that reason alone. A lot of working women in Japan are unmarried young women who still live at home with their parents and so can afford to take lower-paying work. The men often have wives/families to support (and in Japan it’s still very common for a woman to stop working altogther once she gets married). Miyazaki has fought for years to increase the pay for animators in the Japanese industry, and unfortunately hasn’t made much progress outside his own studio.

    • Tim Drage

      He doesn’t; see comments above, it’s a ‘bot’ account automatically posting selected quotes from his writing/interviews. The Blogger who believes she has been communicating with him and received a clarification is mistaken.

  • http://radstronomical.com radstronomical

    Aside from the fact that the account is not authorized and has _bot right in the name, we’re talking about an animator who I’m fairly sure doesn’t own a television. Miyazaki hates modern technology — don’t ever expect him to tweet anything!

    As to what was said, he is definitely an old fashioned Japanese man, which makes it not entirely surprising that he feels that way. The cultural divide is huge. Similarly revered game developer Fumita Ueda was recently quoted as saying that his games never feature female leads because he doesn’t think their bodies are strong enough to do all of the climbing that takes place in his games. I don’t think using Miyazaki’s strong female leads as evidence that he might not feel that way is valid either — as almost every one relies on the help of a stronger man to reach her goal. In Mononoke Ashitaka is basically a god-man trying to force some sense two irrational women.

    Still, the man is a genius and all of his films have beautiful messages and largely portray women in a constructive way. It’s unfortunate to see him say something like this, and I hope he just means that he wants the industry to stay diverse. That doesn’t seem likely to me.

  • http://zerosoul.deviantart.com smav

    You know…maybe by “women” he meants “moe shit obsessed otaku who have no interest in character or storyline and just want to write about their wish fulfillment K-On! fanfiction”.

    Because that makes about 100% more sense.

  • http://Facebook Henry Wiginton

    NO!!!!!!!!!!!!! Anime will stay strong in the darkest of times.

    Everyone please have some faith.

    2D FOREVER

  • Robert

    As with any language ALOT gets lost in translation. What he’s saying is that the indicator of decline in any industry is an increase of one particular demographic as a means to quickly replace the previous and more skillfully diverse workforce. If there were a deluge of young male nurses in the healthcare industry eyebrows would raise.

    Variety is a spice of life and if one group dominates an industry you MAY be losing aspects that made that industry great. There are many talented men and women in anime, but what makes anime great is that balance of creativity. Otherwise the terms Shojo, Shonen, and Josei would have no meaning.

  • D

    I am guessing the point he’s trying to make is that in a male-dominated society if there’s no young males showing an interest in something then it’s evidence that that thing is becoming unappealing in the dominant culture – and also the whole ‘woman’s work’ mentality. It doesn’t mean he likes it, it’s just that’s the way the patriarchal system is.

    I actually see more and more in America, women in the animation industry – and indeed a LOT of women at art schools for animation. However I think the opposite is the case in America – recently the quality and frequency of our animation has sharply gone up, in spite of the flagging economy.

    I don’t know what the environment is like for animation in Japan but I think Miyazaki is lamenting this shift also because less males means less diversity overall as well. Ideally there should be a mix of male and female perspectives in any artistic medium, really. The two should be interacting and working together or offering their different points of view – it makes for a healthier creative environment IMO.

  • Sarah

    I truly hope he is NOT saying men are better at creation then women. And I hope he does not follow the Japanese belief that women will ruin an empire if they rule it.

  • Chang

    putting all the pieces together: given the cultural background concerning women in japan combined with him saying only women are applying is showing a grave loss of interest in the animation industry. A whole gender has left the industry and the only gender left will most likely leave when half of them get married and have a family..leaving virtually no one to carry on a proper vision or legacy of animation adn the industry itself will slowly fade away and soon. Not even women will be applying. THAT’s the concern here. He doesn’t hate women so everyone chill with the drama and offensiveness and understand the CULTURE this man lives in. Women have their role and still hold true to it; it is NOT a bad thing of what they hold true to but the fact that that tradition is still alive and well means that any occupation with only women applicants won’t last or hold strong because they’ll fade in numbers eventually. This is nothing offensive for gooddness sake it’s just what it is. They need the male applicants there for stability and continuation..otherwise animation is doomed in Japan. That’s just how it is. So stop taking offense over nothing. Understand the culture before you all start to so quickly raise hell and high water.

  • LLLookAtYouHacker

    I hope none of you take too much offence, but I think most of you are complete idiots.

    This does not only pertain to the assumption that his statement was formulated out of sexism against women, but also in your lack of consideration regarding sexism against men.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wZWmOYq3fX4&feature=related

    This is an interview. Watch and learn.

  • momoko

    How interesting…since Miyazaki is considered a feminist according to co-works that know him best. Also look at his films. The majority of them have very strong female protagonists and strong working class female supporting characters. It is very interesting that he would make a comment about women in the animation industry that can be easily interpreted as sexist. It could just be an error in interpretation due to the fact that the Japanese language in itself is set up to be a rather vague language in general, where things are not always very clear. I would like to more behind the story of this tweet, because miyazaki is one of my all time animators and I hold him in such high regard.

  • Erika

    uhh his wife was an animator, he probavly meant it in a different way.

  • christopherjacques

    Not believing a woman has the same talents as a man is NOT misogyny.

    • sknywhtboy88

      …it absolutely is misogyny. Believing that men and women can’t do anything just as well as the other that doesn’t relate to their genitalia is utterly sexist.