Anti-Smoking Lobby Goes After Studio Ghibli’s New Film

Anti-Smoking Lobby Goes After Studio Ghibli’s New Film

Studio Ghibli co-founder Hayao Miyazaki smokes. A lot. And so do the characters in his latest film, Kaze Tachinu. It’s like nearly every character, save for the female lead, smokes in Kaze Tachinu. If you think about the 1920s and 30s setting, the excess cigarettes make perfect sense: It seemed like nearly everyone smoked in those days. The smoking certainly does help give the movie a sense of time and place. It might even provide characterisation.

Gigazine reports that the Japan Society for Tobacco Control, however, is not pleased! The non-profit organisation has issue with scenes showing smoking in, for example, a classroom, the workplace, and a resort hotel, among others. The Japan Society for Tobacco Control even has problems with a scene in which the main character holds his wife’s hand…while smoking!

“Why weren’t cigarettes omitted from this scene?” the organisation asks. “There are plenty of other scenes in which there’s smoking.”

When the movie first opened, Japanese site Naver pointed out that many viewers commented on Twitter about the profuse smoking in the movie. Some noted that it was rare to see a protagonist smoke this much in a movie these days. Others commented on how the movie made them want a cigarette.

The Japan Society for Tobacco Control says the way the movie’s depiction of smoking influences young moviegoers cannot be ignored.

The organisation also notes that Japan has ratified the World Health Organisation Framework Convention on Tobacco Control and cites Article 13 of that treaty for how smoking should be depicted in the media. Kaze Tachinu apparently fails to comply.

The group says it does not intend to attack Studio Ghibli, but rather, is asking the studio to pay attention to how smoking is depicted in its films and follow the proper legal parameters. You know, instead of the proper artistic ones.

In case you missed it, here is Kotaku‘s review of Kaze Tachinu.

映画「風立ちぬ」に対して日本禁煙学会が苦言 [Gigazine]


  • Fuck that, smoke up a storm I say! Goddamn anti smoking people. It’s winding down, stop pushing it even harder!

  • “Why weren’t cigarettes omitted from this scene?” the organisation asks. “There are plenty of other scenes in which there’s smoking.”

    It’s a freaking movie, not an instructional video or educational movie. Obviously those people have never hear of a Mickey Mouse, Looney Tune nor Tom and Jerry cartoon before. Or any cinema classic from the 50s and earlier (Popeye, Little Audrey, etc).

  • OMG this factual documentary about WW2 has nazis in it! It’s offensive to me and promotes racism! Remove it now!

  • Fun fact the Camels I smoke are licsenced and manufactoured by JT international or Japanese Tobacco which are 50% owned by the Japanese goverment, Japan the last smokers paradise.

  • “is asking the studio to pay attention to how smoking is depicted in its films and follow the proper legal parameters”

    This I don’t so much mind as justification but I still agree that the whole smoking depicted in forms of entertainment should warrant merely a “Contains Tobacco use” on the cover and be left at that.

    • What about existing media like WWII(Movies & documentaries), Get Smart, The A-Team I Love Jeanie and so on?

  • this reminds me of the time when the Australian Medical Association pushed to get cigarettes banned in all Australian movies/tv – admittedly cigarettes are bad for you, everyone knows that, but smoking is potentially an integral part of what makes the character who they are – knowing that something is bad for them but doing it anyway, could make a serious and subtle statement about their state of mind (that being said I don’t know whether this is the case with this particular film – i haven’t watched it) another example that springs to mind: heroin. it’s very, very bad for you, but Requiem for a Dream would have been somewhat of a different movie had the drug usage been sanitised….

  • “Others commented on how the movie made them want a cigarette.”

    Lmao. This made me laugh.

  • I think these anti-smoking fundamentalists should relax every now and then, have a beer, perhaps a cigar, and meditate a bit. And smile every now and then — these things help to keep things in perspective. I am sure Kaze Tachinu is a great film, I look forward to seeing it.

  • My three rules for smoking.

    Not in my Face
    Not in my Car
    Not in my House

    It’s Simple, I won’t let you smoke in my house or car, don’t care if it’s raining or aliens are coming down. Don’t blow your smoke in my face. Simple really actually that’s my 3 rules for almost anything I don’t like that has irritating side effects for people who don’t.

    • Not in your car – fair enough
      Not in your house – fair enough
      Not in your face – you move away then, they’re your rules not mine.

      • Hahahaha, oh dear. The ‘not in your face’ rule generally comes up when a smoker moves directly in front or beside me and starts smoking, if they were to ask if I mind first then I generally don’t have a problem, otherwise it’s just poor etiquette.
        Think about how unreasonable it would be for me to walk up to a smoker and tell them off for smoking, it would be absurd. Why then should it be reasonable for a smoker to come up to me and start smoking? It all comes down to having a little bit of respect for the people around us, and it applies to both parties.

        OT: I find it a little overbearing when the very occasional film gets strung up for documenting unsavoury behaviour.

        • Totally agree. If I come up to you and start smoking in your face, you can definitely tell me to move away. I more meant if I’m smoking and have someone come to me and then demand I move. I’ve had this happen to me before.

          • I think you greatly misinterpreted the not in my face rule. Pretty much don’t walk up to me and light a cigarette and than blow it directly in my face.

            If I walk past you and your smoking I’m not going to say anything. If I’m in the park eating my lunch on a bench and you walk up, sit down and go to light up I’ll say something.

            The other one I find weird is if there a no smoking area that’s signed and covered, and the smoking area is not. People will smoke in the no smoking area if it’s raining. Sorry but that’s tough luck for you guys.

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