The Time Hayao Miyazaki Went Off On America

The Time Hayao Miyazaki Went Off On America

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 harbour quite a bit of resentment towards the West.

The Time Hayao Miyazaki Went Off On America


“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 US Army and US Air Force that filled Vietnam with dioxins as enemies, so I’m against motorisation. 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 Time Hayao Miyazaki Went Off On America

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 Time Hayao Miyazaki Went Off On 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.

Picture: 映画「夢と狂気の王国」


  • “I dislike the United States that dropped the nuclear bombs and does not regret it”

    Wait, wait, wait… The Japanese stated the war with the US, then once they had been driven back to their homeland, at no point did they surrender, they were going to fight tooth and nail to hold Japan for as long as possible, and then… America dropped two bombs, kill hundreds of thousands of people and in doing so forced the Japanese to surrender which lead to saving millions of Japanese lives (from a land invasion of Japan) and kept their major industries intact which in turn allowed them to become one of the worlds largest and most advance economies. Na, no fucking regrets you ignorant fucking loser.

    • ” kept their major industries intact”

      What? American firebombing destroyed at least 40% of japans industrial capability, knocking production levels back about 15 years by most conservative estimates. Also how is disliking that someone dropped a nuclear bomb on your country “ignorant”?

      • Compared to Germany post war, they had good industry to rebuild with… Still having 60% production capacity and only costing them 15 years isn’t bad.

    • I think the biggest problem with the nuclear option was that it killed (and purposefully so) hundreds of thousands of civilians. It was basically terrorism, with the goal of scaring the Japanese into surrendering without the need for massive US casualties in invading the Japanese mainland. After Okinawa, the US thought it would be too costly to invade the mainland amphibiously, and so the bombs were used. I’m not saying the Japanese didn’t commit atrocities of their own (Nanjing for example), but Miyazaki has every right to reproach the Americans for dropping the bombs. Any suggestion that it was done to save Japanese lives is a sop to the consciences of Americans who should otherwise feel ashamed of what their country has done.

      • I think you will find, that every reasonable effort was made by the allies to reduce enemy casualties. I’m not saying the Allies were fair, they did let the Russian invade Berlin to save their own resources and the Russian were arguably not very friendly, you have to take into account, both German, and Japan started large wars that caused massive death and destruction and threatened the very fabric of western culture. They deserved to get a fucking bomb dropped on them, there shouldn’t be an regret in attempting to end a conflict like WW2 using an means possible, the ends justified the means in this case… WW2, for the people that lived in that time, was the Apocalypse unfolding, and the people that fought in that world believed that their world, their way of life would be destroyed forever, if stopping that meant blowing up many thousands of people, the same people that started the war, so be it. It is ignorant of him to think that the US would have acted any differently given the situation.

    • War is always going to be ugly. It’s no surprise that either side is going to feel some sort of resentment towards the other, and it’s understandable that Miyazaki would express such feelings some 30 years ago.

      I’m no psychoanalyst, but I doubt he shares the same thoughts now. It’d be concerning if he did.

    • Historical records show that Japan was actually getting ready to surrender. They were discussing terms, and the only issue was that Japan didn’t just want an unconditional surrender. The Emperor was having trouble getting the main families to support an unconditional surrender, but they were slowly coming around before the nukes dropped.

      Historians also tend to believe now that the nuclear bombs had a lot less to do with ending WW2 and more about posturing for the Russians. The US, seeing the Cold War on the horizon, took it as an opportunity to show their potential enemies their devastating powers by completely wiping out two cities and hundreds of thousands of civilians.

      Now, all that’s in the past. What pisses me off is that Americans don’t seem to even consider that so many civilians dying could be bad. Or that it should be condemned. Instead, to them, it was just what happened to the losers. So many innocent dead, and the country that did it not even giving a shit. Yeah, that pisses me off

  • @rkaycom Miyazaki is a lot of things, but an “ignorant fucking loser” is not one of them my friend.

  • Pretty sure he is allowed to show resentment to a country that has propagated war across the globe for 100 years now… Literally every where America goes, it bombs it, rebuilds it and tries to turn it “American”…

    Can’t blame him for holding resentment. How many times has he laid eyes upon a child with deformities as a direct result of America’s actions?

    🙂 LOL

    • So you’re blaming American civilians to that had no action in the atrocities of their government? I’m sorry it just sounds like you are painting Americans in a match box set.

  • i personally loved the comment “My wife went through quite an ordeal with a difficult birth, but it was an equally difficult birth for me”
    im not sure if it is simply lost in translation but that is quite an arrogant and self centered comment . as any dad would tell you, comparing your wifes labour with a driving test would likely get you run over and just in general is not comparable in any way

  • lol that read like something Ron Swanson would say if Ron hates America. Seriously, try reading it in Ron’s voice.

  • To be fair. He is only hating on America. Which is totally understandable. He isn’t being negative against the west in general. Americans just don’t get the resentment everyone has towards them.

  • So if Miyazaki can’t hate Americans for bombing his country does that mean Americans can’t hate muslims for what they’ve done? Because Muslims didn’t start a war with america. And america has started or been involved in conflcts and other dealings that didn’t involve them since WW2. I think everyone is entitled to their opinion. If anyone else doesn’t agree with that opinion then maybe they should read a history book once in a while.

  • Miyazaki is a legend and has like any person with a conscience and understanding of history a right to hate the most psychopathic ruling class in human history. American today represents torture, war and unbridled greed, they are new Nazi’s. The American people need to overthrow the evil nutcases who run America on behalf of the corporations and the super rich if we are ever going to live in peace.

Show more comments

Comments are closed.

Log in to comment on this story!