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Hayao Miyazaki: Children Entrusted with Hope

Time & Location

April 29, 2pm EDT


The Japan Foundation, New York will start a special “Studio Ghibli series” as part of our Pop Culture Series!

For the first episode on Studio Ghibli, we will take a closer look at the life of Hayao Miyazaki, the director of Studio Ghibli, and how it influenced his work, especially the children characters he created.

Please join us for a discussion with two anime experts, Susan Napier and Helen McCarthy. Napier will introduce us to the story of Miyazaki’s life and works based on her latest book, Miyazakiworld: A Life in Art, taking a closer look at how children characters guide us to deal with an increasingly uncertain future. Following the presentation, we will have a live discussion between McCarthy and Napier about their perspectives on Miyazaki’s various characters.

The discussion will be followed by a live Q&A. If you have any questions about Miyazaki’s worldview and characters, now is your chance to ask the experts. Please ask your question when you register for the event via Eventbrite. Live commentary will also be enabled on the YouTube stream, so you can participate in the Q&A session on air as well.

This event is free. Registrants will receive the link to the stream via email.


Dr. Susan Napier is the Goldthwaite Professor of Rhetoric and Professor of Japanese Studies at Tufts University. She teaches courses on Japanese culture, including a seminar on Miyazaki, and also on comparative film and literature, including a course on “The Cinema of Apocalypse” and one on “Fantasy in World Culture.” Napier has written five books. Her first two books were on Japanese literature. In the early 1990’s she became interested in comics and animation in general and in Japanese manga and animation in particular and has published two books on Japanese animation and numerous articles and book chapters. She is now considered one of the leading authorities on Japanese animation in the world and in 2018 published Miyazakiworld (Yale University Press), a study of the great Japanese animation director, Hayao Miyazaki. The book came out in paperback and is being translated into 10 languages.
> Official Website

Helen McCarthy is a feminist, writer, artist, poet, and independent scholar. An ardent science fiction and fantasy fan, she has been active in organising conventions and creating and performing cosplay since 1974. She founded Britain’s first professional anime magazine in 1991, published her first book on anime in 1993, and has since written 13 books, translated into eight languages. Her most recent work is as co-editor with Dr. Darren-John Ashmore of an essay collection on mangaka Leiji Matsumoto. She has written award-winning works on Hayao Miyazaki and Osamu Tezuka, and co-authored The Anime Encyclopedia, the leading English language reference work on anime, with Jonathan Clements. As a speaker, she has presented on topics including the history of cosplay in Japan, the history of Japanese dress, the development of 2.5D theatre, and the work of many distinguished manga creators and film-makers. She has also worked on a number of exhibitions and projects, including Sidi Larbi Cherkaoui’s dance drama TeZukA and the British Museum’s 2019 blockbuster Manga! exhibition.
> Official website

Previous Sessions

EP1: Roundtable: Why Do We Study Anime and Manga?
EP2: Through a Glass Darkly: Identity Crises in Ghost in the Shell and Neon Genesis Evangelion
EP3: The Power of Music in Anime
EP4: Satoshi Kon: Tracing the Legacy of an Anime Giant
EP5: Sailor Moon: How These Magical Girls Transformed Our World
EP6: Anime Takes the Stage: The Rise of 2.5-Dimensional Musicals and Beyond

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