21 Hayao Miyazaki Quotes that Might Spirit You Away

(Last Updated On: December 13, 2020)

If you’re looking for some animated gems to watch and you have not seen anything with Hayao Miyazaki’s name on it, you probably don’t need to look any further. You probably know Miyazaki mostly from his work after he co-founded Studio Ghibli in 1985–for good reason. Maybe you recognize the big fluffball from My Neighbor Totoro without having any of the context. Maybe it’s Spirited Away and No-Face–which you probably have heard of, considering that the film is the highest grossing in Japanese history. Anyway, while you’re queueing up some of Miyazaki’s films, why not see what he has to say? Here are some Miyazaki quotes we enjoyed along the way. 

On People

“Once you have met someone, you never really forget them.”

“I think that in the essence of human civilization, we have the desire to become rich without limit, by taking the lives of other creatures.”

“Humans have both the urge to create and destroy.”

“Is someone different at age 18 or 60? I believe one stays the same.”

“We get strength and encouragement from watching children.”

On Inspiration & Writing

“I get inspiration from my everyday life.”

“In order to grow your audience, you must betray their expectations.”

“Logic is using the front part of the brain, that’s all. But you can’t make a film with logic. Or if you look at it differently, everybody can make a film with logic. But my way is to not use logic.”

“The creation of a single world comes from a huge number of fragments and chaos.”

“I’ve become skeptical of the unwritten rule that just because a boy and girl appear in the same feature, a romance must ensue. Rather, I want to portray a slightly different relationship, one where the two mutually inspire each other to live—if I’m able to, then perhaps I’ll be closer to portraying a true expression of love.”

“Many of my movies have strong female leads—brave, self-sufficient girls that don’t think twice about fighting for what they believe with all their heart. They’ll need a friend, or a supporter, but never a savior. Any woman is just as capable of being a hero as any man.”

“My process is thinking, thinking and thinking—thinking about my stories for a long time.”

“Sometimes I test myself saying, ‘If I get a death sentence if I don’t make this movie, would I still make this movie?’”

On Life

“You may not like what’s happening, but just accept it, and let’s try to live together. Even if you feel angry, let’s be patient and endure, let’s try to live together. I’ve realized that this is the only way forward.” 

“Always believe in yourself. Do this and no matter where you are, you will have nothing to fear.”

“This idea that whenever something evil happens someone particular can be blamed and punished for it, in life and in politics is hopeless.”

“You must see with eyes unclouded by hate. See the good in that which is evil, and the evil in that which is good. Pledge yourself to neither side, but vow instead to preserve the balance that exists between the two.”

“Life is a winking light in the darkness.”

“Yet, even amidst the hatred and carnage, life is still worth living.“

On the Future

“It would be wonderful if I could see the end of civilization during my lifetime.”

“The future is clear. It’s going to fall apart. What’s the use in worrying? It’s inevitable.”

See if you can’t name Miyazaki movies by their poster here.

About the Author:

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Kyler is a content writer at Sporcle living in Seattle, and is currently studying at the University of Washington School of Law. He's been writing for Sporcle since 2019; sometimes the blog is an excellent platform to answer random personal questions he has about the world. Most of his free time is spent drinking black coffee like water.