Author Naoki Hyakuta Thinks Hayao Miyazaki's Got a Few Screws Loose

posted on by Lynzee Loveridge

Best-selling author and screenwriter Naoki Hyakuta (Kaizoku to Yobareta Otoko, The Eternal Zero) and acclaimed animated film director Hayao Miyazaki are entangled in a bit of a feud that reached a boiling point this weekend. The tiff started regarding Hyakuta's novel The Eternal Zero about two grandchildren trying to find the truth about their grandfather's death, a Kamikaze pilot who had no interest in dying. The book was adapted into a live-action film last year and picked up for a television mini-series.

Miyazaki was not a fan, saying in an interview, “They're making a movie about the Zero, now. The script is based on a piece of historical military fiction that's full of lies, though…They're just trying to continue fabricating legends about the Zero."

One interpretation of Miyazaki's words suggests that by leaving the word Eternal out of the title, Miyazaki was commenting on Hyakuta's novel and adaptations as glorification of the plane and, in turn, Japan's role in World War II.

Hyakuta denied these allegations on Twitter and reiterated his position on Osaka's Takajin no Money Black talk show on Saturday. Hyakuta said he is “thoroughly opposed to war and kamikaze attacks,” but also took the the quarrel to the next level, managing to get censored on Japanese television.

“Miyazaki hasn't read my book, or seen the movie based on it, you know?” the author said. “That guy,” Hyakuta's continued, pointing to his head, “I wonder if he's all right in the [bleep]." Hyakuta went on to suggest that Miyazaki's final The Wind Rises film itself promotes war revisionism.

"The Wind Rises is full of lies," Hyakuta offered, "I'm just a simple patriot. Who I hate are people with anti-Japanese or traitorous sentiments."

The author's accusation is not the first time Miyazaki's work was criticized for war revisionism. The film is a biopic of aircraft engineer Jiro Horikoshi (1903-1982), the designer of the Mitsubishi A6M Zero, the same plane referenced in The Eternal Zero. LA Weekly film critic Inkoo Kang denounced Miyazaki's film for "perpe[tuating] Japanese society's deliberate misremembering and rewriting of history."

In her piece, "The Trouble with The Wind Rises," Kang also says that "critics who fail to observe or protest Miyazaki's 'pussyfooting' around a regime that caused more deaths than the Holocaust aid and abet Japan's continued whitewashing of its war crimes." Kang continues to say that the film not only declines to challenge Japan's denial of wartime atrocities, but "worse, echoes Japan's morally dishonest stance that it was a victim, rather than a perpetrator, of a global war."

The film received criticism from other sides of the aisle too, with Japanese critics on message boards calling the Miyazaki "Anti-Japanese" and a "traitor."

[Via Rocket News 24]

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