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Studio Ghibli's Isao Takahata Confirms He Has New Work

posted on by Egan Loo
Grave of the Fireflies/Only Yesterday director cautions it may be 2 years from completion

Isao Takahata, the co-founder of Studio Ghibli and the director of such works as Grave of the Fireflies and Only Yesterday, confirmed on Friday that he has a new work. However, he cautioned that the new work is still not close to complete, and that it may be about two more years before it is.

Takahata was responding to a question at an event at the Museum of Contemporary Art at Tokyo. The museum is hosting an exhibition for the works of Canadian animator Frédéric Back in collaboration with Ghibli, and Takahata was speaking alongside actress Keiko Takeshita (Ghibli's From Up On Poppy Hill) and craftsman Tadashi Inamoto. (All three speakers are involved in environmental efforts related to Back's work.)

It has been 12 years since Takahata's last feature film, 1999's My Neighbors the Yamadas. Ghibli producer Toshio Suzuki had hinted in 2009 that Takahata was working on a project based on the classic Japanese folktale Taketori Monogatari (The Tale of the Bamboo Cutter) in the style of the classical Japanese scroll Chōjū-jinbutsu-giga. Takahata himself mentioned Taketori Monogatari at the 62nd Locarno International Film Festival in August of that year. The 10th century tale, known by virtually every Japanese child, revolves around a princess named Kaguya who was discovered as a baby inside the stalk of a glowing bamboo plant.

Suzuki also said at the same Museum of Contemporary Art last month that the new work of the studio's other famous co-founder, Hayao Miyazaki, is an "autobiography." However, Suzuki's vague phrasing in Japanese did not indicate if the work is Miyazaki's own autobiography, or an adaptation of another person's autobiography.

Sources: Cinema Today via Hachima Kikō, Eiga.com

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