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Studio Ghibli's Isao Takahata Wins Kenji Miyazawa's Ihatov Award

posted on by Jennifer Sherman
Late author's works inspired Takahata's Pom Poko, Gauche the Cellist

Isao Takahata, the Oscar-nominated anime director and co-founder of Studio Ghibli, will receive this year's Ihatov Award presented by the Miyazawa Kenji Association. The Ihatov Award recognizes people whose actions embody the spirit of the late poet and author Kenji Miyazawa.

Takahata will receive the 25th Ihatov Award in Hanamaki's Nahan Plaza on September 22 at 10:00 a.m. The first annual Ihatov Award celebrated completion of the Miyazawa Kenji Association Ihatov Center in 1990.

The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences invited Takahata into its ranks in June. The animator received the Officier decoration in France's Ordre des Arts et des Lettres (Order of Arts and Letters) in April.

Takahata earned an Oscar nomination for his most recent work, The Tale of the Princess Kaguya (pictured left). He presented the film at last year's Annecy International Animation Film Festival in France and recevied an Honorary Award there.

Takahata had a long career directing such classics as Little Norse Prince Valiant (Taiyō no Ōji - Hols no Daibōken), Alps no Shōjo Heidi, and Anne of Green Gables before he co-founded Studio Ghibli with Hayao Miyazaki. He went on to create the feature films Grave of the Fireflies, Only Yesterday, Pom Poko, and My Neighbors the Yamadas.

Miyazawa's children's story "Futago no Hoshi" (Twin Stars) inspired the twin girl spirits in Takahata's Pom Poko. The film includes several other references to Miyazawa's works. Miyazawa's original novel also inspired Takahata's anime film Gauche the Cellist.

Miyazawa's works have inspired many anime including Night on the Galactic Railroad and Studio Ghibli's From Up On Poppy Hill. Shoji Kawamori (Macross, Escaflowne) adapted Miyazawa's own life into the television anime special Spring and Chaos (Ihatov Gensou: Kenji no Haru).

Source: Yomiuri Shimbun

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