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Studio Ghibli Appoints Kiyofumi Nakajima as New President

posted on by Jennifer Sherman
Former president Koji Hoshino to serve as chairman

Former Ghibli Museum director Kiyofumi Nakajima (pictured right) was appointed as the new president of Studio Ghibli on Tuesday. Former Studio Ghibli President Koji Hoshino became chairperson for the company. Toshio Suzuki is continuing as producer, and all three men are representative directors for the studio.

Hoshino's work for the company focuses on foreign business development and merchandise licensing, and Suzuki is in charge of the production department. After director Hayao Miyazaki announced his retirement from making feature films in 2013, the studio's production department was dissolved. However, when Miyazaki returned from retirement to direct his "final feature animation film," the studio restarted production. The studio hired animators to officially begin production in October on Miyazaki's Kimi-tachi wa Dō Ikiru ka (How Do You Live?) film, which is expected to take three or four years to complete. The company's new business appointments will lead the studio's new wave of production.

Nakajima was born in 1963. After graduating from college, the bank he worked for put him in charge of Studio Ghibli when it was a subsidiary of Tokuma Shoten. He became head of the Tokuma Memorial Cultural Foundation for Animation, which manages the Ghibli Museum, in 2004. Nakajima then became the museum's director in June 2005.

Hoshino was formerly president and chairperson of Ultra Disney Japan. He became president of Studio Ghibli in 2008.

The new director of the Ghibli Museum and Tokuma Memorial Cultural Foundation for Animation will be Kazuki Anzai (pictured left), who formerly directed the museum's planning and exhibitions. After graduating college, Anzai began a career as an industry designer. She joined Studio Ghibli in 1998 and was involved with the opening of the museum, as well as the design for the "Satsuki and Mei's House" exhibit at Moricoro Park in Aichi.

The Ghibli Museum opened in Mikata in October 2001 and as of this year has attracted more than 10 million visitors. The museum is dedicated to bringing the works of Studio Ghibli to life through interactive exhibits and replicas of iconic Ghibli creations like the Catbus from My Neighbor Totoro and the robot from Castle in the Sky. The museum also offers a rotating screening of different Ghibli-animated shorts. Additionally, exhibits on works that have influenced Miyazaki are also common. Tickets to the museum must be purchased in advance, and the museum only makes a select number of tickets available for each day.

Sources: Animation Business Journal (Tadashi Sudo), Eiga Natalie

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