Miyazaki Hayao

Ghibli museum architecture blends with park


Recently I visited the Ghibli museum for the first time. The exhibits are fun, and the whole experience is very Miyazaki: a blend of Western influences in a very Japanese fantasy world. I particularly liked the recreations of Miyazaki’s work space, overflowing with books and drawings. I was a bit surprised at the overflowing ashtrays: undoubtedly realistic but a little odd for a children’s space.

I love how the building itself blends in with the surrounding park, with green walls and roofs, articulated spaces, and mature trees everywhere. It’s an appropriately magical environment that dissolves the lines between people and nature, inside and out.

Inviting Totoro to Tokyo

In a special biodiversity issue, The Kyoto Journal published my short essay called “Inviting Totoro to Tokyo.” The article celebrates Miyazaki Hayao’s (宮崎 駿) wonderful illustrated book “The Place Where Totoro Lives.” In illustrations, words and photos, Miyazaki portrays Tokyo residential districts village-like atmosphere and potential for wildness and mystery. Miyazaki imagines a city that can welcome Totoro by showing rare wood houses, the stories of their occupants, contemporary streetscapes, and how they can be transformed by creating an urban forest.