Friday, July 24, 2009

Miyazaki in Berkeley Preview

Center for Japanese Studies Set to Bestow Japan Prize on Hayao Miyazaki

The Acclaimed Japanese Filmmaker's Appearance At UC Berkeley Presents An Invaluable Opportunity

Photo:
CAROLYN KAO/ILLUSTRATION

BY DAVID LIU

Taking major steps to recognize one of modern cinema's most accomplished visual artists, UC Berkeley's Center for Japanese Studies has chosen animation director Hayao Miyazaki as the recipient of the 2009 Berkeley Japan Prize. As part of his much-touted stateside visit, the renowned filmmaker will participate in a two-hour interview at Zellerbach Hall on July 25, a highly anticipated event that will be moderated by Roland Kelts, Tokyo University lecturer and author of "Japanamerica."

Miyazaki will follow in the footsteps of noted Japanese novelist Haruki Murakami, who received the prestigious award last October for his literary achievements. "The Berkeley Japan Prize honors individuals from all disciplines and professions who, through their work, have brought worldwide audiences to come into closer proximity with Japan," explained Professor Duncan Williams, current chair of the Center for Japanese Studies, in an e-mail. "We are honored to give the prize to one of the world's greatest filmmakers, who has brought Japan and the best in innovative Japanese culture to the world through the medium of film."

Born on January 5, 1941 in Tokyo, Japan, Hayao Miyazaki became fascinated with animation while still in high school. After graduating from Gakushuin University with degrees in political science and economics, he found work at Japan's renowned Toei Animation as an animator and concept artist. The success he enjoyed at Toei paved the way for a fruitful collaboration with director Isao Takahata, who would later co-found the influential Studio Ghibli with Miyazaki. Their work on the popular animated television series "Lupin III" would eventually lead to Miyazaki's first feature, 1979's "The Castle of Cagliostro" ... [more HERE]

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