Review of “A Child’s Five Minutes Can Be Equivalent to a Grown-Up’s Year” (1997)


Miyazaki Hayao (writer).

Read in 2021.

Read in Turning Point.

A recommendation to read the book Treasure Hunting (1994) by Nakagawa Rieko and Omura Yuriko, which Miyazaki would later adapt into a short film (2011).

Miyazaki compares the book’s competitive feats of strength to The Adventures of Tom Sawyer (1876). To explain its greatness, he mentions a trip he once took, as the sole adult with “about” ten children including his own, to Taketomi Island in Okinawa; a highly readable description. The same trip is mentioned more briefly in “What Is Important for Children” (1996), where he added that he “just lay around smoking, my mind blank.”

He likens the Taketomi Island experience, for the children, to Swallows and Amazons (1930). He concludes, for himself, that “I want to continue to be this sort of ‘weird old man.’” On the part of the children, he recommends that “there should be many more strange things around children that they can’t understand”.

References here: Turning Point: 1997–2008 (2008/2014).

text non-fiction Japanese production