Reviews of “This Is the Kind of Museum I Want to Make” (2002) and related work

“This Is the Kind of Museum I Want to Make” (2002Text)

Miyazaki Hayao (writer).

Read in 2021.

Read in Turning Point.

A grammatically incorrect vision of the Mitaka Municipal Animation Museum, also known as the Ghibli Museum. Only the final stanza really provides a strong contrast against typical museum design. The real place is a lot more interesting, as is Miyazaki’s later writings about it.

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

Japanese production non-fiction text

“Children Have a Future That Transcends ‘Imagination’” (2002Text)

Miyazaki Hayao (writer).

Read in 2021.

Read in Turning Point.

Some of the features of the Ghibli Museum, many of which will not be noticed by visitors.

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

Japanese production non-fiction spin-off text

“Nothing Makes Me Happier Than Watching Children Enjoy Themselves” (2002Text)

Miyazaki Hayao (writer).

Read in 2021.

Read in Turning Point.

The chaotic opening of the Ghibli Museum, including the banning of photography indoors, fighting with the authorities on building safety and accessibility, and the museum’s relationship to Miyazaki’s ideas on the failure of Japanese childrearing and education.

It turns out Miyazaki’s true vision is patterned after his experience of a trip to Okinawa. In “What Is Important for Children” (1996), he claims that on that trip he “just lay around smoking, my mind blank”, while the ten children in his sole care looked after themselves. Without referring to the trip again, he writes here that he wants the museum to work that way: “the parents can just smoke cigarettes and loll about”.

Miyazaki’s ideas on education are unchanged from what he routinely expressed on his post-Monononoke press tour. The way he defends them here, however, is especially regressive:

When television first came out in Japan, the people who made such an issue about its harmful nature eventually gave up. The people who said that reading manga was harmful also gave up. And the people who gave up worrying about these new forms of entertainment also learned a lesson. When video games came out, they feared that if they criticized the games as harmful they would be labeled as being behind the times, so despite their age they started playing video games themselves, and they became old guys with whom the younger generation could communicate. So from top to bottom of the age ladder, everyone and everything has progressively become stupider.

If you ignore that last sentence, you might not realize that Miyazaki, who worked in TV and comics for decades, is still against TV and comics. He actually imagines that the old guard accepted video games out of defeatism and not from the realization that scaremongering about TV and comics was a dumb idea from the start. It’s Miyazaki who’s gotten “stupider” in this process, not the entire society around him.

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

Japanese production non-fiction spin-off text