Miyazaki’s Read­ing List

Published Categorised as Books, Japan, Popular Posts, Travel No Comments on Miyazaki’s Read­ing List

I think every­one knows Studio Ghib­li‘s magic­al films. Howl’s Moving Castle is based on a book by Diana Wynne Jones, one of my favour­ite authors (who I also have a zine of essays about). The film follows the basic outline and char­ac­ters of the book, but differs in a lot of ways (for instance Howl is Welsh in the book, and the secret black door leads to suburb­an Wales). No-one really cares though, as it preserves the spir­it of the book, and all the changes work well with the story and it’s a wonder­ful film. You can see some of Diana’s thoughts about it in this inter­view I conduc­ted.

When I was in Japan I went to the Studio Ghib­li Museum just outside of Tokyo. Sadly pictures were not allowed inside, but I wrote about it in my zine of the trip. I highly recom­mend the museum, it’s magic­al. The book­shop was also stocked with Miyazaki’s own favour­ite books, as well as books related to the studio’s films. I didn’t buy anything, as they were all in Japan­ese, and it would take me forever to read anything, but I noted down a lot of less well-known books I saw in the shop to compile a read­ing list (help­fully the copy­right tends to list the author’s names in roman text rather than try to make it fit katakana). Unfor­tu­nately I wasn’t able to write down the Japan­ese author’s names in most cases as read­ing unknown names writ­ten in kanji is very tricky. However Miyaza­ki made a list of clas­sic children’s books (includ­ing a lot of the usual suspects like The Secret Gardenelse­where which also includes some Japan­ese recom­mend­a­tions.

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