Retired, but Hayao Miyazaki says he intends to work till the day he dies

Honoree Japanese film director and animator Hayao Miyazaki poses during the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences Governors Awards in Los Angeles, California on Nov 8, 2014. -- PHOTO: REUTERS
Honoree Japanese film director and animator Hayao Miyazaki poses during the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences Governors Awards in Los Angeles, California on Nov 8, 2014. -- PHOTO: REUTERS

Los Angeles - Japanese animator Hayao Miyazaki has retired from moviemaking, but not animation, and he says he intends "to work until the day I die".

Miyazaki, 73, who accepted a lifetime achievement Oscar at the Governors Awards in Los Angeles last Saturday night, spoke about his current projects to publications such as Variety and Los Angeles Times.

Since his retirement from feature films last year, he has been making short films for the Ghibli Museum, he said. "We've already released a few and I will continue to make them," he told Variety.

He has been so busy with all the requests he has received - for instance, he is making a graphic for a recreation facility for children and parents from Fukushima, the site of the nuclear crisis - that he has not had time for his pet project, a comic book about samurai.

"My own hobby, which is drawing a manga, I haven't been able to finish it," he told Los Angeles Times.

He said he had wanted to draw the book when he was a student, because he was "dissatisfied" with the depictions of 16th century Japan in fiction.

"The great director Akira Kurosawa filmed his films in large, open spaces like golf courses, and there weren't those large, open spaces in Japan," he told Los Angeles Times.

Miyazaki said he wanted to draw a truer representation of the era, but added: "I have my doubts as to whether I can finish it or not."

As it is, he works almost every day at his atelier, which is behind the main Studio Ghibli building in Tokyo, he told Variety.

"I've recently changed my work schedule to five days a week. I didn't know what to do with myself taking three days off a week," he said with a laugh.