Chinese fans celebrate Japanese animation master Hayao Miyazaki’s 80th birthday
Published: Jan 05, 2021 05:03 PM
Chinese fans passionately celebrated the 80th birthday of Hayao Miyazaki on Tuesday, with at least 250 million fans sending out greetings on his big day. In their hearts, Miyazaki has become synonymous with childhood innocence, humanistic care, environmental protection and anti-war themes. 

A Chinese fan takes a photo at a Donguri Republic, the official Studio Ghibli merchandise store, in Shanghai on May 4, 2016. Photos: VCG

On China's Twitter-like Sina Weibo, a video clip featuring Miyazaki's daily life while creating his animated works has earned more than 1.8 million views, while the hashtage "Hayao Miyazaki turns 80" has 220 million views and 64,000 discussions. 

Tuesday is famed Japanese animator Hayao Miyazaki's 80th birthday. The classics he has created have brought countless warmth and healing not only to Japan, but also to people from all over the world, including China, who love animation, the Japanese Embassy in China said in a statement on Tuesday on its official WeChat account. 

Many Chinese netizens reminisced about how Miyazaki made their childhoods colorful. 

Netizen ChenWenJing posted from Tianjin six cartoons drawn by Miyazaki and pictures of characters from his various works, wishing him a happy 80th birthday from a childhood friend. 

Another netizen based in Xiamen, East China's Fujian Province, posted, "The original sound track from Spirited Away is so relaxing and peaceful that one can listen to it as background music while reading, working and studying." 

Honoree Hayao Miyazaki attends the Academy Of Motion Picture Arts And Sciences' 2014 Governors Awards at The Ray Dolby Ballroom at Hollywood & Highland Center on November 8, 2014 in Hollywood, California, the US.

Calling Miyazaki "grandpa," some netizens went beyond simple birthday greetings, recommending that the famed animator smoke less and take care of his health, and expressing their wishes to go and pay him a visit in Japan someday. 

One of the fans enlisted the top five famous quotes or movie lines from Miyazaki's works including My Neighbor Totoro, From Up on Poppy Hill, Howl's Moving Castle, Only Yesterday, Ponyo.

Many entertainment accounts initiated polls so that netizens could vote for five of their favorite works from the artist, with results coming at the end of the week.

Many fans noted that they are looking forward to even more works by Miyazaki.

Miyazaki's films remain extremely popular in China. His 2008 masterwork Ponyo was released in theaters in the Chinese mainland on Thursday. 

This is the latest of Miyazaki's works to head to big screens in the Chinese mainland following My Neighbor Totoro and Spirited Away in recent years.

Miyazaki won the Oscar Award for Best Animated Feature Film for Spirited Away in 2003 and was later awarded the Academy Honorary Award in November 2014.

The planned Academy Museum of Motion Pictures, scheduled to open in Los Angeles in April, is set to launch with an exhibition about the award-winning filmmaker, the museum announced in September 2020. 

The exhibition will be displayed in two galleries at the museum and will be unveiled to the public for the first time on April 30. This temporary exhibition will celebrate the 60-year legendary tenure of the animation master, and also marks for the first time a North American museum has held a retrospective of his work. 

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