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[Earthsea mainpage] Gedo Senki
(Tales from Earthsea)

Goro Miyazaki's Blog Translation (Page 8)

26th December 2005

I Chose "A Life of Doing"[1]

It's been a little while since the last installment, due to the long weekend, but I'm going to write a little more about "A life of doing vs. a life of being".

The reason I received such a shock from Ged's words advocating the importance of a "life of being", was that I was about to step into the animation world, an environment I had avoided until now.

What Ged is saying, is not just the importance of stopping and thinking, but the more fundamental question of what kind of life we should choose.

At first sight, "doing" seems to be the proof of ones own freedom. But in truth mightn't this really be the opposite - making oneself unfree? This is what Ged is asking.

Until now I thought that "doing" something was "being free". But to do something is to create results and people are bound by those results. Accepting those results leads to doing something else. No, it forces you to do something else.

When I was approaching graduation from high school and thinking about which university to go to, while I was interested in animation, I came to the conclusion that if I went into that world, I would never be able to surpass my father. So to get into a field as far away from animation as possible, I entered Shinshu University's faculty of agriculture.

After graduating, I found work in a design office. After working there for eight years, all of a sudden, I received an invitation from Producer Suzuki, along the lines of: "How would you like to get involved with setting up the Ghibli Museum?" At this time I made a big decision to "do" something, but at that time I felt that the museum and the animation were still separate things and I wasn't entering into the world of animation. However, you can see the result for yourself.

That's why, far from skipping over the lines of Ged's that I quoted in the previous installment, I felt exactly like they were about me.

Ironically enough, I was led by the attraction of the Earthsea series, which preaches the importance of a "life of being", into choosing a new "life of doing".

Translator's Notes

[1]: The ' -shimatta' form of the verb typically indicates an action the speaker regrets, or at any rate an one that cannot be changed.

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