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[Earthsea mainpage] Gedo Senki
(Tales from Earthsea)

Goro Miyazaki's Blog Translation (Page 10)

28th December 2005

No. 10 - Archmage Ged and President[1] Suzuki

There are only a few days left in the year.
This morning, on the way to work, when I looked up at the TV screen on the train[2] the words "Today is the last day of work!"[3] were written there. However, at Ghibli, it's business as usual, as we forge cheerfully ahead with production!

Well, continuing from the previous installment:

The concept of "Independence" has a somehow impressive image, but in fact, it can't always be said that this is so.

At present, Producer Suzuki who is serving as the President of Studio Ghibli, seems to hate the fact that they are independent from Tokuma Shoten: "When you get independence, both as a company and an individual, your work as a "company" increases, and you can't concentrate solely on making films."

But Mr. Suzuki's fate of becoming President even though he didn't want it, could be said to be his own fault. Mr. Suzuki, through continuing to make movies, has followed the "life of doing", and the result is to put him in the uneasy position of "President".

Ged too, through succeeding in his various quests to save the world from danger, becomes the Archmage, the head of the School for Wizards, but he himself is not very happy with it:

"While I have been many things, and last of all, and maybe least, an Archmage..."[4]

This is the complaint of both Mr. Suzuki who unexpectedly became President and CEO[5] and of Ged who is chosen as Archmage and CEO whether he likes it or not. (Writing about him alongside Archmage Ged is excess glorification for Mr. Suzuki though.)

However, leaving aside the comparisons with Ged in the story, the real life Mr. Suzuki, no matter what nasty jobs or problems come up, he actually enjoys himself, so somehow or other, rather than finding being the president difficult, he seems to be living an even freer life.

Mr. Suzuki appears to be wallowing lost in a "life of doing", without even giving one glance at the "life of being", but while you might think he would be losing himself in the pressure of work, he actually creates the sobering feeling that he is always there carefully observing his own life from a distance.

The "life of being" and "life of doing" do not seem so easily separable, either on the level of surface action or the depths of the heart.

Translator's Notes

[1]: Company President of Studio Ghibli.

[2]: Many new train carriages have video screens that show station information and commercials etc.

[3]: I'm not sure what this means. The last working day of the year should have been Friday the 30th. I don't know why the 28th is supposed to be the last day of work.

[4]: p. 29 "The Farthest Shore"

[5]: 'Daihyou torishimariyaku' is not really the same as CEO (there is no English equivalent), but it makes the joke work.

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