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[Earthsea mainpage] Gedo Senki
(Tales from Earthsea)

Goro Miyazaki's Blog Translation (Page 68)

11th April 2006

This is a supplementary entry while the director is busy.

Number 68 - The Secret Story of "An Amazing 'Old Man'[1]"

Once again today, I was out of the studio from the afternoon onward, and didn't get a chance to speak to Director Goro. From the time the director passed the baton to me, we have continually missed each other every day. So I'm going to write about a story I remember hearing from him before.

The director wrote previously that he gave Hayao Miyazaki "Zero points as a father"[2], but truth be told, one time only he let slip that his father was actually an "amazing 'old man'". That is this story.[3]

"Although the chance to do it hardly ever came, I really enjoyed playing with my father. And he was really good at teaching things to children. He never says "Do this!" He always does it himself to show them, so the child thinks, "this looks interesting". He's a genius at making things look interesting.

But, thinking about it now, I have the feeling that rather than saying, "He was a good teacher." I should say that he was good at sleight of hand. That's why, by the time I entered junior high school I had become more sophisticated and things no longer went the way he intended.

For example, say I wanted a plastic model of a battleship. But at that time my father was just a nameless animator, so he almost never gave me an allowance or anything. If I complained about it, he would actually show me how much fun he had whittling wood when he was a child. Then while he was doing it, he went off into a dream, and wouldn't let me do it. Watching, I had completely forgotten about models and only wanted desperately to have a turn at whittling. That is the sort of thing I mean.

But this strategy didn't work without fail every time. One time, my younger brother came out with "I want a monster card". Dad said "Can't be helped, I suppose", and started drawing monster pictures on some nearby paper. Unfortunately, my brother went totally berserk.[4] Of course. He wanted an Ultraman monster card, but what Dad was drawing was nothing like anything that might turn up in Ultraman. They were monsters that he had created on the spot."

Translator's Notes

[1]: Japanese "Oyaji" is a colloquial expression for 'father' used by males. Probably closest to 'My old man'.

[2]: Entry 39, 41

[3]: From this point the writer switches to first person "I", even though he is writing about a story he heard from Goro Miyazaki. Although he doesn't use quotation marks (There is a double space inserted after this line in the original), I have added them here to make clear who is talking. The alternative of changing all the "I"'s to "he"'s seemed a bit unwieldy.

[4]: The Japanese word is "buchamukure" (No kanji). I couldn't find a definition for this. 'Berserk' is my best guess, extrapolated from the word "mukureru" - to become angry or sullen; or to take offense. It possibly just means a big sulk.

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