Michiyo Yasuda

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Michiyo Yasuda ca. 2009
Michiyo Yasuda ca. 2009

Michiyo Yasuda (保田道世 Yasuda Michiyo?) was born on 28 April 1939 in Tokyo's Nakano-ward, and landed her first job in animation at Toei Douga (now Toei Animation) right after graduating from Tokyo Metropolitan Shakujii High School in 1959. She worked in the ink-and-paint department at Toei, and spent the next ten years honing her craft working on many TV CMs and TV series like Star of the Giants ('68-'71 TV series). While at Toei in 1968 she met Isao Takahata and Hayao Miyazaki and subsequently joined the production of Prince of the Sun: The Great Adventure of Hols. Thus began a working relationship with the two future anime giants that would continue for the next 40 some years.

Much like Miyazaki's mentor Yasuo Ohtsuka, Yasuda's career filmography reads like a history of the anime industry. After working on Hols and Puss in Boots (1969) she moved over, along with Miyazaki and Takahata, to first A Pro (now Shinei Douga) and then Nippon Animation. In the 1970's she began moving away from trace and cleanup work, and more into the design and directing aspect of color selection on such the shows Panda! Go Panda! ('72-73 TV series and movie), Samurai Giants ('73-'74 TV series), A Dog of Flanders ('75 TV series), 3000 Leagues in Search of Mother ('76 TV series), Future Boy Conan ('78 TV series), Anne of Green Gabels ('79 TV series), and Lupin ('79 TV series).

In the '80s she continued to work on titles such as Lucy of the Southern Rainbow ('82 TV series), The Many Dream Journeys of Meme ('83 TV series), Angel's Egg (1985 OAV), and Devilman (1987 OAV). But it was in 1983 that she was invited to join a production, and eventually a new studio, that would define the rest of her career - Nausicaa of the Valley of the Wind and Studio Ghibli.

Yasuda has since worked on virtually all of the titles (theatrical features and shorts, documentaries, museum shorts) that the studio (or its predecessor Topcraft) produced from 1984 through to her retirement after the completion of Ponyo in 2009, and Mr. Dough and the Egg Princess in 2010.

See the Michiyo Yasuda (books) page for a list of books or articles illustrated by, written by, or about Yasada.