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The Wind Rises

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Subject: Hayao Miyazaki, From Up on Poppy Hill, Ponyo, Arrietty, Studio Ghibli
Collection: 2010S Biographical Films, 2010S Drama Films, 2010S Historical Films, 2013 Anime Films, 2013 Drama Films, 2013 Films, Animated Films About Aviation, Annie Award Winners, Diseases and Disorders in Fiction, Dreams in Fiction, English-Language Films, Films Based on Actual Events, Films Based on Manga, Films Directed by Hayao Miyazaki, Films Produced by Nippon Television, Films Set in 1918, Films Set in 1923, Films Set in 1932, Films Set in Germany, Films Set in Japan, Films Set in the 1910S, Films Set in the 1920S, Films Set in the 1930S, German-Language Films, Great Depression Films, Italian-Language Films, Japanese Aviation Films, Japanese Biographical Films, Japanese Drama Films, Japanese Films, Japanese Historical Films, Japanese-Language Films, Studio Ghibli Animated Films, Studiocanal Films, Toho Animated Films, Touchstone Pictures Films, Works About Natural Disasters, World War II Aviation Films
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The Wind Rises

The Wind Rises
Japanese theatrical poster
Japanese 風立ちぬ
Hepburn Kaze Tachinu
Directed by Hayao Miyazaki
Produced by Toshio Suzuki
Written by Hayao Miyazaki
Based on Kaze Tachinu 
by Hayao Miyazaki
Starring Hideaki Anno
Miori Takimoto
Hidetoshi Nishijima
Masahiko Nishimura
Steve Alpert
Morio Kazama
Keiko Takeshita
Mirai Shida
Jun Kunimura
Shinobu Otake
Nomura Mansai
Music by Joe Hisaishi
Cinematography Atsushi Okui
Edited by Takeshi Seyama
Distributed by Toho (Japan)
Touchstone Pictures
(North America)
Release dates
  • July 20, 2013 (2013-07-20)
Running time 126 minutes[1]
Country Japan
Language Japanese
Budget $30 million[2]
Box office $134,965,832[3][4]

The Wind Rises (Japanese: 風立ちぬ Hepburn: Kaze Tachinu) is a 2013 Japanese animated historical drama film written and directed by Hayao Miyazaki and animated by Studio Ghibli. It was released by Toho on July 20, 2013 in Japan, and by Touchstone Pictures in North America on February 21, 2014[5][6] and the UK on May 9, 2014.

The Wind Rises is a fictionalized biopic of Jiro Horikoshi (1903–1982), designer of the Mitsubishi A5M fighter aircraft and its successor, the Mitsubishi A6M Zero, used by the Empire of Japan during World War II. The film is adapted from Miyazaki's manga of the same name, which was in turn loosely based on the 1937 short story The Wind Has Risen by Tatsuo Hori.[7] It was the final film directed by Miyazaki before his retirement in September 2013.[8]

The Wind Rises was the highest-grossing Japanese film in Japan in 2013 and received critical acclaim. It won and was nominated for several awards, including nominations for the Academy Award for Best Animated Feature, the Golden Globe Award for Best Foreign Language Film, and the Japan Academy Prize for Animation of the Year.


  • Plot 1
  • Voice cast 2
  • Production 3
    • Music 3.1
  • Release 4
    • Home media 4.1
  • Reception 5
    • Box office 5.1
    • Critical response 5.2
    • Controversy 5.3
    • Accolades 5.4
  • See also 6
  • References 7
  • External links 8


In 1916, the young Jiro Horikoshi longs to become a pilot, but his poor eyesight forbids it. One night, he dreams he meets the famous Italian aircraft designer Giovanni Battista Caproni, who tells him that building planes is better than flying them.

Seven years later, Jiro is traveling by train to study aeronautical engineering at Tokyo Imperial University,[9] and meets a young girl, Naoko, traveling with her maid. When the Great Kanto Earthquake of 1923 hits, Naoko's maid breaks her leg and Jiro carries her to Naoko's family. He leaves without giving his name.

In 1927, Jiro graduates with his close friend Kiro Honjo (who later designs the Mitsubishi G3M), and both begin work at aircraft manufacturer Mitsubishi assigned to a fighter design team. Jiro is sent to Germany to carry out technical research and obtain a production license for a Junkers aircraft.[10] He argues with German soldiers and witnesses a night raid by the Gestapo. He dreams again of Caproni, who tells him that the world is better for the beauty of planes, even if humankind might put them to ugly purposes.

In 1932, Jiro is promoted to chief designer for a fighter plane competition sponsored by the Navy, but his design, the Mitsubishi 1MF10, fails. Disappointed, Jiro visits a summer resort where he meets Naoko again. They become engaged, but Naoko has tuberculosis, and refuses to marry until she recovers. A German visitor privately critical of the Nazi regime, Hans Castorp, assists the romance before fleeing arrest by Japanese authorities.

Wanted in connection with Castorp, Jiro hides at his supervisor's home while he works on a new navy project. Following a lung haemorrhage, Naoko recuperates in an alpine sanatorium, but cannot bear being apart from Jiro, and returns to marry him. Jiro's sister, a doctor, warns Jiro that his marriage to Naoko will end badly as tuberculosis is incurable. Though Naoko's health deteriorates, she and Jiro enjoy their time together.

Jiro leaves for the test flight of his new prototype aircraft, the Mitsubishi A5M. Sensing that she will soon die, Naoko secretly returns to the sanatorium and leaves letters for Jiro, her family, and friends. At the test site, Jiro is distracted from his success by a gust of wind, sensing Naoko's death.

During Japan's involvement in World War II, Jiro again dreams of Caproni, telling him he regrets that his aircraft were used for war. Caproni comforts him, saying Jiro's dream of building beautiful aircraft was nonetheless realized. A group of Zeros fly past and their pilots salute Jiro. Naoko appears, exhorting her husband to live his life to the fullest.

Voice cast

Character Japanese English[11]
Jiro Horikoshi Hideaki Anno[12] Joseph Gordon-Levitt[13]
Naoko Satomi Miori Takimoto Emily Blunt
Kiro Honjo Hidetoshi Nishijima John Krasinski
Kurokawa Masahiko Nishimura Martin Short
Castorp Stephen Alpert Werner Herzog
Satomi Morio Kazama William H. Macy
Jiro's mother Keiko Takeshita Edie Mirman
Kayo Horikoshi Mirai Shida Mae Whitman
Hattori Jun Kunimura Mandy Patinkin
Mrs. Kurokawa Shinobu Otake Jennifer Grey
Giovanni Battista Caproni Nomura Mansai Stanley Tucci
Sone Elijah Wood
Mitsubishi employee Ronan Farrow
Young Jiro Zach Callison
Young Kayo Eva Bella
Young Naoko Madeleine Rose Yen
Katayama Darren Criss
Flight Engineer David Cowgill


The Wind Rises is directed by Hayao Miyazaki, whose previous films include My Neighbor Totoro, Princess Mononoke and Spirited Away.[14] It was the first film that Miyazaki solely directed since Ponyo in 2008.[15]

Miyazaki began to conceive a story to illustrate the life of Jiro Horikoshi in 2008.[16] He published the story as a manga series in the monthly magazine Model Graphix from April 2009 to January 2010, with the title borrowed from Tatsuo Hori’s novel The Wind Has Risen (風立ちぬ).[17] The story in the manga follows the historical account of Horikoshi's aircraft development up to 1935 (the year of the Mitsubishi A5M maiden flight),[18] and intertwines with fictional encounters with Caproni and Naoko Satomi (里見菜穂子).[19] The scenes with Naoko in the manga were adopted from the novel The Wind Has Risen,[16] in which Tatsuo Hori wrote about his life experience with his fiancé , Ayako Yano (矢野綾子), before she died from tuberculosis. The name Naoko Satomi was borrowed from the female protagonist of another novel by Tatsuo Hori, Naoko (菜穂子).[20] The character of Hans Castorp is borrowed from Thomas Mann's novel The Magic Mountain.[21]

After the release of Ponyo, Miyazaki wanted his next film to be Ponyo on the Cliff by the Sea II, but Producer Toshio Suzuki proposed to adopt the manga The Wind Has Risen instead. At first Miyazaki rejected the proposal because he created the manga as a hobby and considered its subjects not suitable for children, the traditional audience of the feature animations from Studio Ghibli. However Miyazaki changed his objection after a staff member suggested that "children should be allowed to expose to subjects they are not familiar with".[22]

Miyazaki was inspired to make the film after reading this quote from Horikoshi: "All I wanted to do was to make something beautiful".[23]


The film's score was composed and conducted by Joe Hisaishi, and performed by the Yomiuri Nippon Symphony Orchestra.

The film also includes singer-songwriter Yumi Matsutoya's 1973 song "Hikōki-gumo" (ひこうき雲). Yumi Matsutoya has collaborated with Studio Ghibli before in the production for Kiki's Delivery Service, which features her songs Rouge no Dengon (ルージュの伝言) and Yasashisa ni Tsutsumaretanara (やさしさに包まれたなら). Producer Suzuki recommended "Hikōki-gumo" to Miyazaki in December 2012, feeling the lyrics resembled the story of The Wind Rise.[24]

The Wind Rises soundtrack was released in Japan on July 17, 2013 by Tokuma Japan Communications.[25]

Das gibt's nur einmal (English: It only happens once) is the German song Hans Castorp sings while playing the piano at Hotel Kusakaru in the film. Jiro Horikoshi and Naoko's father later join the singing. This song is composed by Werner Richard Heymann for the German movie Der Kongreß tanzt.


The Wind Rises was to have been released simultaneously with The Tale of Princess Kaguya, another Studio Ghibli film by Isao Takahata, in Japan in mid-2013.[15] This would have been the first time that the works of the two directors were released together since the release of the films My Neighbor Totoro and Grave of the Fireflies in 1988.[15] However, Kaguya-hime was delayed until 23 November 2013 and[27]The Wind Rises was released on July 20, 2013.[23]

The film played in competition at the 70th Venice International Film Festival.[28][29] It had its official North American premiere at the 2013 Toronto International Film Festival,[30] although a sneak preview of the film was presented earlier at the 2013 Telluride Film Festival (the film screened outside the official program).[31]

Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures distributed the film in North America through its Touchstone Pictures label.[5] The film's English dubbing was directed by Gary Rydstrom.[32] Disney held a one-week release window in the Los Angeles theatrical circuit for the film beginning on 8 November 2013, so that it could qualify for Academy Awards consideration.[33] The film was released theatrically on 21 February 2014 in select cities, with wide release on 28 February.[34] The film was released in the United Kingdom on 9 May 2014 with distribution by StudioCanal.[35]

Home media

Touchstone Home Entertainment released The Wind Rises on Blu-ray Disc and DVD on November 18, 2014. The Wind Rises release includes supplement features with storyboards, the original Japanese trailers and TV spots, a “Behind the Microphone” featurette with members of the English voice cast and a video from when the film was announced to be completed. The audio format for both English and Japanese language are in mono (DTS-HD MA 1.0).[36]


Box office

The film grossed ¥11.6 billion (US$113 million)[37] at the Japanese box office, becoming the highest grossing film in Japan in 2013.[38]

Critical response

The Wind Rises received critical acclaim from film critics; Rotten Tomatoes sampled 157 reviews and judged 89% of them to be positive, giving the film a "Certified Fresh" rating. The consensus states: "The Wind Rises is a fittingly bittersweet swan song for director Hayao Miyazaki".[39] Metacritic, which assigns a weighted average score, rated the film an 83/100 based on 41 reviews, citing "universal acclaim".[40]

Film critic David Ehrlich rated the film 9.7/10 and called the film, "Perhaps the greatest animated film ever made". Ehrlich further writes, "While initially jarring, Miyazaki's unapologetic deviations from fact help 'The Wind Rises' to transcend the linearity of its expected structure, the film eventually revealing itself to be less of a biopic than it is a devastatingly honest lament for the corruption of beauty, and how invariably pathetic the human response to that loss must be. Miyazaki’s films are often preoccupied with absence, the value of things left behind and how the ghosts of beautiful things are traced onto our memories like the shadows of a nuclear fallout, and 'The Wind Rises' looks back as only a culminating work can."[41]

The Japan Times gave the film a 3 12 stars out of 5, and states "A visually sumptuous celebration of an unspoiled prewar Japan."[42] In a review for The Asia-Pacific Journal, Matthew Penney wrote "What Miyazaki offers is a layered look at how Horikoshi's passion for flight was captured by capital and militarism", and "(the film) is one of Miyazaki's most ambitious and thought-provoking visions as well as one of his most beautifully realized visual projects".[43]


In Japan, The Wind Rises received criticism from both the political left and right, and from an anti-smoking group.[23][44] Miyazaki added to the controversy by publishing an article in which he criticized the proposal by Japan's conservative Liberal Democratic Party to change the Constitution of Japan, which irritated nationalists.[23][44] Leftists were unhappy that a warplane designer was the film's protagonist[44] and questioned why Miyazaki would make a flattering film about a man who "built killing machines"; others pointed out that some who built the planes were Korean and Chinese forced laborers.[45] The film has also received criticism from part of the South Korean public.[44]

In an interview with the Asahi Shimbun, Miyazaki said he had "very complex feelings" about World War II since, as a pacifist, he felt militarist Japan had acted out of "foolish arrogance". However, Miyazaki also said that the Zero plane "represented one of the few things we Japanese could be proud of – [Zeros] were a truly formidable presence, and so were the pilots who flew them".[44]


See also

  • Porco Rosso, a 1992 Ghibli animated film which contains a number of similar thematic elements.
  • The Cockpit, a similar 1993 anime OVA focusing on World War II Axis allegiances, also featuring an emphasis on the warplanes.
  • Grave of the Fireflies, another Ghibli anime film from 1988 covering the Japanese perspective on World War II and its effects on civilians.
  • The Aviator, a 2004 live action film about the life and times of Howard Hughes, a rich American plane designer and also accomplished test pilot.


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