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Hayao Miyazaki

Hayao Miyazaki’s favourite childhood book is getting an English release

Studio Ghibli is currently working on a film adaptation of How Do You Live? to be released in 2023 or 2024

The book that has inspired Hayao Miyazaki’s upcoming final film, How Do You Live?, is getting an English-language translation, 80 years after its original release.

First published in 1937, Japanese author Genzaburo Yoshino’s coming-of-age classic has been called a major influence by Miyazaki, who cites it as his favourite childhood book. 

The plot follows a 15-year-old boy called Copper, who has recently suffered the loss of his father. Moving between Copper’s story and his uncle’s diary entries, in which he gives him worldly advice, Copper embarks on a journey of philosophical discovery and enlightenment.

The film adaptation feels particularly timely. Back in 2017, Studio Ghibli producer Toshio Suzuki described it: “Miyazaki is making the new film for his grandson. It’s his way of saying, ‘Grandpa is moving on to the next world, but he’s leaving behind this film.’” 

The film isn’t slated for release any time soon though, owing to the hand-drawn animation style being used. If all goes to plan, we can expect its arrival in 2023 or 2024.

This does, however, give us plenty of time to read the book, which will be released in the US on October 26 via Workman publishing. UK readers can pick up the Penguin translation, which was released back in April.

Elsewhere, preparations for the Studio Ghibli theme park are well underway and is slated for opening next year. Take a first look here.

Speaking to Dazed last month, Goro Miyazaki said: “It’s basically a public park, where people can walk around. We’ve created spaces that bring Ghibli architecture into real-life. People will be able to go inside the architecture and touch things and smell things. Like having the feeling of going inside the world of Ghibli in some way.”

Miyazaki’s directorial debut, Future Boy Conran – a 26-episode TV series that originally aired in Japan in 1979 – is also getting an English-speaking release. Find out more here.