The Wind Rises

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Kaze Tachinu
(The Wind Rises)
Kaze Tachinu poster.jpg
Japanese theatrical poster
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
Editing by Takeshi Seyama
Studio Studio Ghibli
Distributed by Toho (Japan)
Touchstone Pictures (US)
Release dates
  • 20 July 2013 (2013-07-20)
Running time 126 minutes[1]
Country Japan
Language Japanese
Budget $30 million[2]
Box office $132,533,417[3][4]

The Wind Rises — released in Japan as Kaze Tachinu (風立ちぬ?) — is a 2013 Japanese animated historical drama film written and directed by Hayao Miyazaki, and adapted from his own manga of the same name which was loosely based on the 1937 short story The Wind Has Risen by Tatsuo Hori, a writer, poet, and translator from mid-20th century (Showa period) Japan.[5] The film is a fictionalized biography of Jiro Horikoshi (1903–1982), designer of the Mitsubishi A5M and its successor, the Mitsubishi A6M Zero; both aircraft were used by the Empire of Japan during World War II.

The film was released by Toho on July 20, 2013, in Japan, and was released by Touchstone Pictures in North America, first with a limited release on February 21, 2014, then a wide release on February 28, 2014.[6][7]

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.


In early 1918, a young boy living in a provincial town, Jiro Horikoshi, has a dream about climbing up onto his roof and flying away in a bird-like airplane, while wearing aviator goggles. After a while, a large, monstrous ship emerges from the clouds, and drops some anthropomorphic bombs on him. His plane is destroyed, and he plummets to the ground, then wakes up. Borrowing an English-language aviation magazine, he diligently studies it with an English dictionary, then has another dream where he meets Italian plane designer Caproni, who is surprised that a Japanese boy has intruded in what he thought was his own dream, then realizes that airplanes are a shared dream they both have. Caproni tells Jiro that he can't fly a plane with glasses, but that building planes is better than flying them. Jiro wakes up and decides he will build planes.

Five years later, Jiro is at university to study engineering. On traveling back to Tokyo from a holiday, he meets a young girl named Naoko, who is traveling with her maid. At this time, the Great Kanto Earthquake of 1923 hits, which stops the train, causes Naoko's maid to break her leg, and starts a great fire in the city. Jiro delivers Naoko and her maid to Naoko's family, then walks away without giving his name. He arrives at his university, and fights to save library books from the flames as Caproni's voice cheers him on.

Jiro begins working at an airplane manufacturer, assigned to a fighter design team. Their project ends in failure, with the company losing the design contract to a rival company. With no immediate projects to take on, he is sent to Germany to do technical research and to obtain a production license for a Junkers aircraft. He argues with German soldiers and witnesses a night raid by German secret police. During the journey, he again dreams of Caproni, who asks him, "Do you prefer a world with pyramids, or with no pyramids?" implying that airplanes, like pyramids, are a thing of beauty and wonder. Even if mankind might inevitably twist them to ugly purposes, Caproni believes that the world is better for having that beauty.

In 1932, he is promoted to chief designer for a fighter plane competition sponsored by the Navy, which ends in a failure. Disappointed, Jiro visits a summer resort where he runs into Naoko again; they are engaged soon after. A German man privately critical of Adolf Hitler assists the romance before fleeing a feared arrest by Japanese authorities. Naoko is afflicted with tuberculosis, and refuses to marry until she recovers.

After some months, Jiro is assigned again as chief designer for another Navy competition, living at his supervisor's home to evade unwanted police attention. At the same time, Naoko is recuperating in an alpine sanatorium obliquely related to the locale of The Magic Mountain, but she cannot bear being apart from Jiro and resolves to return and marry him. Jiro's hosts perform an impromptu traditional wedding. Jiro's sister complains that his marriage to Naoko will end badly, as, having become a doctor, she is well aware of the incurable nature of tuberculosis. Jiro counters with the argument that every day is precious to Naoko and that what he does, he does for her.

Even though Naoko's health continues to deteriorate, she and Jiro enjoy their life together, the one lending strength to the other, right up to the day of the test flight of the prototype of what would become his first successful aircraft, the Mitsubishi A5M. On that day, after Jiro leaves for the factory, Naoko informs the company housing manager's wife that she feels strong enough to take a walk. Her departure is witnessed by Jiro's sister, who fears that this represents a desire on Naoko's part to spare Jiro the horror of her final dissolution in the coils of the disease – a fear which is borne out in three letters which Naoko leaves for her husband, family, and friends. At the test site, Jiro is interrupted by a burst of wind – seemingly implying that his wife has died.

The film ends in a dream sequence with Jiro emerging from the horror of war, feeling regret for his inventions and the deaths they caused. Caproni tells him his dreams were nonetheless realized. A group of Zeros fly past. Naoko appears in this dream one last time, exhorting her husband to live on in the trust she has in him.



The Wind Rises is directed by Hayao Miyazaki, whose previous works include groundbreaking films such as My Neighbor Totoro and Spirited Away.[10] It is the first film that Miyazaki has solely directed in five years; his last work was the 2008 film Ponyo.[11] After Ponyo, Miyazaki wanted his next film to be Ponyo on the Cliff by the Sea II, but producer Toshio Suzuki convinced him to make The Wind Rises instead.[12] This film is based on a manga by Hayao Miyazaki, which was serialized in the monthly magazine Model Graphix in 2009.[10] The story of the manga is in turn loosely based on Tatsuo Hori's short novel The Wind Has Risen, written in the late 1930s.[13] Although the story in the film follows the historical account of Horikoshi's aircraft development chronologically, the rendition of his private life is entirely fictional. The character of Hans Castorp is borrowed from Thomas Mann's novel The Magic Mountain.

Miyazaki was inspired to make the film after reading this quote from Horikoshi: "All I wanted to do was to make something beautiful".[14]


Singer-songwriter Yumi Matsutoya's 1973 song "Hikōki-gumo" (ひこうき雲?) is used as the film's theme song.


The Wind Rises was to be released simultaneously with The Tale of Princess Kaguya, another Studio Ghibli film by Isao Takahata, in Japan in mid-2013.[11] 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.[11] In the event, Kaguya-hime was delayed until 23 November 2013.[15] The Wind Rises was released on July 20, 2013.[14]

The film played in competition at the 70th Venice International Film Festival.[16][17] It had its official North American premiere at the 2013 Toronto International Film Festival,[18] although a sneak preview of the film was presented earlier at the 2013 Telluride Film Festival (the film screened outside the official program).[19]

Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures distributed the film in North America through its Touchstone Pictures label.[6] The film's English dubbing was directed by Gary Rydstrom.[20] 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.[21] The film was released theatrically on 21 February 2014 in select cities, with wide release on 28 February.[22] The film will be released in the United Kingdom on 9 May 2014 with distribution by StudioCanal.[23]


Box office[edit]

The film grossed ¥11.6 billion (US$113 million)[24] at the Japanese box office, becoming the highest grossing film in Japan in 2013.[25]

Critical response[edit]

The Wind Rises received critical acclaim from film critics; Rotten Tomatoes sampled 123 reviews and judged 88% 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".[26] Metacritic, which assigns a weighted average score, rated the film an 83/100 based on 39 reviews, citing "universal acclaim".[27]

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."[28]

The Japan Times gave the film a 3 12 stars out of 5, and states "A visually sumptuous celebration of an unspoiled prewar Japan."[29] 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".[30]

Film critic J. Hoberman writes "As a movie, 'The Wind Rises' is at once beautifully restrained and wildly problematic".[31] Hoberman further writes: "True, the final scenes show a green field strewn with twisted fuselage wreckage. Cruel destruction… in Japan, that is. I don’t doubt the sincerity of Miyazaki’s pacifism but I’m appalled by his abstract vision. Like, how many tens or hundreds of thousands of real people in Asia and the Pacific were de-animated thanks to Horikoshi’s dreams?"[31]


On release in Japan, the film received criticism from both the political left and right, as well as from an anti-smoking group.[14][32] Miyazaki himself added to the controversy by publishing an article in which he criticized Japan's conservative party's proposed changes to the constitution, which irritated nationalists.[14][32] Leftists were unhappy that a war-plane designer was the film's protagonist.[32] Some questioned why Miyazaki would make a flattering film about a man who "built killing machines", and others pointed out that some of the laborers who built the planes were Korean and Chinese people who were forced into labor.[33] The film has also received criticism from part of the South Korean public.[32]

In an interview with the Asahi Shimbun, Miyazaki said he had "very complex feelings" about the war, but regarding the Zero, he said it "represented one of the few things we Japanese could be proud of – they were a truly formidable presence, and so were the pilots who flew them."[32]


Award Date of ceremony Category Recipients and nominees Result
Academy Awards[34] March 2, 2014 Best Animated Feature Hayao Miyazaki, Toshio Suzuki Nominated
Alliance of Women Film Journalists[35] December 19, 2013 Best Animated Feature Hayao Miyazaki Won
Annie Awards[36][37][38] February 1, 2014 Best Animated Feature The Wind Rises
Studio Ghibli, Touchstone Pictures
Character Animation in a Feature Production Kitaro Kosaka Nominated
Writing in an Animated Feature Production Hayao Miyazaki Won
Asia Pacific Screen Awards December 12, 2013 Best Animated Feature Film Toshio Suzuki, Japan Nominated
Boston Online Film Critics Association December 7, 2013 Best Animated Film Won:
Tied with Frozen
Boston Society of Film Critics December 8, 2013 Best Animated Film Won
Chicago Film Critics Association December 16, 2013 Best Foreign - Language Film Nominated
Best Animated Feature Won
Critics' Choice Movie Award[39] January 16, 2014 Best Animated Feature Nominated
Dallas-Fort Worth Film Critics December 16, 2013 Best Foreign Language Film Nominated
Denver Film Critics Society[40][41] January 13, 2014 Best Animated Feature Nominated
Florida Film Critics Circle December 18, 2013 Best Animated Feature Runner-up
Georgia Film Critics Association[42] January 10, 2014 Best Animated Feature Nominated
Golden Globe Awards[43][44] January 12, 2014 Best Foreign Language Film Nominated
Houston Film Critics Society[45] December 15, 2013 Best Animated Feature Nominated
IGN's Best of 2013 Awards[46] January 10, 2014 Best Animated Movie Nominated
Indiana Film Critics Association[47] December 19, 2013 Best Animated Feature Runner-up
International Cinephile Society[48] February 23, 2014 Best Animated Film Runner-up
Iowa Film Critics[49] January 10, 2014 Best Animated Feature Nominated
Japan Academy Prize[50][51] March 7, 2014 Animation of the Year Won
Best Music Score Joe Hisaishi Won
Las Vegas Film Critics Society December 18, 2013 Best Animated Feature Nominated
Los Angeles Film Critics Association December 8, 2013 Best Animation Runner-up
Mill Valley Film Festival October 13, 2013 Audience Favorite – Animation Hayao Miyazaki Won
National Board of Review January 7, 2014 Best Animated Film Won
New York Film Critics Circle December 3, 2013 Best Animated Film Won
New York Film Critics Online December 8, 2013 Best Animated Feature Won
New York Film Festival October 13, 2013 Grand Marnier Fellowship Award for Best Film Nominated
Online Film Critics Society December 16, 2013 Best Picture Nominated
Best Director Hayao Miyazaki Nominated
Best Animated Feature Won
Best Film Not in the English Language Nominated
Best Adapted Screenplay Hayao Miyazaki Nominated
Phoenix Film Critics Society December 17, 2013 Best Animated Film Nominated
San Diego Film Critics Society December 17, 2013 Best Animated Film Won
San Francisco Film Critics Circle[52] December 15, 2013 Best Animated Feature Won
San Sebastián International Film Festival September 20, 2013 Audience Award Nominated
St. Louis Gateway Film Critics Association December 16, 2013 Best Animated Feature Runner-up
Satellite Awards February 23, 2014 Best Motion Picture, Animated or Mixed Media Won
Southeastern Film Critics Association[53] December 16, 2013 Best Animated Feature Nominated
Toronto Film Critics Association[54][55] December 17, 2013 Best Animated Feature Won
Toronto International Film Festival September 15, 2013 People's Choice Award for Best Drama Feature Film Nominated
Utah Film Critics Association[56] December 20, 2013 Best Animated Feature Runner-up:
Tied with From Up on Poppy Hill
Venice Film Festival September 7, 2013 Golden Lion Nominated
Washington D.C. Area Film Critics Association December 9, 2013 Best Animated Feature Nominated
Women Film Critics Circle December 16, 2013 Best Animated Feature Nominated
Best Family Film Won

See also[edit]

  • The Thomas Mann novel The Magic Mountain is alluded to in the film.
  • Der Kongreß tanzt's music "Das gibt's nur einmal, das kommt nicht wieder" ("This happens only once, it doesn't come again") is sung in the film.
  • Christina Rossetti's "Who Has Seen the Wind" is quoted in the film.
  • Paul Valéry's verse "Le vent se lève!... Il faut tenter de vivre!" in the poem "Le Cimetière marin" is the origin of the title.
  • The Cockpit, a similar anime focusing on World War II Axis allegiances, also featuring an emphasis on the warplanes.
  • Grave of the Fireflies, another Ghibli film covering the Japanese perspective on World War II and its effects on civilians.
  • The Aviator - Another film about the life and times of Howard Hughes, a plane enthusiast.


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External links[edit]