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Toshio Suzuki (producer)

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Toshio Suzuki
Suzuki at the Venice premiere of Howl's Moving Castle in 2004
Born (1948-08-19) August 19, 1948 (age 75)
Alma materKeio University
Occupation(s)General manager
Studio executive
Co-Founder of Studio Ghibli
Years active1972–present

Toshio Suzuki (鈴木 敏夫, Suzuki Toshio, born August 19, 1948) is a Japanese film producer of anime and a long-time colleague of Hayao Miyazaki, as well as a co-founder and the president of Studio Ghibli. Suzuki is renowned as one of Japan's most successful producers after the enormous box office success (in Japan) of many Ghibli films.

Early life[edit]

Suzuki was born in Nagoya in Aichi Prefecture in 1948. In 1967 he enrolled at Keio University and graduated with a degree in literature in 1972.[1]


His professional career started at Tokuma Shoten, joining the company shortly after graduation. He was assigned to the planning department of Asahi Geino, entertainment, magazine, where he was responsible for the manga coverage page. Here he had a long anticipated meeting with cartoonist Shigeru Sugiura. In 1973 he became the editor of the magazine's supplement Comic & Comic (コミック&コミック, komiku & komiku), for which he worked with and befriended film directors, such as Sadao Nakajima, Eiichi Kudo and Teruo Ishii, as well as animators and manga artists, like Osamu Tezuka, George Akiyama, Kazuo Kamimura, Hōsei Hasegawa [ja] and Shotaro Ishinomori. During a hiatus of the comic supplement he was reassigned to the performing arts feature section of Asahi Geino, for which he covered such varied topics as Bōsōzoku, Japanese motorcycle gangs, and the bombing of the headquarters of Mitsubishi Heavy Industries by the East Asia Anti-Japan Armed Front. From this period he has mentioned Sayuri Ichijō [ja] as a memorable person. In 1975 Suzuki was assigned to the editorial department of the monthly Television Land [ja]. One of the series he worked on is Wakusei Robo Danguard Ace. In 1978 he became an editor for the, newly created, monthly magazine Animage, under its first editor-in-chief Hideo Ogata.

In his capacity as Animage editor he approached Isao Takahata and Miyazaki, who had worked on the animated feature film Horus, Prince of the Sun, for a feature article in the inaugural issue of the magazine but they declined. Suzuki and Miyazaki encountered each other again after the release of The Castle of Cagliostro when Suzuki again approached Miyazaki for an Animage article. This time the meetings result in an enduring collaborative relationship. In July 1981 Suzuki unsuccessfully pitched Miyazaki's original idea for an animated story, Warring States Demon Castle (戦国魔城, Sengoku ma-jō). The Miyazaki article, Hayao Miyazaki, World of Romance and Adventure (宮崎駿 冒険とロマンの世界, Miyazaki Hayao bōken to roman no sekai), was published in the August 1981 issue of Animage magazine.[2] About the issue Suzuki has stated: "here is where it all started".[1]: p. 60  Suzuki was among those who facilitated the creation and publication of Miyazaki's manga, Nausicaä of the Valley of the Wind. He was instrumental in getting the Nausicaä anime made and helped establish Studio Ghibli after the film's release. The film was released on March 11, 1984. Studio Ghibli was founded in June 1985. Miyazaki has stated, "If it were not for Mr. Suzuki, there wouldn't have been Studio Ghibli."[3] Ghibli co-founder Takahata, producer on the Nausicaä film, has acknowledged the pivotal role of Suzuki in bringing the Nausicaä manga series into the world and used nearly identical words as Miyazaki to acknowledge Suzuki's essential role in the creation of Studio Ghibli. Takahata also credits Suzuki for his steadfast support of Miyazaki and has cited Suzuki's responsibility for making his friendship with Miyazaki endure.[4]

In 1985 Suzuki was also involved with the theatrical release of Kunihiko Yuyama's GoShogun: The Time Étranger, which was released on April 24. In 1986 Suzuki served on the production committee for the Studio Ghibli film Laputa: Castle in the Sky for Tokuma Shoten, released in August, and he succeeded Ogata as Animage editor-in-chief in October. In 1988 he again served on Tokuma Shoten's production committee. This time for the Ghibli films My Neighbor Totoro, directed by Miyazaki, and Grave of the Fireflies directed by Takahata. Suzuki was able to get the films made and released by proposing them as a double feature for theatrical release. He was associate producer on Kiki's Delivery Service and officially joined the studio as producer in 1989, after he had resigned from Tokuma Shoten in October.

In 1990 Suzuki was appointed director of the Studio Ghibli company. He was producer on Only Yesterday in 1991 and Porco Rosso in 1992.[5] Suzuki was in charge of the Ocean Waves project, directed by Tomomi Mochizuki, created by Studio Ghibli for television, which aired in Japan in 1993. The following year he worked as producer on Takahata's theatrical release Pom Poko. In 1995 he produced director Yoshifumi Kondō’s Whisper of the Heart and On Your Mark, theatrically released together in 1995. The latter is a short animated promotional video created by Studio Ghibli for the Japanese pop-duo Chage and Aska. In 1995 Suzuki also became the producer on the next feature length Ghibli film project, released, in 1997, under the title he had selected, Princess Mononoke. In 1997 Studio Ghibli and Tokuma Shoten merged and Suzuki became the inaugural President. 1999 saw the release of Takahata's My Neighbors the Yamadas for which Suzuki was the producer.

In the year 2000 the live-action film Shiki-Jitsu, was released, directed by Hideaki Anno and produced by Suzuki. The animated feature-length film Spirited Away had its premiere on July 20, 2001. In October that same year the Ghibli Museum was opened. In 2002 director Hiroyuki Morita’s The Cat Returns and Ghiblies episode 2, directed by Yoshiyuki Momose, had their theatrical release. In 2003 Spirited Away won the Academy Award for Best Animated Feature. Suzuki assumed the role of producer for Innocence directed by Mamoru Oshii, which was released in Japanese theatres in March 2004. Howl's Moving Castle had its theatrical release in November that same year.[6]

In March 2004, Studio Ghibli became independent from Tokuma Shoten and Suzuki was appointed Ghibli corporation president. He stepped down from the position in 2008. As of 2014 he still serves as the company's managing director and continues to work as film producer.[1][7][8][9]

In March 2014, Suzuki retired as a producer and assumed a new position of general manager at Studio Ghibli.[10] However, he has continued to assist with other projects, including acting as a co-producer for The Red Turtle (2016), and lead producer for Earwig and the Witch (2020) and The Boy and the Heron (2023).


In 2014, Suzuki was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Animated Feature as the producer of The Wind Rises, along with Hayao Miyazaki as the film's director.[11]

In 2014, at the 64th Annual MEXT Art Encouragement Prizes Toshio Suzuki was awarded the Grand Prize for his involvement as producer in The Wind Rises and The Tale of the Princess Kaguya.[12]

In 2017, Suzuki was again nominated for the Academy Award for Best Animated Feature as the producer of The Red Turtle.[13]

In 2022, Suzuki received the Winsor McCay Award which is presented at the annual Annie Awards.[14]

In 2024, Suzuki won the Academy Award for Best Animated Feature as producer of The Boy and the Heron, sharing the award with the film's director, Hayao Miyazaki.[15] However, he would not appear in person at the Oscar ceremony to accept the award, with Studio Ghibli chief operating officer Kiyofumi Nakajima claiming this was due to his "age bracket."[16]


Year Title Japanese Name Role(s) Source
1984 Nausicaä of the Valley of the Wind 風の谷のナウシカ Production committee
1985 GoShogun: The Time Étranger 戦国魔神ゴーショーグン 時の異邦人 Publication producer
1986 Castle in the Sky 天空の城ラピュタ Production committee
1987 Digital Devil Story: Megami Tensei デジタル・デビル物語 ストーリー 女神転生 Producer
1988 Grave of the Fireflies 火垂るの墓 Production committee
Legend of the Galactic Heroes: My Conquest Is the Sea of Stars 銀河英雄伝説: わが征くは星の大海 Publication producer
My Neighbor Totoro となりのトトロ Production committee
1989 Kiki's Delivery Service 魔女の宅急便 Majo no Takkyūbin Associate producer
1991 Only Yesterday (おもひでぽろぽろ Producer
The Heroic Legend of Arslan アルスラーン戦記 Producer
1992 Porco Rosso 紅の豚 Producer
1993 Ocean Waves 海がきこえる Producer
1994 Pom Poko 平成狸合戦ぽんぽこ Producer
1995 On Your Mark オン・ユア・マーク Producer
Whisper of the Heart 耳をすませば Producer, character
1997 Princess Mononoke もののけ姫 Producer
1999 My Neighbors the Yamadas ホーホケキョとなりの山田くん Producer
2000 Ghiblies ギブリーズ Producer
Shiki-Jitsu 式日 Producer
2001 Recess: School's Out リセス ぼくらの夏休みを守れ! Producer, uncredited
Spirited Away 千と千尋の神隠し Producer
2002 Ghiblies Episode 2 ギブリーズ二 Producer
The Cat Returns 猫の恩返し Producer
2003 Killers: .50 Woman キラーズ "Wicked producer"
2004 Howl's Moving Castle ハウルの動く城 Producer
Innocence: Ghost in the Shell 攻殻機動隊 イノセンス Producer
2006 Tachiguishi-Retsuden 立喰師列伝 Hiyashi Tanuki no Masa
Tales from Earthsea ゲド戦記 Producer
2008 Ponyo on the Cliff by the Sea 崖の上のポニョ Producer
2010 The Secret World of Arrietty 借りぐらしのアリエッティ Producer
2011 From Up on Poppy Hill コクリコ坂から Producer
2013 The Kingdom of Dreams and Madness 夢と狂気の王国 Himself
The Wind Rises 風立ちぬ Producer
2014 When Marnie Was There 思い出のマーニー Executive Producer
2016 The Red Turtle レッドタートル ある島の物語 Producer
2017 Mary and the Witch's Flower メアリと魔女の花 With appreciation to
2020 Earwig and the Witch アーヤと魔女 Producer
2023 The Boy and the Heron きみたちはどういきるか Producer

Publications in English[edit]

  • Suzuki, Toshio (2018). Mixing Work with Pleasure : My Life at Studio Ghibli (First English ed.). Tokyo: Japan Publishing Industry Foundation for Culture. ISBN 978-4-86658-022-7.


  1. ^ a b c Suzuki, Toshio (April 11, 2005). 映画道楽 [Movie Debauchery] (in Japanese). Tokyo: Pia Corporation. pp. 60–69, 246–247. ISBN 978-4835615400. Archived from the original on February 19, 2014. Retrieved January 20, 2014. {{cite book}}: |website= ignored (help)
  2. ^ "マンガ映画の魔術師 宮崎駿 冒険とロマンの世界" [Anime Magician, Hayao Miyazaki’s, World of Romance and Adventure]. Animage (38). Tokyo: Tokuma Shoten: 25. July 10, 1981. Archived from the original on December 2, 2013. Retrieved November 27, 2013.
  3. ^ "Who's Who //". Nausicaa.net. Archived from the original on September 13, 2012. Retrieved August 13, 2012.
  4. ^ Miyazaki, Hayao (July 31, 1996). "エロスの火花/高畑勲" [The Fireworks of Eros - By Takahata Isao]. 出発点 [Starting Point]. San Francisco: Viz Media. p. 460. ISBN 978-1-4215-0594-7. Archived from the original on August 28, 2014. Retrieved December 16, 2013.
  5. ^ Staff, Hollywood.com (February 6, 2015). "Toshio Suzuki | Biography and Filmography | 1948". Hollywood.com. Archived from the original on December 15, 2017. Retrieved December 14, 2017.
  6. ^ Howl's Moving Castle, archived from the original on November 27, 2017, retrieved December 14, 2017
  7. ^ Kanō, Seiji (January 1, 2007) [first published March 31, 2006]. 宮崎駿全書 [The Complete Miyazaki Hayao] (in Japanese) (2nd ed.). Tokyo: Film Art Inc. pp. 180–185. ISBN 978-4-8459-0687-1. Archived from the original on December 19, 2013. Retrieved January 4, 2014.
  8. ^ 「風の谷ナウシカ」(特典の内容) ジブリはこうして生まれた [Nausicaä of the Valley of the Wind, Extras: The Birth Story Of Studio Ghibli] (DVD Featurette (Narrated, dramatised re-enactments)) (in Japanese). Tokyo: Buena Vista Home Entertainment Japan. November 19, 2003. Archived from the original on February 1, 2014. Retrieved December 28, 2013.
  9. ^ 「風の谷ナウシカ」(特典の内容) ジブリはこうして生まれた [Nausicaä of the Valley of the Wind, Extras: The Birth Story Of Studio Ghibli] (DVD Featurette (Narrated, dramatised re-enactments)). London: Optimum Releasing. February 22, 2005. Archived from the original on December 13, 2013. Retrieved December 28, 2013.
  10. ^ "Ghibli Co-Founder Toshio Suzuki Retires as Producer". Anime News Network. March 9, 2014. Archived from the original on March 9, 2014. Retrieved March 9, 2014.
  11. ^ "Nominees; Animated Feature Film / The Wind Rises, Hayao Miyazaki and Toshio Suzuki". Oscar Go. January 2014. Archived from the original on January 21, 2014. Retrieved January 26, 2014.
  12. ^ "Japanese Government Honors Ghibli's Suzuki, Voice Actress Nana Mizuki". Anime News Network. March 14, 2014. Archived from the original on March 15, 2014. Retrieved March 14, 2014.
  13. ^ "The 89th Academy Awards - 2017". oscars.org. Archived from the original on March 3, 2017. Retrieved June 6, 2017.
  14. ^ "49th Annual Annie Award Winners". Annie Awards. ASIFA-Hollywood. March 14, 2022. Retrieved March 16, 2022. The Winsor McCay Award for career contributions to the art of animation were presented to three recipients – Ruben Aquino, legendary Disney animator; Lillian Schwartz, computer animation pioneer; and Toshio Suzuki, prolific Studio Ghibli producer.
  15. ^ Yamat, Rio (March 10, 2024). "At 83, filmmaker Hayao Miyazaki earns historic Oscar for The Boy and the Heron". Associated Press. Archived from the original on March 11, 2024. Retrieved March 10, 2024.
  16. ^ Robledo, Anthony (March 10, 2024). "'The Boy and the Heron' director Hayao Miyazaki, 83, wins historic Oscar but absent from show". USA Today. Retrieved March 12, 2024.

External links[edit]