Throughout the personal artwork of Japanese animation master Hayao Miyazaki, from Nausicaä of the Valley of the Wind in 1984 to Howl’s Moving Castle in 2005, his creative process is a process of development. When talking about the characters in Hayao Miyazaki’s animation, a series of girls will emerge naturally. From the Nausicaän to the warm girl Ogino Chihiro (Spirited Away) to the obstinate and brave girl Sheeta (Castle in the Sky) to the strong and optimistic Sophie (Howl’s Moving Castle), Miyazaki’s animation almost collects girls’ images. Just like the Russian writer Tugunheev, he also has a beautiful “girl gallery” which belongs to the entire art world.

Chihiro from Spirited Away. Fair Use.

In these “Miyazaki girls,” you can find the vitality of life and innocence that adults do not have, and the curiosity of the world around them. These girls, who have not been harassed by the values of the society, are like the lily that has just bloomed. I have to admit that Hayao Miyazaki has many similarities in shaping his girl characters. They have sincere and unchanging principles of life, kindness, firm expression, strong native feelings, and adventurous desires, which allows Miyazaki’s creative ideas to be integrated.

Sophie Hatter from Howl’s Moving Castle. Fair Use.

I have to say that Miyazaki’s films are very fond of the image of girls. From an objective point of view, compared to men, women are both rich in external beauty and inherent charm. The characteristics of the girl determine that girls are more suitable for the audience’s visual appreciation. Therefore, a lot of artwork often use the fate of women to express the artist’s thinking. Women occupy an angle of the artist’s observation of the society, which include a unique way for them to explain ideas. However, Miyazaki’s girls are placed in a specific background, and often create the discussion of the environment, nature, the philosophical life, and dreams. Therefore, they are destined not to exist as a simple image of a girl.

These girls show perseverance, calm and tolerance to this cruel world. I have to say that as an adult, we hope the dreams of these girls will never die. When adults learn to give up, compromise and fight because of suffering, Miyazaki’s girls always stand up silently to save the world. They are simple and strong. Miyazaki tried to summon the children in our hearts with his animation to show that we are eager for peace and love in our hearts.

-Bai Yue
Junior Girl
Girl Museum Inc.

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