MITAKA, Tokyo -- A farewell ceremony for the late Studio Ghibli director Isao Takahata was held at Ghibli Museum in this suburban Tokyo city on May 15.
The world-renowned animation director passed away this past April at age 82. Fellow Studio Ghibli founder Hayao Miyazaki -- who worked with Takahata on productions such as "Heidi, Girl of the Alps" -- and producer Toshio Suzuki were among the attendees at the ceremony in honor of the man who did so much to spread Japanese animation around the world.
"I was convinced that Paku-san (Takahata's nickname) would live to be 95 years old, but he unfortunately passed away. It makes me think my time is also limited," Miyazaki said as he recalled memories from around the time he met Takahata for the first time 55 years ago. His voice occasionally choked with tears, Miyazaki bid his colleague farewell, "Thank you, Paku-san."
Other attendees included actresses Nobuko Miyamoto and Keiko Takeshita, and film director Yoji Yamada, who all offered flowers.
(Japanese original by Noboru Hirose, Cultural News Department)