Hayao Miyazaki Retires at Age 72

Studio Ghibli President Hoshino Koji announced Sunday that the highly acclaimed, world-renowned Oscar-winning director will retire from making feature-length films after The Wind Rises (風立ちぬ), his final film currently competing in the Venice Film Festival.

The announcement was made during the Venice Film Festival, where Miyazaki was not in attendance due to him staying in Japan for the domestic release of his new film. Requests for interviews were declined, with Hoshino deferring any further details until a later press conference to be held in Tokyo later this week, where Miyazaki will be present in person to speak about his decision to retire. 

Miyazaki's latest and final film, The Wind Rises, an original work focusing on Horikoshi Jirou, the designer of Japan's famed Mitsubishi A6M Zero figher plane of World War II, is premiering at film festivals around the world, hitting Japanese theatres later this year.

At 72, Miyazaki is arguably the most successful animation filmmaker in cinema history, directing timeless classics such as Laputa: Castle in the Sky (天空の城ラピュタ), My Neighbour Totoro (となりのトトロ), Kiki's Delivery Service (魔女の宅急便), Princess Mononoke (もののけ姫), Spirited Away (千と千尋の神隠し), Howl's Moving Castle (ハウルの動く城), Ponyo  (崖の上のポニョ), and many more. 

No further details are available at this time, but there is speculation that Miyazaki will possibly continue working on shorter film projects in the future.