Life Sciences | Social and Behavioral Sciences


The central focus is an analysis and discussion of the representation of the relationship between humans and nature found in the Studio Ghibli films directed by Hayao Miyazaki. Miyazaki uses cultural elements and visual imagery to portray this dualistic relationship, that humans possess a paradoxical desire for the Earth’s resources: on one hand, there is the desire to use its resources for power with no thought for the long-term consequences; on the other, there is the desire to live simply and take only what is necessary from the Earth, with the intention of eventually replacing what is taken. The former often leads to the permanent destruction of natural resources; the latter is more likely to lead to humble, sustainable, impoverished living. Thus, the focus will be on the representation of this dualistic relationship in specific films directed by Miyazaki.

In this project three films directed by Hayao Miyazaki were examined: Princess Mononoke, Spirited Away, and Nausicaä of the Valley of the Wind. Through the analysis of these films, images and events were chosen that reflected the themes of the central focus. An exploration of peer-reviewed research and direct anecdotes from Miyazaki himself were utilized to examine the relationship between humans and nature as presented in the selected films.