Those who follow this website know I mostly blog about books.
While her name might not mean anything to you, you probably have heard of some of her work.
Michiyo was an animator and colorist known best for her work with Studio Ghibli — the makers of such masterpieces as “Spirited Away” and “Castle in the Sky.”
I first discovered Michiyo’s work when I saw “Castle in the Sky” and “Kiki’s Delivery Service” as a teenager.
After falling away from animated films, I rediscovered Studio Ghibli when I found out the studio had made one of my favorite children’s novels, “Howl’s Moving Castle,” into an animated film.
She started her more than 50-year career in animation by working at Toei Doga in 1958.
Michiyo first started working with Hayao Miyazaki in 1976 on the series “3,000 Leagues in Search of Mother.”
She continued to work with him for more than 55 years.
This included the first Studio Ghibli production, “Castle in the Sky,” released in 1986, and continued until his final film, “The Wind Rises,” released in 2013.
Michiyo also lent her talents to Isao Takahata’s “Grave of the Fireflies,” one of the most acclaimed animated films ever made.
She also met Isao during her time at Toei Doga.
Michiyo’s talent is obvious to anyone who has watched any of the films on which she worked.
Her legacy will live on as long as people continue to watch and love those films. I highly recommend you watch some of them, too.