12 Relatable Quotes From Hayao Miyazaki For People Suffering Burnout

'I feel like a comb with teeth missing.'
IMAGE NHK World-Japan

You’re not the only one suffering from burnout or writer’s/artist’s block. Even the world’s most talented animator and screenwriter gets stuck in a rut. Hayao Miyazaki, the founder of Studio Ghibli and the father of all of our favorite childhood animated films, is known around the world as a master storyteller whose tales have touched the lives of millions. Perhaps it’s that responsibility and reputation that places a heavy weight on the animator’s shoulders, as it’s not something he takes lightly.

His films, which range from My Neighbor Totoro to Princess Mononoke, are all sprinkled with deeper meaning, like the importance of preserving nature, pacifism in the face of violence, human relationships, and human suffering. Pretty deep themes for animated children’s movies, but his movies have never really been for only children. Grave of the Fireflies certainly isn’t for kids (we adults are still recovering).

They touch on themes that resonate through all ages, from familial love to acceptance and hope. It’s hard to imagine how his mind has managed to create such thought-provoking and enduring pieces of art. But it’s also humbling to know that none of his success came easy. His masterpieces were a product of hard work and mental labor, and more than once, he experienced burnout and art blocks.

In the NHK World-Japan four-part documentary 10 Years with Hayao Miyazaki, we get an intimate look at just how the filmmaker works. We see all his quirkiness, his genius—and his struggles.


Here are 12 all too relatable quotes from Hayao Miyazaki to inspire people who are stuck in a rut.  

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You can watch the full documentary on NHK on demand here.

All images courtesy of NHK World-Japan.

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Anri Ichimura
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