COHFA | Global Languages Senior Colloquium

Title

Miyazaki's Nausicaä: Darkness, Light, and the Hope of a Pessimist

Presenter Information

Nathan HensleyFollow

Academic Level at Time of Presentation

Senior

Major

Japanese

Minor

Theatre

List all Project Mentors & Advisor(s)

Nathaniel Heneghan

Presentation Format

Oral Presentation

Abstract/Description

This research project is an analysis of Hayao Miyazaki’s philosophy on the nature of life in its relationship to corruption and purity in his visual novel “Nausicaä of the Valley of Wind”, published in Animage Magazine from 1982 through 1994. The vast majority of analysis done on this work by Miyazaki is based on its film counterpart; the themes and messages of which are at times completely at odds with the finished visual novel version. This study will serve to identify the ways in which, through this work, Miyazaki challenges the concepts of purity as the perfect state of humanity, the mutual exclusivity of good and evil, and subsequently, humanity’s dangerous reliance on a moral law giver. In this paper, I will analyze Miyazaki’s depictions of different forms of nihilism, humanity’s search for perfection, and humanity’s relation to nature. Through “Nausicaä of the Valley of Wind”, Miyazaki presents the idea that true life exists between the extremes of purity and corruption as a light shining through darkness, and that those who attempt to transcend this state in one direction or the other hold the ultimate contempt for life. In conclusion, through careful analysis and interpretation of “Nausicaä of the Valley of Wind”, this study will piece together the complex moral philosophy of Hayao Miyazaki.

Spring Scholars Week 2018 Event

Global Languages Senior Colloquium

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Miyazaki's Nausicaä: Darkness, Light, and the Hope of a Pessimist

This research project is an analysis of Hayao Miyazaki’s philosophy on the nature of life in its relationship to corruption and purity in his visual novel “Nausicaä of the Valley of Wind”, published in Animage Magazine from 1982 through 1994. The vast majority of analysis done on this work by Miyazaki is based on its film counterpart; the themes and messages of which are at times completely at odds with the finished visual novel version. This study will serve to identify the ways in which, through this work, Miyazaki challenges the concepts of purity as the perfect state of humanity, the mutual exclusivity of good and evil, and subsequently, humanity’s dangerous reliance on a moral law giver. In this paper, I will analyze Miyazaki’s depictions of different forms of nihilism, humanity’s search for perfection, and humanity’s relation to nature. Through “Nausicaä of the Valley of Wind”, Miyazaki presents the idea that true life exists between the extremes of purity and corruption as a light shining through darkness, and that those who attempt to transcend this state in one direction or the other hold the ultimate contempt for life. In conclusion, through careful analysis and interpretation of “Nausicaä of the Valley of Wind”, this study will piece together the complex moral philosophy of Hayao Miyazaki.