The Japanese government announced that Studio Ghibli’s co-founder Hayao Miyazaki (My Neighbor Totoro, Princess Mononoke, Spirited Away) will be one of 15 people to receive the Person of Cultural Merit honour as part of The Order of Culture and Persons of Cultural Merit annual function.
The award ceremony is part of a national holiday called Culture Day, and it will take place at the Imperial Palace. Previous winners include anime creator Leiji Matsumoto (Space Pirate Captain Harlock, Galaxy Express 999) in 2001 and manga creator Shigeru Mizuki (Ge Ge Ge no Kitaro) in 2010.
Miyazaki is currently working on his latest Studio Ghibli film that he says includes “lots of airplanes”, the project is set to be released in 2013. The Studio Ghibli game Ni No Kuni: Wrath of the White Witch will also finally be released in the west, two years after its debut in Japan, on 25 January 2013.