Book Review

Moon Reads: My Neighbor Hayao

My Neighbor Hayao by Spoke Art Gallery (Compilation)

Rating: MoonKestrel Logo2 20px MoonKestrel Logo2 20px MoonKestrel Logo2 20px MoonKestrel Logo2 20px MoonKestrel Logo2 20px

I have a weakness for Ghibli themed books, and well, this was all about art, so it was utterly irresistible when I saw it and preordered. It is curated by the Spoke Art Gallery, featuring artwork from a huge variety of artists to celebrate Hayao Miyazaki and the impact he has had in filmmaking and animation.

The curation is beautiful and you can see that they made a huge effort to chose significant pieces there, some of my favourite ones are lantern shadow cuttings for the films, or film poster style reimaginings for each of the films but to reduce the content of the book into just those pieces would be to do it a huge injustice.

What this book does is bring the art exhibition, the gallery, into your home.

I poured over the book and kept coming back as the pieces and interpretations, the tributes left a mark on me. Some stay quite close to the source whereas others reinterpret the artwork and make a newer or very unique piece matching the artists’ style and mindset, and yet they all have a little of the magic that a Ghibli film has. The beauty of the simplicity of life infused by magic and Hayao Miyazaki’s life experience.

It is utterly fascinating how his life experiences have fueled the films in such a way that war makes an appearance or his family history, but also you can see the love for food and Japanese culture, the day to day living, in a Ghibli film, it is the little details against the huge things happening, and this collection of artwork showcases how different artists have been influenced, or have immortalised even further into their work.

If you are a fan of Studio Ghibli films and Hayao Miyazaki’s work, I would suggest adding this book to your collection and enriching it. It also has a lovely ribbon and bookmark feature that meant I could stop and come back to it or highlight my most favourite piece it is a difficult choice).