Hayao Miyazaki’s last film The Wind Rises before retiring; It is about the life of Japanese aircraft designer Jiro Horikoshi, including the 1923 Kanto Earthquake, the Great Depression, and the Second World War.
Since his childhood, Jiro has admired airplanes, but he is too short-sighted to be a pilot. He also puts his mind to design aircraft.
In a sense, his life changes when he sees Italian aircraft designer Count Giovanni Caproni in the aviation magazine he received from his teacher. In Jiro’s dreams, he and Count Caproni climb the wing of planes to talk about aerodynamics.
even featured Count Caproni’s famous flying ship, the Caproni CA 60 Noviplano. In real life, we see the giant plane, which could not take off on both test flights, floating in the air with its passengers. For this reason, it is not wrong to say to Caproni Jiro “Planes are beautiful dreams”.
In this adventure that Jiro started out, he has only one goal, that is to design an aircraft. Still, he does not get caught up in this adventure until he sees what is happening around him, the confused state of the world.
He is aware that Japan is technologically 10-20 years behind the rest of the world. While the aircrafts are taken for the test flight, they are still being pulled by the oxen. As a more fundamental problem, aircrafts are made of wood, not metal. So how can they deal with the technologies of countries like America or Germany? Additionally, the troubles experienced during and after the Great Depression are great. People flock to the cities to leave their villages and find jobs.
After all these depressions in Japan, we see Jiro as a young engineer who graduated from university. He gets a job at Mitsubishi and goes to Germany to learn about aircraft technology.
Yes, planes are beautiful dreams. But Jiro was the designer of the A6M Zero, one of the deadliest weapons of war. Count Caproni spent most of his career designing bombers. The raids of the aircrafts he designed on passenger planes were disastrous.
78-year-old master director Miyazaki enlivened the children’s world with films such as Princess Mononoke and My Neighbor Totoro throughout his life in cinema.
However, his last film, which he shot before retiring, is an example that skillfully examines the ironies between dream and reality. After all, dreamers can also create nightmares.
In the movie The Wind Rises, little things are documented about Jiro Horikoshi’s real life. From the eyes of a stranger, Horikoshi’s real life is less turbulent than the one depicted in the movie.
For example, the story of Jiro’s wife getting tuberculosis is not true. It is inspired by Tatsuo Hori’s short story of the same name.
However, Jiro Horikoshi wrote a book in 1970 about the A6M Zero aircraft. However, Mitsubishi Eagles: The Story of the Zero Fighter is not the kind of book that anyone who is not interested in aviation dynamics will enjoy.
From a different point of view, apart from aviation films about the lives of pilots, the fact that this film is about the life of an engineer from the technical side is also enjoyable for the aircraft engineer viewers.
The prominent point in The Wind Rises movie; Miyazaki’s ability to turn a relatively boring and sometimes terrifying story into a cinematic work that will captivate the hearts of even those who are not interested in aviation.
Although not handled verbatim, Jiro’s story will continue to be passed on to generations who love the movies of Miyazaki and Studio Ghibli.
You can also look our post about aviation movies.
To watch The Wind Rises