Studio Ghibli Art Director Passes Away at Age 70

Nizo Yamamoto Grave of the Fireflies

Nizo Yamamoto Grave of the Fireflies

In what is heartbreaking news for anime fans, veteran anime art director Nizo Yamamoto has recently passed away at age 70.

Yamamoto’s passing was announced recently by several Japanese publications.

There, it was confirmed that Yamamoto passed away due to cancer. It was also revealed that a funeral service will be held in a few days’ time.

While Yamamoto is not involved in the latest Studio Ghibli movie, he has worked on several films made by the studio, though he has also worked on more recent films by other popular anime directors.

Nizo Yamamoto – A Renowned Art Director of Ghibli and More

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Nizo Yamamoto was born in Goto City in Nagasaki Prefecture. While he studied architecture in high school, he soon became a mainstay in the anime industry.

Specifically, he is best known for creating background art for many notable anime films.

His anime career began with Future Boy Conan, an anime series directed by Hayao Miyazaki and Isao Takahata.

Studio Ghibli was then founded by Miyazaki and Takahata, and Yamamoto was enlisted as an art director for Takahata’s Grave of the Fireflies.

He also served under the same role in Miyazaki’s Princess Mononoke and Castle in the Sky.

Though his best-known works are films by Miyazaki and Takahata, Yamamoto has also worked with other renowned directors in the following years.

For instance, he also worked on background art for Satoshi Kon's Perfect Blue.

Yamamoto continued to be active in the 2000s as he worked as the art director for Mamoru Hosoda’s The Girl Who Leapt Through Time.

More recently, he also provided artwork for Makoto Shinkai's Weathering With You.

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Yamamoto Passes Away at 70 Due to Cancer

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Sadly, Yamamoto’s beautiful background art will no longer grace future anime films as he passed away at age 70 due to stomach cancer.

Specifically, Yamamoto passed away on August 19. It was then announced that a funeral service will be held on Sunday, August 27, in Hanno City in Saitama Prefecture.

No specific details were revealed, as this will likely not be open to the public. This is the case with practically all funeral services for the passing of anime industry figures.

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In the meantime, fans of Yamamoto’s works can visit the Nizo Yamamoto Art Museum in his hometown of Goto City in Nagasaki. There, Yamamoto’s art can be seen and appreciated in person.

Discover the latest anime news and info by following us on Twitter @epicstreamanime.

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Source:, Anime News Network

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