Why Hayao Miyazaki’s Producer Sent Harvey Weinstein a Katana

As the public eye continuously uncovers more skeletons from Harvey Weinstein’s past, one interesting tidbit of cinema history was also unearthed by some resourceful netizens.

This particular info involved Studio Ghibli’s legendary director, Hayao Miyazaki, getting the best of the 65-year-old disgraced studio executive/outed sexual predator at one point in his career.

According to the comedy podcast Chapo Trap House’s subreddit page, Miyazaki had a confrontation with Weinstein over the proposed editing to be done on his film “Princess Mononoke” when it was about to be released in the United States.

Disney, which was Studio Ghibli’s distributor for its films in the U.S., had already taken over Weinstein’s Miramax by 1997.

Back then, there was even a rumor that the revered filmmaker sent the producer a samurai sword when he learned that Weinstein would be handling the film’s U.S. release.

The rumor went: “Weinstein became one of Hollywood’s most powerful producers by acquiring and ruthlessly cutting films to make them as commercial as possible. Fearing his masterpiece ‘Princess Mononoke’ would be butchered, director and animator Hayao Miyazaki sent Weinstein the sword with the note advising him not to do it.”

The blade reportedly had a message that read: “No cuts.”

In an interview with the Guardian back in 2005, Miyazaki clarified that it was actually producer Toshio Suzuki who sent the katana.

He noted, however, how he stood his ground against Weinstein’s “aggressive” demands for cuts in the movie.

“Actually, my producer did that,” Miyazaki explained. “Although I did go to New York to meet this man, this Harvey Weinstein, and I was bombarded with this aggressive attack, all these demands for cuts.”

The 76-year-old artist, who is regarded internationally as one of the greatest animation directors, then proclaimed with a smile, “I defeated him.”

Feature Image via Wikimedia Commons / Natasha Baucas (CC BY 2.0) and Georges Biard (CC BY-SA 3.0)

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