Hayao Miyazaki segregated Ghibli animators by blood type, veteran animator reveals

Hayao Miyazaki segregated Ghibli animators by blood type, veteran animator reveals
via YouTube/Biographer
Michelle De Pacina
February 26, 2024
Veteran animator Shinsaku Kozuma revealed that Studio Ghibli co-founder Hayao Miyazaki used to segregate his animators based on their blood types at the workplace.
The anecdote: In a recent interview with Full Frontal, Kozuma recounted his extensive experience working on various animated projects, such as “Yu Yu Hakusho,” numerous “Final Fantasy” titles and the latest season of “Jujutsu Kaisen.” During the interview, he shared an anecdote of his tenure at Studio Ghibli, highlighting Miyazaki‘s practice of imposing fines for tardiness and his belief in the superstition linking blood types to personality traits.
“They were pretty high fines!” Kozuma said. “And Miyazaki really checked out when everybody got in or out. His seat was the closest to the door, so he saw everything. He was also the one who decided who got to sit where. He really believes that blood types influence personality, so he had the B-type people and the A-type people sitting separately.”
Blood type superstition: In Japan, a popular belief associates personality traits with blood types, which are considered significant in various aspects of life, including matchmaking and job applications. The common beliefs associate type A individuals as sensitive perfectionists and good team players who can be over-anxious, while type Bs are seen as cheerful but eccentric, individualistic and selfish. Moreover, type Os are associated with curiosity and stubbornness, and ABs with artiness and unpredictability.
This concept has led to a cultural phenomenon, with books, horoscopes, dating agencies and even products catering to different blood types. The belief reportedly persists despite scientific debunking, leading to negative stereotypes and discrimination, known as “bura-hara” or blood-type harassment, impacting relationships, job opportunities and kindergarten teaching methods. 
Miyazaki’s personality: Miyazaki, known for his eccentricity, has been described as intimidating by those who worked with him. The renowned filmmaker had been accused of overbearing behavior, especially when dissatisfied with an animator’s style. 
Differences between older, hands-on animators like Miyazaki and current animators are reportedly apparent, with the former being considered tougher. This depiction aligns with the previous era’s animation industry dynamics, where a single individual often played a decisive role in the success or failure of a project.
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