If you've ever sat back watching your favorite Studio Ghibli films and thought to yourself "boy, there sure is a lot of flying around in these", you don't have to look much further than Hayao Miyazaki's fascination with all things aviation to find a reason. Throughout his films, Miyazaki has often used flight as a means of travel, but he gives them special importance as moments of freedom. This is most directly observed in The Wind Rises, Miyazaki's (at the time) 2013 swan song that fictionalized the biography of Jiro Horikoshi, aviation engineer of many Japanese fighters during World War II.

A new video from Zach Prewitt explores Miyazaki's fascination with aviation, touching on his childhood during World War II as a possible spark for his love affair with airplanes. It also notes a documented conflict within Miyazaki, noting that his admiration of Japanese fighter planes is complicated by his stance as a pacifist. After the release of The Wind Rises, Miyazaki noted that while he felt Japan's military acted out of "foolish arrogance", he has always had an admiration for the design and capability of the Zero plane, saying they "represented one of the few things we Japanese could be proud of – [Zeros] were a truly formidable presence, and so were the pilots who flew them".

Check out Miyazaki Dreams of Flying for a closer look.

By - grape Japan editorial staff.