Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

The Tao of Miyazaki
by Olsen, Beth E., M.A., Prescott College, 2011, 124; 1494492
Abstract (Summary)

Through this investigation into the anime films of Hayao Miyazaki, the author uses the methodologies of hermeneutics and hermeneutical phenomenology to discover just what it is that audiences around the world find so captivating about these movies. She analyzes the characters, their shadow sides, and their portrayal of archetypes according to Jungian psychology. She also studies the settings, plots, and themes of these films, and evaluates the artwork. Throughout this research into Miyazaki's anime, the author looks for levels of meaning regarding social, psychological, ecological, spiritual, and moral issues, and searches for patterns and themes that express universal essences. The patterns and principles she discovers fit into that Eastern concept of spirituality known as the Tao, a holistic and universal phenomenon that is understood as the source of everything, a philosophy of living, and a "Way" or path to enlightenment (Jung, 1997, Watts, 1993). The author presents nine of Miyazaki's films and compares each with an aspect of the Tao. Through these films, she explores the Tao principles of P'uh or simplicity; Li, our relationship with nature; Wu Wei, sensitivity to circumstances; Te, moral integrity and virtuous action; and the Yin-Yang Polarity or harmony. The author also compares Miyazaki's movie-making methods with these principles, establishing a connection between his films and his techniques, and making the argument that Miyazaki is a Tao master.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Smith, Camille
Commitee: Aldern, Jared D., Deegan, Patrick W.
School: Prescott College
Department: Humanities
School Location: United States -- Arizona
Source: MAI 49/06M, Masters Abstracts International
Subjects: Art Criticism, Art history, Social psychology
Keywords: Anime, Archetype, Miyazaki, Shadow, Subconscious, Tao
Publication Number: 1494492
ISBN: 9781124691336
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