Japan has now lost one of the most important figures in its animation industry, as legendary Grave of Fireflies director and Studio Ghibli co-founder, Isao Takahata, has now passed away. Several Japanese newspaper outlets have reported that his health has been declining since summer last year. However, they didn’t reveal his exact cause of death. He was 82.
The legendary director started out his career back in 1959, as he joined Toei Animation, then called Toei Douga, right after graduating from the prestigious University of Tokyo. He would later leave Toei to found Studio Ghibli alongside another legendary animation figure Hayao Miyazaki.
Takahata directed plenty of films for Ghibli, including Grave of the Fireflies, Only Yesterday, Pom Poko, and My Neighbors the Yamadas. However, it was his final film, The Tale of Princess Kaguya, which garnered him an Oscar nomination.
Rest in Peace Isao Takahata, your works will live forever in our hearts.