“The Wind Rises” traces his life from childhood to adulthood as he becomes a Master airplane designer and even finds love while trying to live in turbulent pre-war Japan. In other words, “The Wind Rises” is about how a man, ‘Jiro Horikoshi’, obsessed with mastering an art form, lived put on the screen by Hayao Miyazaki.
He is a typical educated Asian male of his time.
Happiness, Passion, and loss…
At the end, it can only be a tragedy…
“The Wind Rises” and Asian men
There is an interesting line in “The Wind Rises”. If I paraphrase it, it would be
“It is ironic that, in order to spend all our time at work, we need a good family at home.”
Jiro Horikoshi’ in the movieis very neglectful to his family by western standards. He never sees his parents since ‘Jiro’ is so preoccupied by his work. Even when his wife is suffering from a terminal illness, he keeps working and barely sees her although he writes all the time.
This is not because he does not love his family.
At heart, ‘Jiro Horikoshi’ is a very loving person. ‘Jiro’ acts in this manner because it is or more accurately was the ideal manner in which Asian men lived. Men were supposed to chase after grander goals than what could be found within the confines of a home. The family was your support system and nothing really more. Things like love and affection were additional luxuries.
It was very common for men to not see their children being born.
It was common for one’s children to not really know their father.
The fathers were more of a guest than a member of the family.
The movie, “The Wind Rises”, ends sometime after the war when ‘Jiro Horikoshi’ is looking back at ashes of his career and his country. The only thing he has left is the airplane designs he created.
The Tragedy of Living as Men
By creating “The Wind Rises”, Hayao Miyazaki is trying to ask the question of whether it was worth it. The answer he gives is more melancholy than cathartic.
However, what gives “The Wind Rises” its true powers is that it is more personal than being a reflection on one person’s life.
“The Wind Rises” is the story of all fathers that collapse and died on the job.
“The Wind Rises” is the story of all fathers that never got the chance to know his children.
“The Wind Rises” is about our accomplishments, our joys, our loves, and ultimately our regrets. It is about us trying to live a life style that requires a lot and, at the end, is more likely to be a waste of time and effort on something that does not really matter. Well, at least for most people.