The ma-ma philosophy of Hayao Miyazaki

(And my resolutions for the New year)

«Hayao Miyazaki was asked once during an interview what was the difference between his style of animation and animation in the West. He thought about it for a moment and then began to rhythmically clap his hands as he answered.

‘When I clap my hands,’ he said, “you hear the sound of the clap. You don’t hear what is in between the sound of the clap. In Japan, we have a name for what is in between the sound of the clap. We call it ma like ‘ma-ma.’»

Miyazaki continued speaking, while clapping slowly: ‘Western animators are afraid of ma. They think you have to keep making the sound of the clap, or you will lose your audience. I disagree; I think if you fill ma with thinking, emotion and intention, you will not lose your audience.’»

Cartoon Brew “‘The Tale of The Princess Kaguya’ Acting and Performance Analysis” by Ed Hooks

[And my resolutions for this New year too: thinking, emotion, intention – and beauty.]