Japanese director Isao Takahata dies at 82

Japanese anime film director and writer Isao Takahata, co-founder of Japan’s Studio Ghibli, has died, the studio said on Friday. He was 82.

Takahata was most famous for “The Grave of the Fireflies”, an award-winning 1988 film about the suffering of a young brother and sister separated from their parents in World War Two.

The film was based on Takahata’s experience as a nine-year-old boy, fleeing a U.S. air raid, barefoot and in pyjamas, amid piles of dead bodies in Okayama, western Japan, in 1945.

“The Tale of the Princess Kaguya”, his last film and made in 2013, was nominated for an Oscar for Best Animated Feature.

Takahata worked on a number of TV anime series with Studio Ghibli co-founder Hayao Miyazaki, tackling social issues, encompassing war and the environment.

He was made an Officer of the French Order of Arts and Letters in 2015.

“It’s very regrettable,” broadcaster NHK quoted Toshio Suzuki, of Studio Ghibli, as saying. “There were lots of things he wanted to do.”

Takahata died of lung cancer on Thursday, the studio said.

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