Read excerpts of Hayao Miyazaki’s favorite novel, which inspired his next movie

Fans who follow the retirement adventure of Studio Ghibli co-founder Hayao Miyazaki may have realized that as early as 2016, he reopened the studio and started producing a movie called How do you live? There are few details on the theme of the film and the expected release date, but Ghibli’s announcement has made it clear that this is a “large fantasy story”, focusing on the importance of Gensaburo Yoshino’s 1937 novel. How do you live? In the life of the protagonist.

Hayao Miyazaki has already quoted How do you live? As his favorite book in childhood, it is also an important touchstone for his film works, such as My Neighbor Totoro, Spirited Away, Princess Mononoke, with Ponyo. This book is a classic of children’s literature and is usually part of the school curriculum. It is an easy-to-understand but exciting philosophical journey for young readers. The story tells the story of a teenage protagonist, “Koperu” in the original book, who begins to think about major issues in life. His uncle tries to protect him from bullying and help him solve his growing problems in the world. Algonquin Books will publish the first English translation of the novel in October 2021. Summary of the novel in the company’s press release:

How do you live? The story begins with Kobo, who was fifteen years old. He recently lost his father. He stared at his hometown of Tokyo, looked at the thousands of people below, and began to think about the big problems of life. How many people are there in the world? What is their life like? Are humans really made of molecules? The book moves between Cooper’s story and his uncle’s diary entry, where he provides advice and helps Cooper understand key truths about how the world works.

In one year of his life, Cooper, like his eponymous Copernicus, embarked on a journey of philosophical enlightenment and used his discoveries of heaven, earth and human nature to determine the best way of life. Yoshino perfectly captured the beauty and strangeness of pre-war Japan-the change of seasons, fried tofu and taiyaki stalls, and lush scenery, because copper explores the city on a bicycle and learns from friends and family Is the most important life.

Algonquin provided Polygon with a series of excerpts covering an astonishing range: one featuring Rhapsody, in-depth descriptions of the copper community and the street food cooked there, while the other is full of how the Copernicus universe model The exciting ideas reflect human maturity and the ability to get rid of self-centered thinking. But among the excerpts provided, this paragraph may most clearly reflect the book’s influence on Miyazaki’s films.When Copper played with one of his best friends, Kitami, their creative, playful but intimate interaction felt a lot like this sister relationship My Neighbor TotoroMost of Miyazaki’s child protagonists seem to be familiar with the optimistic energy and playfulness of copper, and they are known for their play and happy spirit.

This is an example of Algonquin translation How do you live?

Image: Algonquin Books

After they finished all the usual indoor games, Kobo said: “Should we listen to Waseda Keio’s baseball game?”

“College baseball? Is there a recording?”

“No, on the radio. I will broadcast.”

“Huh?” Copper unplugged the radio and put it on the table.

Then he threw a large cloth on his head and squatted down. Soon, the broadcast began.

“…The dark blue sky is clear, the wind is falling, and the dust settles at the Meiji Jingu Stadium. The rising sun on the Japanese flag just swayed in the wind behind the midfield. This is definitely a perfect day for a football game. An absolutely perfect day. …”

“Cool!” Kitami shouted.

“Waseda University, the champion of northern Tokyo! Keio University, the champion of southern Tokyo!” Tong continued to say in a loud voice.

“This battle between the great college teams, known as the treasures of our baseball world, has now entered 30 years! Even now, millions of fans across the country are crazy with excitement. The honor of the two schools, the alumni and The hope of the students, the thirty-year tradition–think about it, it all comes down to this game…”

Of course, it is very smart. Especially because he said copper himself.

“… Thirty minutes before the start of the fierce battle, Jingu Stadium was full of anticipation and emotion. Since early this morning, tens of thousands of fans have poured into the big stadium around the stadium, and there is almost no standing space at this time. Every school The cheerleading squads occupied all areas of the infield and outfield, crowded with seats. On the third base is King Keio, and on the first base is Waseda, each conducting their own brass band, and they have been loudly since before the game. Noise…”

“What about the players?” Mizutani rushed in.

“I will do it now,” the radio replied.

“Now Waseda players enter from the side of first base. Waseda players enter. They are wearing matching gray jerseys. The crowd stood up and united! Listen to it-there is thunderous applause. Waseda’s cheering part has gained a firm foothold. This is for the players. Our welcome chant.”

At this moment, Cooper began to sing Waseda’s battle song with the loudest possible voice:

“Dark blue sky, golden sun above,

Shining, this is our history…”

Kitami quickly supported him, and they sang:

“Brilliant and remarkable, our fighting spirit burns,

To the throne of victory…”

However, it is not easy for two people to replace the entire cheering part.

So Kitami raised his voice and let out a terrible roar:

“Waseda! Waseda!

The victory of Waseda! “

“… Then, Keio comes in from the third base side! Under the leadership of the team manager Morita, Keio players come on the field. To welcome them, the Keio cheerleaders started their battle song! Listen now. This is a wonderful chorus. “

This time Copper changed his style and sang loudly.

“A passionate youth,

We are shining, oh so bright. “

Then Mizutani joined the singing with a clear voice.

“Looking at the star of hope–

When we are heading for victory,

Our power is always new, look!

Our best gathering now…”

The radio continues to broadcast.

“Both sides have started warming up. The Waseda players spread out on the court. It’s time to practice batting. Now let us review the history of the two-team war that began in 1905…”

“That’s enough!” Kitami said.

“But if I didn’t say that, it wouldn’t be like Waseda’s game!” The radio protested in a complaining tone.

“But it doesn’t matter. It would be better if the game started sooner.”

“You think so? Well, we can do that…” The radio seemed to think it was a shame to waste hard-won knowledge, but quickly obeyed Kitami’s orders.

“Now that both sides have completed defensive training, it seems that the game is ready. First is Waseda. Keio is defending on the court. Keio’s pitcher is Kusumoto. He took the mound with a confident smile. Waseda’s starter Satake enters the batter’s box. Hit the ball!”

Suddenly, Copper howled in a strange voice: “Oh, oh, oh oh!” This was the start of the game.

So the game began, but as the game progressed, it eventually fell into chaos. In the beginning, neither side scored, but after Waseda scored in the fourth game, there were hits in every game and every game was scored. In any case, whenever Keio scores, whether it is one or two points, Kitami will say, “Hey! No way!”

Therefore, Copper will use Keio’s mistake to make Waseda run once or twice. But when he did this, Mizutani would protest: “Don’t let Keio make so many mistakes!”

Algonquin Books 2021 Gensaburo Yoshino's novel

Image: Algonquin Books

The narrator Copper takes pains to advance the game in a way that suits his two friends. He has no choice but to make it a fierce seesaw for a game. The intensive fighting continued, and they finally came to the bottom of the ninth game. Waseda was on the court, Keio hit the ball and Waseda led by one point.

“The first and third place players! Keio’s batsman is Captain Katsukawa. The outfielders are all on high alert. The great Katsukawa No. 3 shoulders a heavy burden. There are already two outs, but the third With a runner, you have a chance to hit and run! One hit here, just like that, the game will be tied. The count is three plus one. Perhaps the old pitcher Wakahara will throw the fourth ball on a deliberate walk In order to eliminate the next batsman.”

“No way! Let it strike out!” Kitami shouted.

“Wakahara made a speech to the plate. He began to stretch and let the fifth ball start to move. The court. The swing. He made contact! The ball went up, up, up, up, towards the depths of the left field. The left fielder was trying to retreat. Come back… come back… Oh, he has passed! The ball flew over the left fielder’s head and landed under the stands. The front runner scored! Another runner took off from the beginning like a rabbit.

“He is going round third base and going home. Oh, he crossed the plate. Another point! Keio wins, Keio wins, Keio wins! Kachikawa hits a three-pointer, Keioscores two points, and that’s it, the game is over. Oh!”

But the whistle does not end the game. Because Kitami had jumped up and threw at the copper in the radio.

“Hey! Radio! Can’t you just shut up?”

While talking, Bei Jian suddenly pulled off the cloth covering the copper head.

“Ouch! This is rough! Help!” Tong shouted from inside the cloth. “And just now, a hooligan appeared on the court.”

“Hey! Can you shut up, I said! Stop talking!”

“Huh…huh… the hooligan is a supporter of Waseda!”


Kitami, who was blushing with a smile, tried his best to press on the copper. Under attack, Copper continued.

“The rogue…has… interrupted the broadcast. The narrator is now alive and dead!”

Kitami laughed. Tong seized the opportunity to stand up, and the two fell by the table, entangled. The radio was pushed away and started to roll off the table, but Mizutani attacked it and solved it.

Kitami let go, Kobo took the cloth off his head. The two were lying on the tatami, still laughing. Copper’s head rested on Beijian’s belly. Every time Beijian laughed, the vibration in his belly would make Copper’s head slightly shake.

“Ah, I was defeated.” Copper fell to the floor exhausted. Kitami also stretched out his arms and gasped. Having said this, Mizutani sighed deeply and rushed to their side.

The three lay there quietly for a while. They already feel close at hand, and there is no need to speak. How nice to lie there quietly.

Outside is a perfect autumn day, fresh and clear. Surrounded by trees in the garden, through the open sliding door at the end of the hall, you can barely see the roof of the house next door, and there is a clear blue autumn sky over the fence. In the sky, the light as silk clouds flow slowly, and the body shape changes with the walk.

Tong Mu lay absently, and a train passed by in the distance, the sound of which was dreamlike in his ears.

From How do you live? © 2021 Gensaburo Yoshino. Reprinted with permission from Algonquin Books on Chapel Hill. all rights reserved. How do you live? It will be released on October 26, 2021.

How do you live?

The price at the time of publication.

This is the first English translation of a Japanese classic that finds its place in an infinite and unimaginable small world, very suitable for readers of philosophical novels, such as Alchemist with little Prince, And Hayao Miyazaki fans who are eager to learn about one of his most important influences, and the basis of his next film.