Famed Ghibli director Hayao Miyazaki’s hatred of technology has lately taken on a distinctly survivalist tone – now he is fulminating about how modern technology is robbing the poor children of such crucial life skills such as fire-making and flint-knapping.

He yields the following pearls of wisdom in a recent interview:

The environment children are now in, including our animation, is all virtual. TV, games, email and mobile phones, and even manga, everything we do in other words, they’re all robbing children of power.


Before they learn their letters, we must teach children the essentials, as we have done from the stone age.

How to start a fire, keep it burning, put it out, the nature of water, how to climb trees, how to wind rope, use a needle and thread, use a knife. I think the state must teach the children these things before they teach them to write.

In response, some have pointed out it seems rather more likely that what is robbing the youth of Japan of power is that the nation is now run by and for the sake of a class of old people possessing views almost as outmoded as those of Miyazaki.

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    Avatar of DFC
    Comment by DFC
    02:07 10/02/2011 # ! Quality (+1.0)

    Better send them kids on an outdoor adventure camp with this man.

    Avatar of Megidola
    Comment by Megidola
    02:28 10/02/2011 # ! Quality (+1.0)

    How could anyone not trust a man with a smile like that with their children?

    Avatar of Vu Le Khoa
    Comment by Vu Le Khoa
    03:15 10/02/2011 # ! Neutral (+0.2)

    Lol, if he CAN do it, i will gladly follow, too bad these intelligent man is just all talk, well, worse than children sitting at home and reading manga.

    I dare him to start a fire using stoneage skill, lol.

    Comment by Anonymous
    07:50 10/02/2011 # ! Neutral (+0.4)

    He does have a point and is in fact right.

    @Anon 6:31

    You may invest in response teams but outsourcing ALL those basic skills to trained professionals is very damaging to the children. The survival skills do not only come in handy in case of global apocalypse, just in case that's the impression you may have.

    By the way, why do children at school learn about higher math and chemistry but not how to save a person with first aid?

    Why do they now how to root an Android mobile but not how to make a fire?

    I suppose that's the message Miyazaki was trying to convey.

    Comment by Anonymous
    06:31 10/02/2011 # ! Neutral (+0.2)

    @ HouseLife

    When I was in scouts, they made it pretty clear it was more about learning to be a responsible American than survival or an "expanding perspective on nature."

    Comment by Anonymous
    06:31 10/02/2011 # ! Neutral (+0.2)

    I disagree. If you have the time to teach children survival skills, then why not just invest it in improving your local emergency response service? Surely qualified rescue personal would be much more useful than someone who learned how to start a fire in the event of emergency which, let's be honest, is the only situation that would require survival skills from city dwellers.

    Now if you are the adventurous type, you should be educating yourself about survival before taking up risky travels. But in the end, it's nobody's fault if a healthy thinking adults kill themselves out of recklessness, and it's the parent's fault if children do so. By no stretch of imagination is it a social issue.

    Either way, teaching everyone basic survival has very low time investment to potential benefit ratio. Better tech these children something useful, like science or something actually beneficial like PE.

    Avatar of HouseLife
    Comment by HouseLife
    06:08 10/02/2011 # ! Neutral (+0.2)

    The sad part is his point is a great one, just said with the eloquence and purpose of a fool.

    The concept of the Cub Scouts and such was to teach more than just survival, but also about expanding perspective on nature and increase understanding of the world around them. Unfortunately the focus became about dumbass badges due to the reward system built around American children, but they still learned. I wouldn't say that it's at all necessary to do it before learning to read or write, because the progress of our civilization makes that fundamentally unnecessary, but I agree that giving fundamental respect to the elements we take for granted is a good idea.

    Unless of course Miyazaki-sama understands something about the zombie apocalypse that we do not. And by the nature of that shit-eating grin up there, I think I should brush up on my knife fighting skills...

    Comment by Anonymous
    07:30 11/02/2011 # ! Neutral (0)

    Oh no we created pyromaniacs

    Comment by Anonymous
    01:12 11/02/2011 # ! Neutral (0)


    You may invest in response teams but outsourcing ALL those basic skills to trained professionals is very damaging to the children.

    The polite thing to do when you make a claim is to give some kind justification. How does it damage me that I cannot start a fire with a bunch of sticks and stones, or whatever other survival skill you would have me master?
    Kids are taught how to react to common dangers in the city (criminals, fires in buildings, etc...). You can't ready them for every possible situations nor should you. Some people are going to die because they never knew something, but that's acceptable compared to stirring social progress to a halt just to teach kids how to live as cavement.

    The survival skills do not only come in handy in case of global apocalypse, just in case that's the impression you may have.

    Don't put words in my mouth. I never said anything that remotely hints at the possibility.

    By the way, why do children at school learn about higher math and chemistry but not how to save a person with first aid?

    You call school level math "higher"?
    But on the point, they learn it because math is the foundation of pretty much any science course they would ever take in university. As for chemistry, it's taught because it's one of the fundamental sciences and it's very basics should be common knowledge. School is supposed to arm you with a wide assortment of fundamental knowledge in different areas, not teach you practical stuff. Weather you agree with this mindset is another matter.

    Why do they now how to root an Android mobile but not how to make a fire?

    Too much free time. Go complain to their parents, it's their problem. And, that doesn't justify why they should be learning survival skills in school. You are introducing a completely unrelated issue.

    Avatar of Alexeon
    Comment by Alexeon
    19:02 10/02/2011 # ! Neutral (0)

    @anon at 7:50

    Because those math, chemistry, and Android-rooting skills are actually useful in our advanced civilization. Knowing how to start a fire without the use of a $1 cigarette lighter isnt.

    Comment by Anonymous
    05:47 10/02/2011 # ! Neutral (0)

    I can make a fire... I looked it up on google

    Avatar of Jozle
    Comment by Jozle
    06:02 10/02/2011 # ! Neutral (0)


    Avatar of ItsDemo
    Comment by ItsDemo
    06:32 10/02/2011 # ! Neutral (0)

    Send this guy to an isolated island and see if he can survive for a month alone.

    Comment by Anonymous
    04:26 10/02/2011 # ! Neutral (0)

    i dare you to do it

    Comment by Anonymous
    06:49 10/02/2011 # ! Neutral (0)

    Well, he does have a point. In this age, anything can happen in a blink of an eye. It's definitely necessary to have a set of basic survival skills at hand. Even I can do all that except climbing trees.

    However, denying technology and calling it the reason for the kids' loss of power is just childish. In fact, I believe that technology has given children more power than before... or that children never had much power to begin with. Hell, most people don't have power as well.

    Also, what a hypocrite.

    Comment by Kudeh
    02:09 10/02/2011 # ! Quality (+1.0)

    That was his plan all along. Genius!

    Avatar of Yoshii-kun
    Comment by Yoshii-kun
    02:29 10/02/2011 # ! Good (+0.6)

    I'm sure as hell not going camping with that face.

    Comment by Anonymous
    03:57 10/02/2011 # ! Quality (+1.0)

    He really looks like the Colonel...

    Avatar of Tidus
    Comment by Tidus
    02:42 10/02/2011 # ! Good (+0.4)

    I hear ya, he has his rape face on.

    Avatar of PewPewPew!
    Comment by PewPewPew!
    06:42 10/02/2011 # ! Neutral (+0.2)

    He kinda looks like Robinson Crusoe with short hair.

    Comment by Anonymous
    07:33 10/02/2011 # ! Neutral (0)

    My god people, you are so harsh! I never ever saw Miyazaki as a potential child rapist who lures kids into the forest to abuse them... you just killed my chilhood =(

    Comment by Anonymous
    10:42 10/02/2011 # ! Neutral (0)

    His secret plan genius indeed

    Avatar of Kuro'Base'Neko
    Comment by Kuro'Base'Neko
    09:39 10/02/2011 # ! Neutral (0)

    Oh Miyazaki.. every time i see his face.. he reminds me Kentucky Fried Chiken.

    Avatar of King Tiger
    Comment by King Tiger
    02:49 10/02/2011 # ! Good (+0.4)

    @ DFC

    I won't lie

    I'd actually enjoy camping with Miyazaki himself lol :3

    Comment by Anonymous
    08:12 10/02/2011 # ! Neutral (0)

    You could sit there waiting for Totoro to show up! :)

    Avatar of TNinja
    Comment by TNinja
    02:32 10/02/2011 # ! Good (+0.4)

    Mmm, I also believe you should cherish the tradiitonal skills. I don't know most of the survivals skills, but I still know how useful they are.

    Also I can't climb a tree. :(

    Comment by Anonymous
    02:40 10/02/2011 # ! Good (+0.6)

    in all seriousness, I do hope I learnt some survival skill, modern age really can dull a man into a potato in no time

    Avatar of Imyou
    Comment by Imyou
    13:30 10/02/2011 # ! Good (+0.4)

    Knowledgeable indeed, yet so many could have their car break down in the sticks, get lost in the woods, and die of exposure or thirst while surrounded by enough abundance to even live comfortably if they just had basic skills.

    Comment by Anonymous
    06:41 10/02/2011 # ! Neutral (0)

    Compared to what? I'm pretty sure the current human society is the most knowledgeable human society history remembers.

    Stupid people will always exist, but at least today, they have basic writing and math skills.

    Comment by Anonymous
    03:31 10/02/2011 # ! Neutral (+0.4)

    Look at what's happening in the big cities with all these snow storms. Look at all the helpless people who wouldn't be in that position if they went to boyscouts/girlscouts and learned to properly deal with harsh weather.

    Yes survival skills are very helpful and will continue to be long into the future.

    Avatar of Eddyak
    Comment by Eddyak
    04:30 10/02/2011 # ! Neutral (+0.2)

    Agreed. If we were to leave the city, 90% of us would die because we don't know fuck all about what we can eat and what we can't, how to start fires, how to keep warm, etc.

    The other 10% would stay alive just cos they were lucky enough that the first thing they ate didn't kill them.

    Comment by Anonymous
    00:56 18/06/2011 # ! Neutral (0)

    I'm on the tech side, but there's been plenty of wars knocking cities out with refugees not taken care of.

    Avatar of Artefact
    Comment by Artefact

    I believe the issues with snowstorms are more down to ineffective or underfunded local services not bothering to clear or grit the roads and so on. Knowing how to build an igloo or shoot and dress an elk is hardly going to alleviate a traffic jam caused by bad weather.

    Comment by Anonymous

    There has been no recent (100 years) precedent where people have been forced to abandon a city en masse without being provided adequate basic neccessities for survival. Do tell us, just what kind of situation would require such skills from common people?

    I fail to see how a snow storm inside a city would require survival skills from it's citizens. Since there doesn't seem to be any precedents. Maybe you would care to give some links or model it for us?

    Comment by Anonymous
    03:30 10/02/2011 # ! Neutral (0)

    old man certaibly has a point
    however his point has 2 flaws: division of labour and its the bloody 21st century
    it would be awesome if everyone was at least half as good as bear grylls, but probably less than 1% of us will ever need really these skills
    making them compulsory is a waste of time and effort

    Comment by Anonymous
    07:54 10/02/2011 # ! Good (+0.6)

    If survival skills are a waste of time and effort because they MAY NOT BE USED than why do kids learn about bloody chemistry and biology topics, which will MOST DEFINITELY NEVER BE USED by 95% of them?

    Comment by Dark Mage
    05:35 10/02/2011 # ! Neutral (0)

    Ray Mears would be a far better example the Bear Grylls.

    Avatar of bluecarrot
    Comment by bluecarrot
    08:57 10/02/2011 # ! Neutral (0)

    Even worse, most people couldn't survive even with stoneage skills. I mean what are they going to hunt? cars?

    Avatar of TC-man
    Comment by TC-man
    06:02 10/02/2011 # ! Neutral (+0.2)

    Perhaps one of the reasons why his own son is hating him. Throwing his son in middle of nowhere and see if he would survive?

    Comment by Anonymous
    00:58 18/06/2011 # ! Neutral (0)

    He spent no time with him.

    Comment by Anonymous
    07:53 10/02/2011 # ! Neutral (0)

    i c wut u did there

    Avatar of Yourtime
    Comment by Yourtime
    03:43 10/02/2011 # ! Neutral (0)

    The Title + the picture = win :D

    Comment by Anonymous
    02:22 10/02/2011 # ! Neutral (0)

    All I need to know how to do, I can find of tutorial video of it on Youtube.

    Comment by Anonymous
    10:43 10/02/2011 # ! Neutral (+0.4)

    no,you tube doesn't teach you to socialize

    Comment by Anonymous
    19:55 10/02/2011 # ! Neutral (0)

    He said YouTube can teach him all he NEEDS to know. Anon doesn't need to socialize.

    Comment by Anonymous
    06:24 10/02/2011 # ! Neutral (+0.2)

    That's cheating.

    Comment by Anonymous
    06:45 10/02/2011 # ! Neutral (+0.2)

    Somehow, I believe that during disasters, internet access is usually not the easiest thing to come by.

    It's nice that all the info is on the internet, but that doesn't ruin his point, which is based around the fact that most people are largely ignorant of survival skills.

    That aside, actual experience with these skills is invaluable when you really need them. Knowing is one thing, being able to do it is another.

    Comment by Anonymous
    09:50 10/02/2011 # ! Neutral (+0.2)

    Obviously the skills will be important in situations were they are needed, a disaster or far away from civilisation.

    However, it is equally obvious that those situations were those skills would be of use will probably never occur for most people.

    Being able to write and read on the contrary, that is a skill most people will find themselves in need of on a daily basis to survive in our modern civilisation.

    Comment by Anonymous
    16:35 10/02/2011 # ! Neutral (0)

    Those who stay indoor is consider as disposal as he pointed out in his book.

    Comment by Anonymous

    Because the survival skills he mentioned are important to know in the urban jungle, yes? Knowing how to use GPS, making a phone call for help, is still a better option than making a signal smoke when you're lost in the middle of a city. A signal smoke does get the police attention though.

    Survival skills are useful but hardly necessary when you're not the outdoors type.

    Comment by Anonymous

    I bet I know a lot more survival skills than that guy lol. Guess where I learnt them all? The internet!

    Comment by Anonymous
    10:42 10/02/2011 # ! Neutral (0)

    YES I WILL WHERE DO I SIGN, come one buco Miyazaki will make you manry

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