2 February 2024

Toshio Suzuki at the Sony Pictures Classics Annual Pre-Oscars Dinner Party at STK Restaurant on February 25, 2017 in Los ^Angeles, California.

As the release of his new film approaches, Ghibli is going through a bad patch. The general manager of the famous Japanese animation studio, Toshio Suzuki, was due to open an exhibition by Thai photographer Kanyada on Saturday April 8. at the Kikusuikan, a magnificent thatched-roof building of the famous ryokan (traditional inn) Osawa-onsen, in Iwate Prefecture (northeastern Japan). Everything would be fine if, in the ranks of the Ghibli teams, it was not rumored that Mr. Suzuki was actually taking advantage of the event to “enjoy the hot springs with your girlfriend”.

Gossip? Not so sure, because the affair fuels a deleterious climate of the most unwelcome for the studio with a global reputation: according to the revelations made in March by the magazine fond of gossip Shukan JoseiToshio Suzuki, 74, co-founder in 1985 of the studio with directors Hayao Miyazaki (Princess Mononoke, My Neighbor Totoro…) and Isao Takahata (The Grave of the Fireflies…), is in a relationship with Kanyada. The two would have met in 2013 and would spin the perfect love.

However, the magazine understands, Mr. Suzuki, author of In Studio Ghibli. Working while having fun (Kana, 2011), would have confused his personal affairs with those of the studio: in 2018, Ghibli validated the project to open a restaurant in Bangkok on the theme of the studio’s films, and Mr. Suzuki appointed Kanyada to the post of manager. The case collapsed in barely a year.

Read the archive (2018): Death of Isao Takahata, director of “Tomb of the Fireflies”

Resignation of the president of Ghibli

Subsequently, Kanyada, who then had no experience in photography, would have been imposed by the producer to take the shots for a book on the Ghibli Museum in Mitaka (in the west of Tokyo). Several Ghibli employees have also complained that they had to perform various tasks for Kanyada, on the orders of Toshio Suzuki. All the travel expenses of the young woman would have been paid by the studio on the pretext that she was working with the producer.

What dissatisfy Koji Hoshino, who succeeded in 2008 to the presidency of the Ghibli studio to Toshio Suzuki who, him, had retained the general management of the group. Tired of the staff’s complaints, Mr. Hoshino ended up raising the matter directly with the person concerned, asking him to “separate his private life from his public life”. Dissatisfied, the latter would have pushed the leader to leave his functions. When the magazine Shukan Josei questioned him about it, Toshio Suzuki replied that he didn’t care. In a statement issued on April 4 by the studio, Koji Hoshino confirmed his departure, without mentioning the dispute with Mr. Suzuki: “I’ve been working for the studio for fifteen years, and I decided it was the right time (For) leave. » He will definitely leave the company after the general meeting of shareholders in June. As for the presidency, it will go to Toshio Suzuki.

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