Sharing a House with the Never-Ending Man: 15 Years at Studio Ghibli
This highly entertaining business memoir describes what it was like to work for Japan's premiere animation studio, Studio Ghibli, and its reigning genius Hayao Miyazaki. Steve Alpert, a Japanese-speaking American, was the "resident foreigner" in the offices of Ghibli and its parent Tokuma Shoten and played a central role when Miyazaki's films were starting to take off in international markets. Alpert describes hauling heavy film canisters of Princess Mononoke to Russia and California, experiencing a screaming Harvey Weinstein, dealing with Disney marketers, and then triumphantly attending glittering galas celebrating the Oscar-winning Spirited Away.
His one-of-a-kind portraits of Miyazaki and long-time producer Toshio Suzuki, and of sly, gruff, and brilliant businessman Yasuyoshi Tokuma, capture the hard work and artistry that have made Ghibli films synonymous with cinematic excellence. And as the lone gaijin in a demanding company run by some of the most famous and influential people in modern Japan, Steve Alpert tackles his own challenges of language and culture. No one else could have written this book.
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About the Author
Steve Alpert studied Japanese Literature at Columbia University under Donald Keene and Edward Seidensticker. He speaks Japanese and Chinese fluently, having lived in Tokyo, Kyoto, and Taipei for a combined total of over 35 years. Alpert worked in Tokyo as a vice president at a major bank, as president of an American TV animation company, and as head of international sales at Japan's premier animation studio, Studio Ghibli, cofounded by Hayao Miyazaki and Isao Takahata . He has translated more than a dozen Japanese films and several short works of Japanese fiction. His book in Japanese about his experiences working at Studio Ghibli was published in 2015 by Iwanami Shoten. He lives near New Haven, CT.