My latest creation is a tribute to Hayao Miyazaki, Japan’s greatest animation director and co-founder of Studio Ghibli, best-loved of all the Japanese animation studios.
I had already written in the past how his films and his stories often inspired my creations, especially in terms of atmosphere and environments.
Back in 1998, Hayao Miyazaki designed and built a house for his production company, called Nibariki. This house is located nearby Studio Ghibli’s main building. Nibariki means 2 horsepower in Japanese and the name is a clear tribute to the beloved Citroën 2CV that the Japanese artist has been driving for more than forty years.
Above you can see both Mr. Miyazaki’s new office and his Citroën 2CV. And of course our beloved masterful storyteller too.
Miyazaki bought his first 2CV as a university student in the early 1960s. It was a right-hand-drive model, imported from the U.K. and painted bright yellow.
A 2CV first appeared in Miyazaki’s first feature-length film, 1979’s The Castle of Cagliostro. An action-adventure tale involving a mischievous gentlemen thief, the well known Lupin III, and featuring multiple car chases, including the heroine, Clarisse, escaping in her 2CV.
Miyazaki’s current Citroën is a 1987 2CV 6 painted in light gray and is exactly like the one you see in my latest creation.
“Internationally recognized director and creator Hayao Miyazaki has had an inspirational effect the world over through his work at Studio Ghibli. Builder Andrea Lattanzio has been open about how Miyazaki’s films and stories have influenced his own models in the past. His latest model is a tribute to the home Miyazaki had built near Studio Ghibli’s main building back in 1998. Framed by brightly colored trees that contrast the grey and black tilework covering the building, Andrea shows off his architectural skills in yet another masterful model. Offset tiles help create an effect similar to the original wooden siding while fresh planks and posts in the deck, yet to become green with moss, provide a peaceful place for the famed director to contemplate life.
Made for his production company, Nibariki, or “two-horsepower”, Miyazaki called the house itself “buta-ya,” which is commonly translated as Pig House. Though the building’s name may be more of an abstract reference from the director, the company that called it home derived its name from Miyazaki’s beloved car model, the Citroën 2CV. Of course, this was a perfect opportunity for Andrea to show off another skill of his, automobile modeling. Parked in front of the building’s entrance is Miyazaki’s current 1987 2CV 6 Citroën, though a tribute to his original 1960s 2CV makes its own appearance in 1979’s The Castle of Cagliostro.
The custom minifigure that Andrea created works perfectly as Hayao Miyazaki, from the hair and glasses to the apron over his modest clothes. The famed Studio Ghibli co-founder may be ironically morose and melancholic like this house, but his stories provide a splash of vibrance to life like the flowers and plants on the deck.”
(“The two-horsepower Pig house” The Brothers Brick – May 23, 2022)