Father Geek here with some sad news for Anime fans around the world, Yasuyoshi Tokuma died Wednesday. Now its true that most of us are not familiar with his name, he was a suit in the front office and we usually don't get to know them, but Yasuyoshi Tokuma was different, he inspired the people under him to greatness and more importantly gave them the freedom and cash to accomplish it. If all motion picture exec's were like him we'd have very little to bitch about on these pages. So geeks make a note of this name... Yasuyoshi Tokuma... it deserves to be remembered...
Yasuyoshi Tokuma died Wednesday, at the age of 78.
You may not know the name, but he's the head of Tokuma Shoten, a major Japanese publishing company, and he's the man that let Miyazaki happen.
Until 1983, Tokuma Shoten produced newspapers and magazines. That year, Tokuma decided to make a movie based on Miyazaki's phenomenally popular manga, Nausicaa of the Valley of the Wind. He let Miyazaki direct, despite Miyazaki's first feature, Lupin III: Castle of Cagliostro flopping at the box office.
Since, Tokuma has funded every one of Miyazaki's movies (and every Ghibli movie but GRAVE OF THE FIREFLIES, and many others, including SHALL WE DANCE) and he's famous for letting artists work. (One anecdote involves Miyazaki going to Tokuma, full of apologies for MONONOKE HIME, which was about to go over budget, and Tokuma offering on the spot to double the budget. Miyazaki had to talk him down! "Um... we don't need THAT much money...")
We're going to miss him, Harry, even the wild claims he used to make to the tabloids ("Miyazaki's next film will be a sci-fi epic budgeted at $40 million!") and I hope whoever takes his place can fill his shoes.
- Charlie Tangora
Here's a some-what incomplete listing of producer credits that IMDB has on him right now...
Sen to Chihiro no kamikakushi (2001) (executive)
Gamera 3: Iris kakusei (1999) (executive)
... aka Gamera 3: Revenge of Iris (1999) (Canada: English title)
... aka Gamera 3: The Awakening of Iris (1999)
TakkyÃ» onsen (1998) (executive)
... aka Ping Pong Bath Station (1998)
Mononoke Hime (1997) (executive)
... aka Princess Mononoke (1999) (USA: US version)
... aka Not Yet (1993)
Majo no takkyubin (1989) (executive)
... aka Kiki's Delivery Service (1989)
Tonari no Totoro (1988) (executive)
... aka My Neighbor Totoro (1988)
Shuto shoshitsu (1987)
... aka Tokyo Blackout (1987) (Canada: English title)
Kaze no tani no Naushika (1984) (executive)
... aka Kaze no tani no Nausicaa (1984)
... aka NausicaÃ¤ (1984)
... aka NausicaÃ¤ of the Valley of Wind (1984)
... aka Warriors of the Wind (1984) (USA: US version)
... aka Irezumi: Spirit of Tattoo (1982)
... aka Sekka Tomurai Zashi (1982)
Uchu kaijÃ» Gamera (1980) (executive)
... aka Gamera Super Monster (1980) (USA)
... aka Space Monster Gamera (1980) (literal English title)
... aka Super Monster (1980) (USA: TV title)
... aka Super Monster Gamera (1980)