Find out everything you need to know about Hirokatsu!
1) Kihara-sensei collaborated with Hayao Miyazaki on Laputa: Castle in the Sky, My Neighbor Totoro and Kiki's Delivery Service.
2) Kihara-sensei partnered with the famous Manga Artist, Junji Ito, on the manga adaptation of "Mimi-no-Kaidan".
3) Kihara-sensei began his career at animation studio, "Top Craft", before he joined Studio Ghibli as Chief Production Officer.
Hirokatsu Kihara who calls himself “Kaii-shushu-ka or Mystery collector” is not just one of the most popular ghost story writers in Japan. He takes a role as a host in events and talk shows and as a multimedia planner who creates new Japanese culture.
“Just because it’s a ghost story doesn’t mean it’s scary” he says. Kihara has been dedicating his life to “Shin-mimi-bukuro” – a masterpiece of his works. The serials have been selling over 1.3 million copies and attracting many fans through TV, movies, games, comics and digital contents even after their 25th anniversary. In addition, he keeps writing books such as “Tsukumo Kwaidan”, “Tonari-no-kai “,”Kinkiro“ and shares his own new ghost story worlds with many other publishers and creators.
In 2014, he will give his 100th public talk on “Shin-mimi-bukuro” in a hall which is usually packed even during the midnight. He has consolidated his position as an event planner by producing other ghost story events such as “Matsue Kwaidan” in Shimane and “Ayakashi-kai” where professional voice actors read ghost stories before the audience.
Kihara also arranged to publish “Kuuso-kagaku-dokuhon”, serial science fiction, which sold over 3million copies. His broad knowledge and great insights have been making him a unique and indispensable host in more than 20 events a year such as “Kyoto monsters film festival”, “Super Festival (one of the Japan’s biggest figure event)” and Japan’s famous comic book creator Umezu Kazuo’s “Umezu Carnival”.
Young Kihara gained his currier as a managing editor at Studio GHIBLI and undertook world-famous Miyazaki animations such as “My neighbor Totoro“, “Kiki’s Delivery Service” etc. In late years, he was invited to Galway, Ireland because of this. He talked to the locals about Japan’s animation culture and this was highly valued from abroad.
As a child, he was always interested in ghost stories. His favorites were monsters and animations and he graduated from Osaka University of Arts. He worked under Hayao Miyazaki of Studio GHIBLI for years and started taking a new path to specialize in the fields of ghost stories and monsters in addition to animations.
Kihara is always grateful to fans and all the people who help him with his works and who tell him interesting stories. And now he believes it is time for him to introduce Japan’s new part of culture to both Japan and overseas through his future works.