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Makoto Shinkai (新海 誠, Shinkai Makoto), born as Makoto Niitsu (新津 誠, Niitsu Makoto, born February 9, 1973), is a Japanese director, writer, producer, animator, editor, cinematographer, voice actor, manga artist and former graphic designer. He is best known for directing Your Name, the highest-grossing anime film of all time, and was listed by Variety as one of 10 animators to watch in 2016.[1] Asteroid 55222 Makotoshinkai is named after him.[2]

Makoto Shinkai
Makoto Shinkhai in Moscow.JPG
Makoto Shinkai in Moscow 2013
Born Makoto Niitsu
(1973-02-09) February 9, 1973 (age 45)
Koumi, Nagano, Japan
Occupation Director, writer, producer, animator, editor, cinematographer, voice actor, manga artist
Known for Voices of a Distant Star
The Place Promised in Our Early Days
5 Centimeters per Second
Children Who Chase Lost Voices
The Garden of Words
Your Name
Spouse(s) Misaka Chieko



A native of Nagano Prefecture, Shinkai studied Japanese literature at Chuo University, where he was a member of juvenile literature club and drew picture books. He traces his passion for creation to the manga, anime, and novels he was exposed to in middle school. His favorite anime is Castle in the Sky by Hayao Miyazaki. Shinkai has been called "The New Miyazaki" in several reviews, including those by Anime Advocates and ActiveAnime—comparisons he calls an "overestimation".[3]

He is married to retired actress and producer Chieko Misaka, star of films including Versus by Ryuhei Kitamura; they have a daughter, child actress Chise Niitsu (born 2010).[4][5][6][better source needed]


After graduating from Chuo in 1994 he got a job at Falcom, a video game company where he worked for 5 years making video clips for games and graphic design including web content. During this time he met musician Tenmon, who later scored many of his movies.

In 1999, Shinkai released She and Her Cat, a five-minute short piece done in monochrome. It won several awards, including the grand prize at the 12th DoGA CG Animation contest (2000). DoGA is an independent nonprofit company set up to encourage entry-level animators with software and advice.[7] The short details the life of a cat, entirely from the cat's perspective, as it passes time with its owner, a young woman.

After winning the grand prize, Shinkai began thinking about a follow-up while he continued working for Falcom. In June 2000, Shinkai was inspired to begin Voices of a Distant Star by drawing a picture of a girl in a cockpit grasping a cell phone. Some time later, he was contacted by Manga Zoo (today a smartphone app), which offered to work with him, giving him a grant to turn his idea into an anime they could sell. In May 2001, he quit his job at Falcom and began to work on Voices. In an interview, Shinkai noted that production took around seven months of "real work".

Voices of a Distant Star was followed by the 90-minute The Place Promised in Our Early Days, which was released nationwide in Japan on November 20, 2004. It was critically acclaimed, winning many honors.[citation needed] Shinkai's next project was 5 Centimeters per Second and premiered 3 March 2007. It consists of three short films: Cherry Blossom, Cosmonaut, and 5 Centimeters per Second. The total run time is about 63 minutes. In September 2007 Nagano's leading newspaper, Shinano Mainichi Shinbun, released a TV commercial animated by Shinkai.

Shinkai spent 2008 in London, resting since the completion of 5 Centimeters per Second. He returned to Japan in 2009 to start work on his next project. He released two concept drawings for this film in December 2009. Shinkai noted that it would be his longest animation film to date and described the story as a "lively" animated film with adventure, action, and romance centered on a cheerful and spirited girl on a journey to say "farewell".[8] In November 2010, he revealed that his next work would be titled Children Who Chase Lost Voices from Deep Below. A teaser trailer was released on November 9, and the film was released on May 7, 2011.[9][10]

His next feature, The Garden of Words, was released on May 31, 2013.

In August 26, 2016, Shinkai released Your Name. The film received critical acclaim, was praised for its animation and emotional impact, and was also a commercial success, becoming the fourth-highest-grossing film of all time in Japan and, as of January 16, 2017, the highest-grossing anime film of all time, overtaking Miyazaki's Spirited Away. In 2017 it was announced that he was working on a new project.[11]



  • The Place Promised in Our Early Days (雲のむこう、約束の場所, Kumo no Mukō, Yakusoku no Basho) - Director / Writer / Producer / Storyboards / Background art / Design/Modeler / Theme Song Lyrics (2004)
  • 5 Centimeters per Second (秒速5センチメートル, Byōsoku Go Senchimētoru) - Director / Writer / Producer / Storyboard / Art Director / Color design (2007)
  • Children Who Chase Lost Voices (星を追う子ども, Hoshi o Ou Kodomo) - Director / Writer / Producer (2011)
  • The Garden of Words (言の葉の庭, Kotonoha no Niwa) - Director / Writer / Photography / Color design / Editing (2013)
  • Your Name (君の名は。, Kimi no na wa.) - Director / Writer / Photography / Color design / Editing (2016)


  • The world be enclosed (囲まれた世界, Kakomareta sekai) - Director/ Animator
  • Other Worlds (遠い世界, Tooi Sekai) - Director / Animator, 1998
  • She and Her Cat (彼女と彼女の猫, Kanojo to Kanojo no Neko) - Director / Writer / Animator / voice of Her Cat (1999)
  • Voices of a Distant Star (ほしのこえ, Hoshi no Koe) - Director / Writer / Producer / voice of Noboru Terao (original voice) (2002)
  • Egao (みんなのうた「笑顔」, Minna no Uta "Egao") - Director, 2n Ani*Kuri15)
  • Dareka no Manazashi (だれかのまなざし, lit. Someone's Gaze) - Director (2013)


  • Bosphorus tunnel (ボスポラス海峡トンネル, Bosuporasu kaikyō ton'neru) - Director / Background art, 2011 (TV commercial released by Taisei Corporation)[12]
  • Sri Lanka highway (スリランカ高速道路, Suriranka kōzokudōro) - Director / Storyboards / Photography / Editing, 2013 (TV commercial released by Taisei Corporation), featuring the theme song Fight (ファイト, Faito) by Anri Kumaki[13]
  • Vietnam Noi Bai Airport (ベトナム・ノイバイ空港, Betonamu noibai kūkō) - Director / Storyboards / Shooting / Editing, 2014 (TV commercial released by Taisei Corporation)[14]
  • Z-Kai: Cross Road (Z会 「クロスロード」, Kurosu Rodo) - Screenplay / Storyboards / Production / Supervision, 2014 (TV commercial released by Z-Kai)[15]

Video gamesEdit

Literary worksEdit

  • Slug, 1994 (picture-book)
  • 5 Centimeters per Second, 2007 (novel)
  • The Garden of Words, 2014 (novel)
  • Your Name., 2016 (novel)


  • Beyond the Tower, 2002
  • Voices from a Distant Star, 2004
  • The Place Promised in Our Early Days, 2006
  • 5 Centimeters per Second, 2010-2011
  • Children who Chase Lost Voices from Deep Below, 2011
  • The Garden of Words, 2013
  • Your Name., 2016


  • I Dream to Protect You (きみを守るためにぼくは夢をみる, Kimi wo Mamoru Tame ni Boku wa Yume wo Miru) - Illustrator (2003–2011)


  1. ^ "Makoto Shinkai – 'Distant Star' creator now in view". Variety. 
  2. ^
  3. ^ "MAKOTO SHINKAI - THE PLACE PROMISED IN OUR EARLY DAYS DIRECTOR". Active Anime. 2005-09-27. Retrieved 2011-12-19. 
  4. ^
  5. ^
  6. ^ ja:新海誠
  7. ^
  8. ^ "Distant Star's Shinkai Posts Images for Next Anime". Anime News Network. 2009-12-24. Retrieved 2010-08-28. 
  9. ^ "Paradise Kiss, Mardock Scramble, Gon Promos Streamed (Makoto Shinkai's latest work, Hoshi o Ou Kodomo, to have teaser on November 9)". Anime News Network. 2010-11-02. Retrieved 2010-11-04. 
  10. ^ "Makoto Shinkai's Hoshi o Ou Kodomo Teaser Posted in HD". Anime News Network. 2010-11-09. Retrieved 2010-11-09. 
  11. ^ "Anime directors Mamoru Hosoda, Makoto Shinkai working on new films". Retrieved 2017-11-25. 
  12. ^ "Other voices-遠い声- » 大成建設テレビCM" [Other voices - Taisei TV CM] (in Japanese). Makoto Shinkai / CoMix Wave Films. Retrieved October 10, 2014. 
  13. ^ "Other voices-遠い声- » 大成建設テレビCM「スリランカ高速道路」篇" [Other voices - Taisei TV CM "Sri Lanka highway"] (in Japanese). Makoto Shinkai / CoMix Wave Films. Retrieved October 10, 2014. 
  14. ^ "Other voices-遠い声- » 大成建設テレビCM「ベトナム・ノイバイ空港」篇" [Other voices - Taisei TV CM "Vietnam Noi Bai Airport"] (in Japanese). Makoto Shinkai / CoMix Wave Films. Retrieved October 10, 2014. 
  15. ^ "Other voices-遠い声- » Z会「クロスロード」" [Other voices - Z-Kai: Cross Road] (in Japanese). Makoto Shinkai / CoMix Wave Films. Retrieved October 10, 2014. 

External linksEdit