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From Up on Poppy Hill (コクリコ坂から Kokurikozaka kara, From Coquelicot Hill) is the 18th animated film that was released in Japan by Toho on July 16, 2011. It was directed by Goro Miyazaki, written by Hayao Miyazaki and produced by Studio Ghibli.

It is based on the 1980 serialized manga of the same name illustrated by Chizuru Takahashi and written by Tetsurō Sayama. Set in 1963 Yokohama, Japan, the film tells the story of Umi Matsuzaki, a high school girl living in her grandmother's boarding house called "Coquelicot Manor". When Umi meets Shun Kazama, a member of the school's newspaper club, they decide to clean up the school's clubhouse, The Latin Quarter. However, Tokumaru, the chairman of the local high school and a businessman, intends to demolish the building for redevelopment and Umi and Shun, along with Shirō Mizunuma, must persuade him to reconsider.

The theatrical poster's advertising slogan is "Let's walk facing upwards.".

From Up on Poppy Hill premiered on July 16, 2011, in Japan. It received positive reviews from most film critics and grossed $61 million worldwide. An English version was distributed by GKIDS; it was released to theaters on March 15, 2013, in North America.[6]

This film marks the first joint project between Goro and his father. This is also Goro's second film as the director, after his 2006 film Tales from Earthsea and stars the voices of Masami Nagasawa, Junichi Okada, Keiko Takeshita, Yuriko Ishida, Jun Fubuki, Takashi Naito, Shunsuke Kazama, Nao Ōmori and Teruyuki Kagawa.

Poppy Hill - 300 Days of War Between Father and Son, a TV special documenting the film's contentious production was aired on NHK General TV on August 9, 2011.[7]

The film is available for streaming on Max, and purchasable on most digital storefronts.



The first issue of the From Up on Poppy Hill manga serialized in Nakayoshi, a shoujo manga magazine published by Kodansha

Coquelicot is the French word for Poppies. The author of the original manga, Tetsuro Sayama, was originally a poet, is said to have taken inspiration from Yosano Akiko's tanka (Japanese form of poetry):

"Oh, my beauty, May, here in France. The field is a poppy that shines in the color of fire as far as the eye can see."

The verse was taken from the songbook, From Summer to Autumn.[9] In addition, the cityscape backgrounds in the latter half of the film are based on Yokohama.[10]

The original manga was serialized in Kodansha's Nakayoshi magazine from January to August 1980, totaling eight chapters. It was released in two volumes by the same publisher. In 2010, Kadokawa Shoten released a new edition, and in 2011, the company released a paperback edition.


Off to School in the Morning[]

"Look what's in the school paper. There's a poem about you.
Who else raises flags every morning?
Fair girl, why do you send Your thoughts to the sky?
The wind carries them aloft To mingle with the crows.
Trimmed with blue, Your flags fly again today.
See? It must be about you."
"I guess."
—Umi reacting Shun's poem about her
Kokurikozaka 001

Umi Matsuzaki raising signal flags in remembrance of her father.

The story is set in Japan in 1963 taking place in the seaport town of Yokohama. In preparation for the 1964 Summer Olympics to be held in Tokyo, people are destroying remnants of the past because they believe only in the magnificence of the new.

A 16-year-old girl, Umi Matsuzaki, lives in her grandmother's boarding house called "Coquelicot Manor", which is located on the hill overlooking the harbour of the Port of Yohohama. Umi's father has passed away and her mother is in America studying so she helps clean and cook for the boarders and look after her sister and brother. In the town of Yohohama rather than telling the season based on the flowers that are blooming, they can tell what time of year it is by what boats are passing through the harbor. Each morning, she raises a set of signal flags with the message of "I pray for safe voyages". A 17-year-old boy, Shun, always sees this flag from the sea as he rides a tugboat to school and responds to them, but Umi doesn't know that. Several of the boarders include Miss Sahurah, Miki a doctor and Sashiko an artist. After breakfast, Umi does some final cleaning before heading off to school.

Big Commotion[]

"Some of the girls are even starting a fan club."
"What's his name?"
"Shun Kazama. He's a live wire."
—Umi and her friends discussing Shun
Kokurikozaka 009

Shun meets Umi in a very dramatic fashion.

At Konan Academy, Umi and Shun's high school, Umi's friends show her a poem that was written in the school newspaper about her raising flags which means someone is getting Umi's messages. Meanwhile a dispute is being raised about the fate of old school's club house called The Latin Quarter. While the school administration as well as most students wants to demolish the old and dilapidated building, a group of students including Shun struggle to preserve it. In an act of protest during lunch Shun jumps off the roof and into the water, when Umi rushes to help him, she realizes this was just for attention as pictures are taken and lets him fall into the water again. After arriving home, Umi goes to see her grandmother who tells her how much she appreciates her hardwork even though they have a maid. She also tells Umi she knows how much she misses her father and why she raises the flags everyday. Before going to prepare dinner and retire the flags Umi's grandmother tells Umi she hopes she'll find someone than perhaps she'll no longer need to raise the flags. While preparing for dinner, Umi's younger sister, Sora tells the boarders about the events that day and that a fan club has started. The next day, Sora bought a picture of Shun for 30 yen (which Umi thinks is a waste) and asks Umi to take her to the Latin Quarter for an autograph and while Umi refuses at first, after Sora's begging she agrees. They venture into the old clubhouse to look for the school's newspaper office. The two are introduced to the many student clubs, such as the Archaeology Club, Literature Club, Chemistry Club, and many more. The club house is a pigsty, with messy floors, walls, laundry lines and even a bucket pulley.

Kokurikozaka 017

Shun gives Umi a ride on his bike.

At the student paper's office, Umi and Shun meet properly and Sora asks for his autograph. Umi then starts to help him and his comrades in their efforts to prevent the demolition of the clubhouse. Unfortunately she stays really late and has to hurry home. Once she arrives home, she gets the rice ready and asks Sashiko to help cut some vegetables, when she sees they're out of pork she asks Riku and then Sora to buy half a kilo at the village at the bottom of hill after Tomoko Naraoka forgot to buy more after Umi finished their supply. When they both decline, Umi gets on her casual clothes and goes herself, before she leaves, she tells Sashiko to start the rice in ten minutes. After leaving the house, Umi bumps into Shun, who offers to take her to the store via his bike. Shun comments that the tug boats by the harbor respond to the flags Umi raises every morning. After Umi gets the pork, Shun gives her one of his snacks (which resembles a hash brown) explaining he lives downtown and won't make it on a full stomach. Shun then leaves to catch his boat, Umi thanks him for the ride as she walks home she enjoys the snack he gave her.

A day later, when Umi goes to check on Sashiko, she notices her artwork and points out the boat in the painting she tells Umi she sees the boat pass by from her window and tells Umi that boat may actually be responding to her flags. This amazes Umi, after Sashiko gets up Umi hurries off to school and gets to class on time. When she arrives, she learns from Shun that the school board declares that replacing the old clubhouse is a historical necessity, and that 50% of the student body want to rebuild. The students are going to hold a debate that afternoon, while Umi declines at first she attends, Sora is there as well. Some are dismayed and feel this to be the tyranny of the majority, and that worshiping modernity risks losing the past while others want the building torn down as it is a wreck. During the debate however the headmaster and members of the faculty investigate the commotion, as a cover up all the students start to sing as to avoid punishments. While walking home, Umi then suggests a big clean up of the building to restore it to its former glory. Doing so may be enough to convince the school's trustees to half the clubhouse's destruction.

First Love[]

"I'm in love with you, Shun."
"Even if we're related, even if you're my brother... my feelings will never change."
"I feel the same about you."
—Umi declaring her love to Shun
Shiro Poppy

Shun and Shiro Mizunuma think of a way to save the Latin Quarter.

Gradually Umi and Shun are drawn to each other. During Miki's Good-bye party, Umi explains that her mother, an accomplished professor, had eloped with a sailor when she was younger after her parents disapproved of them together. Umi's father would later teach her how to raise the signal flags to help him find his way back home. Then one day, his ship sank during the Korean War by a mine and his body was never found. However, Umi never stopped raising her father's signal flags, even after she moved to the Coliquet Manor. Her grandfather even built a new flagpole for her so that she could continue this tradition. Umi then shows a photograph of her father, a man Shun recognizes as Yūichirō Sawamura. After he gets home, he finds the same picture that was given to him and Shun then confronts his father on the identity of Yūichirō, and whether or not he was his real father. Shun's dad reaffirms that he's his real son, and that Yūichirō had just helped them during the war and he said that his wife couldn't keep Shun so Shun's foster father and mother took him on especially since they lost a child themselves.

Eventually many of the students agree to fix and clean the clubhouse and work together for weeks on end. A sudden obstacle appears: Shun realizes they might be brother and sister. Because of this, Shun starts avoiding Umi in school and refusing to look her in the face. Umi feels very uncomfortable about the avoidance and eventually she confronts with Shun, asking why he is avoiding her, Shun shows her the photography he has, and confirms they are brother and sister. He tells her they should stop having whatever feelings they have and Umi is able to hide her feelings for Shun, much to her disappointment and they continue as friends. Umi becomes depressed and cannot seem to do things right that evening and the next morning she tries to get back to her routine but is a little saddened still. However Umi and Shun start to talk again while retaining their friendship for each other. Umi eventually gets help from several store owners to pitch in and many of kids believe Umi to be their goddess of good luck. The school newspaper talks about the progress of the remodeling, making it more popular than ever and now 90% of the students are behind saving the building.

Stand United[]

"My friends, you have shown me the Latin Quarter's true value. How can we educate the young without protecting our culture? I'll just find a different site for the new building."
"All right!"
"Umi, you did it."
"We all did it."
—The School's Board Chairman after seeing the newly restored Latin Quarter
Kokurikozaka 032

Umi, Shiro and Shun travel to Tokyo to prevent the demolition of the clubhouse.

Finally, after weeks of hard work, the building is finished and everyone is glad. Unfortunately their joy is short lived as Shiro reveals the building is going to be torn down during the summer by a business man who plans to put a new building there. All the students are upset by this especially since they worked so hard to fix it, Shiro explains that he tried talking to the principal but was told the matter is out of his hands. Shun decides that they should go to the Chairman directly, but only if Umi goes with them. The next day, Umi, Shun and Shiro travel to Tokyo during their preparations for the 1964 Summer Olympics to meet with school's board chairman, when they arrive, they were told by two people that they should have made an appointment. While they end up waiting a long time, the chairman agrees to see them and they persuade him to postpone Latin Quarter demolition until his inspection, he agrees especially after Umi explains how the building keeps everyone connected and her father's death. They head out to the streets, Shiro leaves claiming he needed to visit his uncle. Before going back home Umi confesses to Shun she loves him even if they are related and he returns his affections. After arriving home, Umi discovers that her mom has come home, which Umi is overjoyed by. Later that night, Umi tells her mom about Shun and asks her if he really is her brother, because he looks like her father and also was discovered that city hall confirmed he was her family. Her mother clears the air and says that Shun's father, had been killed in an accident on a repatriation ship and his mother died from birth complications. Yūichirō then registered Shun as his son so he could avoid being placed in an orphanage. While Umi's mom did feel terrible for Shun, she couldn't keep him because she was already pregnant with Umi but another family who had recently lost a child themselves took Shun on. Umi is happy and sad to finally have closure about the situation and cries in her mother's arms. The students give the chairman a big welcome and let him see all the different clubs and students, finally the students all sing together. Being amazed with building restoration by students, the chairman cancels the demolition of Latin Quarter. This makes the students roar with cheers, everyone congratulates each other, and Umi in particular is given extra praise.

Bike Poppy

Shun with Umi rush to the harbor

Amidst all of this, Shun's foster dad tells Shun that the third man in the photograph will be able to tell him about his father. He is then told that an old sea captain, Yoshio Onodera, a friend of their fathers, currently is in Yokohama. But his ship departs soon, so Umi and Shun rush to the harbor, board the tugboat, and sail to him.

Racing Towards a New Day[]

"So you're Tachibana's boy. And you must be Sawamura's daughter. Both fine-looking youngsters. It's Shun, right? Your father was Hiroshi Tachibana. Front row, fourth from the right. You can see Sawamura next to him. We three were close friends."
—Yoshio Onodera
Poppy End

Umi and Shun finally learn the truth and find closure.

They made it in time, and the old sailor reveals to Umi and Shun the truth about their relation. Hiroshi Tachibana is Shun's father and Umi's father were very good friends with him, which is why Umi's father took Shun in. This means that Umi and Shun aren't related in blood in any way after all, which means that they're free to be together. Yoshio explains that he'd had been close friends with Yūichirō and Hiroshi, and that he was away at sea when they were killed.

Finally, Umi and Shun learn the full true story of how their parents met, loved and lived. With everything resolved, Umi returns to Coquelicot Manor. She resumes her daily routine of raising the flags, but now, it's not just for her father.

Historical Basis[]

Transport Poppy

US Archive photo of a carrier at Hungham Beach in North Korea in December 1950. Umi's father was aboard a Landing Ship, Tank (LST) maritime transport before he was tragically killed by a mine.

In the film, Umi's father was killed when his supply ship was sunk by mines in the Korean War, and Shun's biological father died aboard a repatriation vessel after the end of the Second World War.

Following Japan's defeat in the Second World War, the Supreme Commander for the Allied Powers (SCAP) assumed control over the Japanese merchant marine to return repatriates to their homelands. At the start of the Korean War, those ships, together with their Japanese crews, were pressed into service by the US military to carry forces and supplies to Korea. Japanese vessels played a significant role at the Incheon and Wonsan landings. The shipping firm Tozai Kisen was among the most prominent firms involved, concluding "an agreement with the US military’s Japan Logistical Command (JLC) to provide 122 small vessels and around 1,300 crew for transport and landing work".

According to estimates, 56 Japanese sailors and laborer's were killed in the Korean War zone in the first six months of the war alone; 23 of the deaths occurred when Japanese-crewed ships were sunk by mines. Official estimates of the total number of Japanese killed in the Korean War have never been published, nor have the U.S. or Japanese governments officially recognized the role of Japanese non-combatants in the Korean War.

The 1960s saw an escalating increase in student activism and campus revolts in Japan as well as in other parts of the world.

Behind the Scenes[]


Miyazaki Lodge

Hayao Miyazaki's father's mountain cabin. He often frequented this place after completing a film.

Decades before the film's production announcement, Hayao Miyazaki's niece and nephew visited the Miyazaki family mountain cabin and brought along a shojo manga magazine. Miyazaki enjoyed reading through the magazine and considered adapting the manga of From Up on Poppy Hill by Chizuru Takahashi and Tetsurō Sayama. Directors Mamoru Oshii and Hideaki Anno, who were with Miyazaki at the cabin, then began a heated debate on whether the shojo genre would be a good starting point to adapt films.

Gorô Miyazaki would later discover the manga of From Up on Poppy Hill in his grandfather's cabin's chalet, while he was a schoolboy. For many years, this project was put on standby, because everyone assumed that the manga was unsuitable for animation. Finally, in 1995, studio Ghibli produced Whisper of the Heart and proved that it was possible to adapt these types of stories.

Poppy Boards

The completed storyboards by Goro Miyazaki.

The idea of adapting From Up on Poppy Hill would later be revisited during the production of The Secret World of Arrietty. Hayao Miyazaki explains the choice to adapt this manga, "The hill of poppies cares about the hearts of people. The girls and boys of the work are pure and upright. They do not forget their dreams and do not disrespect the opposite sex. Whatever their situation when they are born, they live with their strengths and thanks to themselves. This is the kind of film I wanted to make."

The notable difference between the manga and the film is that the action in the manga takes place in the 1980s; The film takes place in 1963, just before the student revolution. One of the stated wishes of the adaptation would therefore be to play the card of nostalgia and to accurately depict the Japan of the 1960s, that is to say in full economic growth and on the verge of hosting the first Olympic Games in Tokyo. This notable change is undoubtedly more the choice of the father than that of the son, too young to have known this time.

In December 2010, to cut short the persistent rumors of a sequel to Porco Rosso, producer Toshio Suzuki released the “Ghibli Five-year Plan” where they planned to produce three films containing themes from the Shôwa era (1926 - 1989). The first is The Secret World of Arrietty, (despite it being set in the 2000s), then second is From Up on Poppy Hill and the third would eventually be known as The Wind Rises.[11]


"Having him as my father pressured me. People would always say, "Oh, you're Mr. Miyazaki's son." It was like they looked past me to my father. I really hated that."
—Goro Miyazaki
Poppy Chara

Tensions builds at Studio Ghibli after Hayao Miyazaki tells Goro's staff to take down early character sketches of the film saying, "They both look like they're thinking of dead people."

Much like with other Ghibli films, the film is a co-production with Studio Ghibli, Nippon Television Network, Dentsū, Hakuhōdō DY Media Partners, Walt Disney Japan, Mitsubishi Corporation and Tōhō.

Production began in July 2010, less than a year until the film's scheduled theatrical release. The collaborative work between Hayao and Gorô is often tense. Thus at the end of July, the father worries about the characterization of the character of Umi Matsuzaki, which he finds too dark, dull and soulless. During one meeting, the elder Miyazaki asks one of Goro's staff to take down some early character sketches of the main cast. After confronting Goro about it he says, "I won't suggest changing storyboards, so... Those pictures I had taken down were really worrying. What's the use of drawings with no spirit?". When pressed about it by the accompanying NHK documentarian, Hayao adds, "(Goro) hasn't firmed up his vision yet. Drawing lifeless pictures won't do."

Poppy Suzuki

Toshio Suzuki watches an early preview of the film's storyboards and worries it lacks character.

Hayao works with character designer Katsuya Kondō and with Toshio Suzuki so that they persuade Gorô to alter her personality. Worried about his father's growing influence on the film, Goro states, "Even if he tells me what to do. If I just do as he says... Well... That's one way to do it. But I don't want to do it that way."

Suzuki is given the early storyboards of the film's opening. His early thoughts were that of worry, "Will this work as a movie? That's what concerns me. Does the heroine seem like a heroine? Does the protagonist seem like one? I look at they key points and wonder if it will work." Finally, the son accepts the various remarks thanks to the regular intervention of the producer Suzuki, a real mediator between the two men. "It was a shock, being told so bluntly. But he's right. And I knew it, too. It's good that he told me now. The truth is, I'm not enjoying this. There've been lots of struggles. I'm fine. I can switch gears quickly," Goro remarks.

Goro Floor

Goro lies on the floor and contemplates his next move, and is then inspired by an image board of Umi briskly walking to school.

In the aftermath, Hayao ponders, "I think... Goro doesn't get it. It's OK for him to stop directing. I think he should. He isn't cut out for it. 'Wanting to' do something doesn't mean 'able to'. Directing isn't an easy job. You must push yourself until your nose starts bleeding. And see what you create. Most people can't do it." Despite these setbacks, Goro would not give up. He holds meetings and decides on taking his father's suggestions to heart. Hayao later says, "I don't mean to interfere. I just want him to tap into my wisdom. If he has changed, I'm happy. It's all good."

Indeed, in order to add a note of realism in the way the characters express themselves, he explains having watched Showa-era media such as Blue Mountain Range (青い山脈 , Aoi sanmyaku), Disappearing in the Rain (の雨の中に消え , No Ame no Naka ni Kie, starring Chieko Matsubara and Kazuo Funaki).[12] In these films, the characters speak to each other frankly, quickly and above all express their feelings directly. This is how Umi behaves, as she does not run away from her feelings, even negative ones.

Poppy Goro Board

Goro works feverishly to complete his revised storyboards, taking in the suggestions of his father and Toshio Suzuki.

Likewise, Suzuki and Hayao Miyazaki suggests a little later, in August, that elements depicting daily life at Umi's home be added to the film's opening scene. Miyazaki asks, "Why not change, fold, and also neatly place her pajamas?" Suzuki calls a meeting and suggest these elements to Goro. "Please add that scene. Where she wakes up, and folds her futon." to which Goro replies, "She doesn't fold it. Her sister's asleep.". Suzuki then says, "As it is, she just comes downstairs. It needs something more. That scene in the beginning would be effective." Goro silently considers this idea.

Several days later, Goro presents his revised storyboards to Katsuya Kondō and the other staff. The changes are startling. "She's lively now. When she comes downstairs, her steps aren't dull. She steps briskly."

Following a test screening of Mr. Dough and the Egg Princess (2010), Hayao Miyazaki ponders, "These days, fantasy films face difficult times. I think they do. When people are in high spirits and not aware the end is near... That's a good time to make fantasies. Nausicaä of the Valley of the Wind, for instance. The question is, what should we make in bad times? One era is over. We're in the next stage, I guess. It's hard to categorize it. But what should we make now?"


Poppy Yokohama

The backgrounds of the film is faithful to Yokohama's historical details.

Gorō Miyazaki initially researched Yokohama, intending to be faithful to the city's historical details. The city itself is filled with many slopes, and many gather around shopping districts. the films also recreates places such as Yamashita Park or Hikawa-Maru station. However, after realizing that "simply re-enacting something of the time may seem real enough but may not necessarily be beautiful". Miyazaki decided to show the location as "shimmering and bustling with life" from the viewpoint of the characters.

The first is the 'Coquelicot Manor' a female boarding house where Umi lives, at the top of the hill overlooking the city and the sea. A traditional Japanese house remodeled after an old hospital, it houses the bedrooms upstairs and the common rooms on the ground floor. Its particularity lies above all in the mast which stands in the middle of the garden, where Umi hoists the maritime pavilions every morning in homage to his father. Several poppy flowers are also in bloom in the garden.

Poppy BG

The Quarter Latin is an original addition to the film.

In designing the Quarter Latin, Miyazaki worked with the art directors who added ideas about the "amalgamation of clutter in the house's many rooms" and attempted to "look at the architecture of the building, but to also remember back to my college years and the clutter and filthiness that [Miyazaki] lived through". Inside its crowded, Western-style interiors housed the Astronomy Department, the Philosophy Study Group, and the Amateur Radio Club.

Another nod from Hayao Miyazaki can be seen in the picture painted by one of the film's residents - is actually a tribute to the futurist painter and sculptor Umberto Boccioni. Indeed, the painting is very clearly inspired by The City Rises (1910).


"The storyboards are almost done for "From Up on Poppy Hill." I think Goro has grown. Everyone says so. All the key players think so. They say he's totally different now when explaining the characters. They say, 'Goro has a clear vision.'"
—Toshio Suzuki
Poppy Homes

The Coquelicot Manor and the Quarter Latin are two of the main settings in the film.

According to Buta Connection, about a hundred animators then began the work of animation. 70,000 drawings were needed for the film (120,000 cells were needed for Spirited Away). Gorô Miyazaki transmits his ideas on the basis of the new e-konte validated by Toshio Suzuki. At the same time, he controlled the sets. In the meantime, the animation directors include Akihiko Yamashita, Atsushi Yamagata, Kitarō Kōsaka, Takeshi Inamura, and Shunsuke Hirota.

One of the main dynamics of the film is the contrast between the Coquelicot Manor and the Quarter Latin, along with the differing nature and role of men and women of that time. Where the female boarders of the Coquelicot Manor are looking to be 'independent', the boys in the Quarter Latin, while enthusiastic about their activities, are completely uninterested in other things (namely, cleaning). These separated communities seem to draw a line with the values ​​and ways of life of men and women.

Hoist Poppy

At the end of the film, Umi looks up as she hoist her flags in honor of her father.

Despite these contrasts, each place and people are depicted as they are. When the female student lead the clean-up efforts of the Quarter Latin, the boys are at first excluded, until they too volunteer to help with the more dangerous aspects of clearing out old furniture and remove dust on the chandeliers. The act of women taking charge is a staple of Studio Ghibli films that Goro tapped into - that of women who live robustly, as seen with the 'Tatara Women' in Princess Mononoke and the women who help rebuild Porco's plane in Porco Rosso. A later scene where Shun Kazama and his friends visit the Coquelicot Manor and interact with the female boarders also highlights the differing nature of men and women when they come together.

Poppy Cast

The cast of the film and its traditional dynamics.

Hayao Miyazaki, who wrote the script of the film, dealt with the reveal that both Umi and Shun may be half-siblings by having it not be important in itself, and more like meta-fictional critique of soap operas in general. The key was how they came by the secret and their reaction to it. According to Hayao, "To realize the truth, they move on their own two legs. It's not easy. And in the chaos of war and the post-war period, the two parents know how they met and loved each other. They also knew their fellow sailors and squad comrades would also be able to help. They will pay their greatest respect to the two of them." Despite the war causing such tragedies, Umi and Shun were able to understand the love of their parents thanks to the people that knew them best.

At the beginning of March 2011, Gorô completely finished the e-konte. His team was preparing for the home stretch before the film's release which would take place in four months. The schedule is tight and everyone works every day until midnight. Production was halfway done when on March 11, 2011, an earthquake struck and the resulting tsunami devastated the Pacific coast of Tôhoku.

Poppy Scold

Hayao scolds his key staff that they must not abandon the studio's production site following the deadly March 11, 2011 earthquake and tsunami.

During a staff meeting headed by Toshio Suzuki, he said, "Production - that's critical. Seems critical. I'm not even sure we can work. From now, we need computers. If the power's not stable." One staff worried, "Work will have to stop." while another worried the blackouts would result in the data getting damaged. Goro worries, "The schedule is really tight. It's going to be tough. We might lose momentum." The only person against the work stoppage was Hayao Miyazaki. "Why all the commotion? We've got to keep working. Have another meeting! Whoever can come should. Just leaving the production site is wrong! I can't accept that at all," he says.

During the impromptu meeting, Hayao confronts the staff and lays out new orders that staff who could come in should so as not to delay production. A senior staff questioned Hayao that giving conflicting orders would confuse some staffers. "Confusing, Tell me! Who said that? What will be confusing? Time off is more confusing! We can't change the release date. We're working hard to meet it. We must go on, even if it's hard! We shouldn't abandon the production site. That's where we make our films. It's precisely in times like this that we must spin a myth. To show that we kept drawing despite any aftershocks." Soon, the decision to halt production is reversed. Miyazaki wonders to himself, "We're being tested. Can we make a film that speaks to post-quake Japan?"

Poppy Staff

Studio Ghibli staff work night and day, but despite their efforts, the production still faced delays.

In a press interview given after the 2011 Tōhoku earthquake and tsunami, it was announced the film's production was affected by the rolling blackouts imposed after this disaster. In particular, the animation process was forced to proceed in the night to minimize disruptions. When pressed about the progress, it was revealed that the animation was "about 50% completed", though it was added that the "animation would have otherwise been over 70% completed without the disaster".

Poppy Screening

Studio Ghibli holds a press conference following the 2011 earthquake, assuring the public that the film would be completed on time. In June 23, 2011, it was completed and a special screening was held.

However, Hayao Miyazaki assured the public that the film would still be released on July 16, 2011, as previously announced, saying that it was their responsibility to do so. "Hundreds of thousands of people are shaking from cold and hunger. Rescue workers and defense forces are on the front line of radiation. I'm grateful for their sacrifices. I'm proud of them. If this film offers some kind of support to many people... in this difficult time. I'd be grateful." Goro then followed with a statement, "All we can do now is keep making movies. On that, I think my father and I are on the same page." He also stated that while most of the staff was not affected by the disaster, there were several "who did go through a period of mental affectedness because of what happened and that took some time to recover from."

"He must lead the pack and give his all. He should be willing to die for it. He needs to finish it, no matter what. He has to do it, for his own sake. Because he chose this path," Hayao determines.

On June 23, 2011, the production was completed. Following the premiere, Goro is told by an interviewer, "Your father said, 'Threaten me.'" to which he responds, "Oh yeah? Don't die."


Poppy Store

Exhibits were held in the Ghibli Museum and other locations during the film's premiere.

The main voice cast members were officially unveiled on May 13, 2011. It was announced that actress Masami Nagasawa would voice Matsuzaki, the main character. This was Nagasawa's first voice acting role in a Studio Ghibli film. In addition, Jun'ichi Okada, a member of the Japanese band V6, would be voicing Shun Kazama, a member of the school newspaper publishing team. Additionally, Jun Fubuki, Keiko Takeshita, Takashi Naitō, Teruyuki Kagawa, Yuriko Ishida, Nao Ōmori and Shunsuke Kazama would voice other minor characters.

In June 2012, it was announced that a North American dub would be recorded and that it was being executive produced by Kathleen Kennedy and Frank Marshall, written by Karey Kirkpatrick and directed by Gary Rydstrom. The cast members of the dub include Sarah Bolger, Anton Yelchin, Ron Howard, Jeff Dunham, Gillian Anderson, Chris Noth, Ronan Farrow, Isabelle Fuhrman, Emily Osment, Charlie Saxton, Alex Wolff, Beau Bridges, Jamie Lee Curtis, Bruce Dern, Christina Hendricks, Elisa Gabrielli and Aubrey Plaza.


→ See From Up on Poppy Hill/Release

Country Release Date Format Publisher
Canada Canada, USA US March 15, 2013 Theater GKIDS
UK Uk August 2, 2013 Theater StudioCanal
Australia Australia, New Zealand New Zealand September 13, 2012 Theater Reel Anime
Japan Japan July 16, 2011 Theater Toho
Germany Germany November 21, 2013 Theater Universum

From Up on Poppy Hill was released in 457 Japanese cinemas on July 16, 2011. It debuted at third placing in the Japanese box office, behind Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows – Part 2 and the dual-release Pokémon anime film Victini and the Black Hero: Zekrom and Victini and the White Hero: Reshiram. It managed to gross approximately 587 million yen and attracted around 450,000 viewers. Furthermore, an exhibition, THE ART OF From Up On Poppy Hill was held to coincide with the film's release. This exhibition featured more than 130 art and storyboards used in the making of this film. It was held from July 23 to 28, 2011 in the Seibu Ikebukuro Main Store in Tokyo. The exhibition was later moved to Sogo's Yokohama Branch Store from August 10 to 15, 2011.

Goro Award

Actress Hiromi Nagasaku, Goro Miyazaki and the rest of the cast attended the 35th Japan Academy Prize in March 2012.

The movie was released in France on January 11, 2012, as La Colline aux coquelicots by Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures France. It gathered over 287,281 viewers in its four weeks of exhibition far more than Tales from Earthsea (in 2007, with 143,641 viewers).

On August 17, 2011, it was announced that From Up on Poppy Hill would be one of the Japanese films being showcased at the 2011 Toronto International Film Festival, which was held from September 8 to 18, 2011. It was also revealed that the film would be showcased in the Japan International Premiere section, which is part of the Contemporary World Cinema event in the festival. On March 2, 2012, the film won "Best Animation Work" at the 35th Japan Academy Prize.


From Up On Poppy Hill - Official Trailer

The official trailer.

The film received a limited theatrical release in North America on March 15, 2013. An English dub was recorded for this release directed by Gary Rydstrom and produced by The Kennedy/Marshall Company, who oversaw the English dubs for Ponyo on the Cliff by the Sea and The Secret World of Arrietty. The release was licensed by Studio Ghibli to GKIDS. This marked the first time a Studio Ghibli film was not distributed by Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures in North America since the 1999 North American release of Princess Mononoke by then-Disney owned Miramax Films. A Blu-ray edition in North America was released September 3, 2013. On September 23, 2013, a Blu-ray edition was released in the United Kingdom by StudioCanal.


Box office[]

Poppy Premiere

On July 8, 2011, Goro Miyazaki held a special preview screening with 160 high school at the Kanagawa Museum of Modern Literature.

During the survey period between July 16 and 18, 2011, reported From Up on Poppy Hill had grossed 587,337,400 yen at the box office, placing third. During these three days, over 445,000 people watched this film.

In a survey which was done online and on mobile platforms, it was revealed the ratio of female audience to male audience was 57% to 43%. By age, 34.8% of the audience were in their twenties, 18.9% of them were ages between 16 and 19 years old, and people who were aged over 30 made up 32.6% of the audience. This film crossed the 3 billion yen gross mark during the weekend of August 21–22, 2011.

Poppy BD

Goro and Masami Nagasawa at Walt Disney Japan's 2012 SPRING Blu-ray DVD CONVENTION to announce the release of the film's Blu-ray and DVD.

"From Up on Poppy Hill" earned $1,002,895 in North America and $60,456,530 in other territories for a worldwide total of $61,459,425. It is the 14th highest-grossing anime film. Between Grave of the Fireflies, Only Yesterday, Ocean Waves, Whisper of the Heart and My Neighbors the Yamadas, From Up on Poppy Hill is the highest grossing Ghibli film about specializing in Japanese local customs, behind The Wind Rises, and its 7th best grossing one of the Ghibli films in United States.

In France, the film was well received by the public. It gathered over 287,281 viewers in its four weeks of exhibition far more than Tales from Earthsea (in 2007, with 143,641 viewers).

On January 11, 2013, it was broadcast on Nippon Television's Friday Road SHOW! and earned a 13.0% audience rating.


Poppy OST

From Up on Poppy Hill featuring performances from Aoi Teshima.

From Up on Poppy Hill (Song Collection) (コクリコ坂から~歌集 , Kokurikozaka kara~Kashuu) is a compilation of vocal versions of songs from the soundtrack sung by Aoi Teshima. It was released by Yamaha Music Communications on July 6, 2011.

From Up on Poppy Hill (Official Soundtrack) (コクリコ坂から サウンドトラック , Kokurikozaka kara Saundotorakku) was released by Tokuma Japan Communications on July 13, 2011. The score of From Up on Poppy Hill was composed by Satoshi Takebe. In December 2010, it was announced that singer Aoi Teshima would sing the film's theme song, Summer of Farewells — From Up on Poppy Hill (「さよならの夏~コクリコ坂から~」, Sayonara no Natsu ~Kokuriko-zaka kara~).

The music, with very pop and jazz accents, was entrusted to Satoshi Takebe (Hana no Ato). She gives the film a note of optimism and hope. The composer, who is participating for the first time in an animated film soundtrack, explained that his music here resembles that of music classes in schools, without grand orchestration, with an amateur aspect, without pretension. It's fresh music, with mainly piano, harmonium or melodica, typical instruments of a high school club. Gorô Miyazaki has chosen to accompany the serious scenes with this joyful melody in order to help the spectator to take a step back.


Ue wo Muite Arukô by Kyû Sakamoto is featured prominently in the film.

What also makes the originality of this feature film is the presence of many songs from the 60s. Ue wo Muite Arukô (Let's walk while looking at the sky) was sung by Kyû Sakamoto. First on the hit parade under the alternative title of Sukiyaki in English-speaking countries, especially in the United States, and sold more than 10 million copies, we hear it in the film when it is on television. It was Toshio Suzuki who had the idea of ​​integrating it into the film, because he himself was a fan of Sakamoto's songs when he was only a young college student: “The lyrics evoke the torments or hurts that all teenagers feel. [...] He gave us courage. When I think back to that time, I realize that we were in a society that stifled everything we did and did. Children were prevented from being independent [...]"

The main theme, Sayonara no Natsu (The Summer of Farewells), a cover of the credits of a drama dating from 1976, is performed by Aoi Teshima (Tales from Earthsea). It was adapted for the film, the lyricist Yukiko Marimura having changed the lyrics of the second verse. The breakfast song and when the first love is born are also performed by Aoi Teshima, with lyrics by Gorô Miyazaki and Hiroko Taniyama, who also composed the melody.

Deep Blue Waves is a choral song inspired by a poem by Kenji Miyazawa To my students. The first verse was written by Hayao Miyazaki and the second by Gorô, a beautiful symbol of this collaboration. The words, advocating solidarity, courage and self-sacrifice, also have a particular echo after the tsunami of March 11.[13]

Easter Eggs[]

Kogenai Line of Poppy Hill

Shun asks his father about his biological father. At that moment a ship, named Kogenai Line, drives past Akio's boat. Line means maru in Japanese. Kogenai Maru is the ship in the film Ponyo.

Ghibli of Poppy Hill

On Yoshio Onodera's ship Koyo Maru Yokohama, there is a cabine "Ghibli" is written on it.


Goof of Poppy Hill

At the first minutes of the film, Shun drives to school and he stops at crossroads. Across from him there is a store with the Coke sign on it. Although the movie takes place in the early 1960s, the "Coke" sign over the store has a swoosh. That didn't become part of the Coca-Cola logo until 1969.[14]

Original work[]

Main changes from the original[]

  • While the setting and characters are faithful to the original manga, the plotting and narrative structure was completely reorganized.
  • The "Quarter Latin" is a completely original addition to the film. Shun and Mizunuma struggle to protect the Latin Quarter, which is scheduled to be demolished. The film's story greatly focuses on the conservation of the past in the face of modernity.
  • The manga is set during the 1980s while the film is set between May to June 1963. Due to the protracted time period, Shun remains in 3rd year of high school, Umi in 2nd.
  • The uniform was changed from a standard school blazer to sailor suits.
  • The surname of the main character was changed from "Komatsuzaki" to "Matsuzaki"  .
  • The name of the boarder "Kitami Hokuto" was changed to "Hokuto Miki", the gender was changed from male to female, and the occupation was changed from veterinarian to doctor.
  • The main character's mother's name "Komatsuzaki Nijie" was changed to "Ryoko Matsuzaki", and her occupation was changed from "photographer" to "University Assistant Professor (English and American Literary Scholar)".
  • The scenes involving betting mahjong was cut.
  • The mystery surrounding the character's birth is discovered after Umi is shown a photo that is similar to Shun father's photo.
  • Grandfather Shimataro passed away in the film.


See also:

Voice cast[]

→ See also English cast

Japanese Cast:


Credit Cast
Director Goro Miyazaki
Producer Toshio Suzuki
Animation Director Akihiko Yamashita, Atsushi Yamagata, Kitaro Kousaka, Shunsuke Hirota, Takeshi Inamura
Art Director Kamon Ooba, Noboru Yoshida, Takashi Omori, Yohei Takamatsu
Producer Toshio Suzuki
Screenplay Hayao Miyazaki, Keiko Niwa
Background Art Akane Iwakuma, Akina Sanjō, Ayae Kanbe, Hiromasa Ogura, Izumi Muta, Katsu Nozaki, Kazuo Nagai, Kazuo Oga, Kikuyo Yano, Kiyoshi Samejima, Kunihiko Inaba, Kuniko Iwatani, Masanori Kikuchi, Mika Nishimura, Misato Watanabe, Mitsuo Yoshino, Naomi Kasugai, Osamu Masuyama, Ryoko Ina, Sayaka Hirahara, Shiho Sato, Tatsuya Kushida, Tomotaka Kubo, Yoshiaki Honma, Youichi Nishikawa, Youichi Watanabe, Yuka Nitta, Yumi Ishii
Key Animation Akira Honma, Akiyo Okuda, Asami Ishikado, Atsuko Tanaka, Atsushi Tamura, Ei Inoue, Eiji Yamamori, Emi Kamiishi, Fumie Konno, Hideaki Yoshio, Hideki Hamasu, Hiroko Minowa, Hiromasa Yonebayashi, Hiroomi Yamakawa, Hiroyuki Aoyama, Katsutoshi Nakamura, Kazuyoshi Onoda, Kenichi Yamada, Makiko Futaki, Makiko Suzuki, Mariko Matsuo, Masafumi Yokota, Megumi Kagawa, Minoru Ohashi, Moyo Takahashi, Sachiko Sugino, Shigeru Fujita, Shinji Otsuka, Shougo Furuya, Taichi Furumata, Takashi Hashimoto, Takeshi Honda, Tomoko Miura, Yoshihiro Ōsugi
In-between Animation Ai Takashi, Akane Ōtani, Akiko Teshima, Alexandra Weihrauch, Arisa Kuroda, Asako Matsumura, Atsuko Matsushita, Ayano Sugai, Azusa Kasahara, Chizuru Kanai, Eimi Tamura, Emi Matsunaga, Emi Nakano, Eri Okada, Etsuko Tamakoshi, Fumiaki Sugiura, Hiroko Tezuka, Hiromi Kurosawa, Hisako Yaji, Ikumi Nishimura, In Song Chung, Jun'ichirō Hashiguchi, Kanako Satō, Kanako Sekii, Kaori Hayashi, Kaori Itou, Kaori Miyakawa, Kaori Suzuki, Kaoru Yanagisawa, Kasumi Yagi, Kazuhito Tominaga, Kazuyuki Abe, Keiko Fujii, Keiko Tomizawa, Kengo Takebana, Kinumi Ota, Kiyoko Makita, Kumiko Ohtani, Kumiko Tanihira, Kumiko Terada, Kunitoshi Ishii, Kunoko Akiyama, Mai Nakazato, Maiko Fukuya, Maiko Matsumura, Makoto Oohara, Manami Iida, Mari Aizawa, Marie Yamada, Mariko Suzuki, Masakiyo Koyama, Masako Akita, Masako Terada, Masami Nakanishi, Masayo Andō, Maya Fujimori, Mayumi Ohmura, Megumi Higaki, Megumi Matsumoto, Midori Sakura, Miki Mutō, Misa Koyasu, Misa Watanabe, Misaki Kikuta, Mitsuki Chiba, Mitsunori Murata, Mitsuru Miyazaki, Naoko Kawahara, Naoya Wada, Narumi Shimoji, Nobuo Takahashi, Nobuyuki Mitani, Oikawa, Reiko Mano, Rie Eyama, Rie Mukai, Ritsuko Shiina, Rui Yakata, Ryōsuke Mizuno, Ryosuke Tsuchiya, Ryuuji Iwabuchi, Sachiko Shima, Saeri Ogawa, Saina Hatakeyama, Saki Takahashi, Sanae Yamamoto, Satoshi Miyoshi, Seiko Azuma, Setsuya Tanabe, Shinichiro Yamada, Shiori Fujisawa, Shō Hamada, Shōmaru Koike, Shotaro Imai, Shouko Nagasawa, Soon-Ha Hwang, Sumie Nishido, Taeko Mitsuhashi, Takashi Narita, Tatsuya Takahashi, Tomoe Kikuchi, Tomoko Isobe, Tomoko Nakajima, Tomoyo Nishida, Yasumi Ogura, Yayoi Toki, Yohei Nakano, Yōjirō Arai, Yōko Tanabe,

Yoriko Mochizuki, Yoshie Noguchi, Yoshitake Iwakami, Youko Tanaka, Yu Matsuura, Yu Yagi, Yu Fen Cheng, Yui Ōzaki, Yūichi Naitō, Yuka Matsumura, Yuka Saitō, Yukari Yamaura, Yuki Kudou, Yuki Tsuchiya, Yukie Atsuta, Yukie Kaneko, Yukie Yamamoto, Yuko Tagawa, Yumiko Kitajima, Yumiko Totsu, Yuri Hamamura, Yutaka Shimizu

Cooperation Akira Nakata, Chūkō Hoshi, Fumiko Isomae, Fumino Watanabe, Gosuke Yokoyama, Haruna Hirose, Hideaki Furubayashi, Hideo Tanaka, Hideo Yoshimura, Hiroko Oshima, Hiroomi Tanaka, Itaru Arakawa, Jun Hattori, Jun Okabe, Jun Okada, Keizo Yoshikawa, Kenichi Yoda, Kenji Yajima, Maiko Yabata, Maki Sakamoto, Makoto Takahashi, Masahiro Shinoki, Masaki Morita, Masami Kawamura, Miho Sada, Mirai Kase, Miyuki Imagawa, Miyuki Ito, Naoki Murayama, Naoshi Ishikawa, Naoya Moritani, Norimitsu Iijima, Satoshi Gunji, Satoshi Matsushita, Seiichirō Sekine, Shinichirō Takasugi, Shinji Goto, Shiori Takano, Shuuki Kishi, Takao Kondō, Takashi Kondo, Takeshi Yoshikawa, Taketoshi Sado, Takumi Shimizu, Tomoko Okada, Tomonori Satō, Toshihiro Komatsu, Toshikazu Satō, Toshitake Amemiya, Yasuhiro Suzuki, Yasushi Kaida, Yoichi Okamoto
Music Satoshi Takebe
Cinematography Atsushi Okui
Edit Takeshi Seyama


  1. FROM UP ON POPPY HILL (U). British Board of Film Classification (April 24, 2013). Archived from the original on May 4, 2013. Retrieved on May 25, 2021.
  2. Robles, Manuel (2013). Antología Studio Ghibli: Volumen 2 (Spanish) pp. 73 Barcelona: Dolmen Editorial. ISBN 978-8415296935
  3. From Up on Poppy Hill (2013). Box Office Mojo. Internet Movie Database. Archived from the original on April 20, 2013. Retrieved on May 25, 2021.
  4. "From Up on Poppy Hill" Foreign Total Gross. Box Office Mojo. Archived from the original on November 10, 2013. Retrieved on May 25, 2021.
  5. Box Office Leaders. Motion Picture Producers Association of Japan. Archived from the original on September 23, 2015. Retrieved on May 25, 2021.
  6. Hopewell, John (June 5, 2012). GKIDS plants N. American flag on Poppy Hill. Variety. Reed Business Information. Retrieved on May 25, 2021.
  7. A fierce battle between father Hayao Miyazaki and son Goro Miyazaki! (Japanese). Cinema Today (July 21, 2011). Retrieved on May 25, 2021.
  8. "From Summer to Autumn", Appreciating Favorite Songs
  9. Book /, September 4, 2011.
  10. “What is the event for the screening of the movie“ From Up on Poppy Hill?",
  11. “From Up on Poppy Hill” Director Goro Miyazaki: The second movie director is important”,
  12. Disappearing in the Rain on Amazon.
  13. "Poppy Hill: Creation of the film", Buta Connection.
  14. Acht Buchstaben, ein Bindestrich (german), Journey Redaktion, retrieved November 1st, 2015

External links[]

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