Jirō Horikoshi (堀越 次郎 Horikoshi Jirō) is the protagonist in Hayao Miyazaki's film The Wind Rises.

He is voiced by Hideaki Anno in the Japanese version and Joseph Gordon-Levitt in the English version.

Physical Appearance

Jiro has dark brown hair, brown eyes and black glasses.  

He wears a suit comprised of a white coat with a blue tie, white pants and white hat.  


Jiro has a happy and good natured personality towards Naoko Satomi whom he loves very much, but he is also trustworthy and hardworking when it comes to his love for airplanes.  


At the beginning of the film, Jiro first appears getting on top of his roof and flying in an airplane over Japan, but his dream is dashed however, when he finds that nearsighted people cannot fly airplanes. Then he meets Gianni, an Italian airplane designer who tells him that even though he cannot fly planes, he can still create them.

Then Jiro begins to study all about airplane design and Caproni himself, who appears frequently in his dreams. Later, after years have passed, Jiro is making his way to the Royal University of Tokyo when the Great Kanto Earthquake of 1923 hits. Before, however, Jiro meets Naoko as his hat flies away on the breeze and Naoko almost falls off the platform of the train trying to catch it.

Now the earthquake has ended and left Naoko and her friend Kinu in despair because Kinu has broken her leg. But Jiro, however, returns Naoko's maid to the safety of their home without giving his name and rushes off to the university. Pretty soon, Jiro studies at the university and then graduates to work at an airplane design company Mitsubishi Kōkūki.

Then he studied airplane design in Nazi Germany along with his friend Honjō. There he is inspired by Junkers G.38 to design his own airplane back in his homeland. Then, after a few failed attempts of trying to create the perfect airplane fighter, Jiro goes on a vacation to a summer resort in Karuizawa where he unknowingly runs into Naoko again.

Jiro and Naoko

Jiro and his future wife are under an umbrella.

The Wind Rises - test flight success

The test flight of Mitsubishi A5M was successful.

Both of them, however, are too shy to meet again. One day, Jiro takes a walk by a river, and runs into Naoko again after seeing him catch her umbrella. Naoko explains that she always felt like they would meet again because the wind had brought them together. They begin to fall in love and begin a happy, good natured and loving relationship. Naoko, however, is afflicted with tuberculosis and refuses to marry Jiro until she recovers.

After some months of going back to his work, Jiro continues to work on the chief design of his first successful aircraft in the home of his manager. Naoko, meanwhile, has been recuperating in an airplane sanatorium, but, cannot bear being apart from Jiro. They quickly get married through an impromptu wedding. However, they lend support to one another as Naoko's health begins to decline. On the day of the test flight, Naoko feels well enough to take a walk, which results in her leaving Jiro and her family and friends behind.

Jiro finally notices that on the day of the test flight, he feels a burst of wind and realizes that Naoko has died. In the final scene, Jiro is reunited with Naoko and Caproni with Naoko telling Jiro that he has to live with the trust and faith and love that she has in him.


In the film, he works on Mitsubishi A5M. At the end of the film, more of his designed airplanes are seen destroyed on the ground, such as Mitsubishi A6M Zero (also known as "Zero") and Mitsubishi J2M (also known as Raiden).

He and his mentor Mr. Kurokawa work together on Mitsubishi 1MF9 and Mitsubishi 1MF10. Both of them failed the test flight.

After the war, he and other colleagues create the airliner NAMC YS-11.


Fiction and Reality

The film is based on Hayao Miyazaki's manga of the same name, that is based on Tatsuo's novel of the same name [2].

The real Jiro Horikoshi didn't have a sister and he has an older brother instead [3] while his wife is suffering from tuberculosis.

The real Jiro Horikoshi was a nationalist, unlike Miyazaki himself. The romance with Naoko (who didn't exist) was probably added in the movie to avoid discussing the political themes, because Miyazaki is a socialist and globalist and thus the complete opposite of the actual Jiro.

The actual Jiro, however, became pacifistic after Japan's surrender, seeing how the American bombardments of Hiroshima and Nagasaki had ruined his country.


  • The name Jiro means "next" (次) (ji) and "son" (郎) (rou).
  • Jiro's surname Horikoshi means "moat" (堀) (hori) and "surpass; cross over; move to; exceed; Vietnam" (越) (koshi).



  1. At the end of the film
  2. 'The Wind Rises' Director Hayao Miyazaki Talks About His Final Film, The Huffington Post UK, retrieved September 5th, 2014
  3. "The Wind Rises Review". Ian Bailey. Retrieved August 31st, 2014
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