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Ghibli Wiki

Jiro 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.


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 Caproni, 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 Tokyo Imperial University 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 Kiro Honjo. 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 his future wife are under an umbrella

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.

The test flight of Mitsubishi A5M was successful.

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.


Fiction and Reality

Jiro Horikoshi in the movie (on the left), in the real life (in the center) and Tatsuo Hori (on the right)

The film follows the professional career of real Jiro Horikoshi. Like the character of the film, the real Jiro Horikoshi also graduated from Tokyo Imperial University, specifically from Aviation Laboratory (Kōkū Kenkyūjo) within the Engineering Department.[2] He and his mentor Kurokawa worked together on Mitsubishi 1MF9 and Mitsubishi 1MF10, with both of them failing the test flight. As shown in the film, Horikoshi worked on Mitsubishi A5M, which entered mass production in 1936, and later (since 1937) he and his team worked on Prototype 12, which was completed in July 1940. It was accepted by Japanese Imperial Navy, and became known as Mitsubishi A6M "Zero". Subsequently, he was involved with designing many other fighters manufactured by Mitsubishi, including the Mitsubishi J2M Raiden ("Thunderbolt") and the Mitsubishi A7M Reppu ("Strong gale").

Despite Mitsubishi's close ties to the Japanese military establishment and his direct participation in the nation's buildup towards the Second World War, Horikoshi was strongly opposed to what he regarded as a futile war. Excerpts from his personal diary during the final year of the war were published in 1956 and made his position clear:

When we awoke on the morning of December 8, 1941, we found ourselves — without any foreknowledge — to be embroiled in war... Since then, the majority of us who had truly understood the awesome industrial strength of the United States never really believed that Japan would win this war. We were convinced that surely our government had in mind some diplomatic measures which would bring the conflict to a halt before the situation became catastrophic for Japan. But now, bereft of any strong government move to seek a diplomatic way out, we are being driven to doom. Japan is being destroyed. I cannot do [anything] other but to blame the military hierarchy and the blind politicians in power for dragging Japan into this hellish cauldron of defeat.[3]

The details of Jiro Horikoshi's personal life in the film are mostly fictitious. For example, he had an older brother, not a younger sister, his wife was not suffering from tuberculosis, and he didn't smoke. These additional plot elements were adapted by Miyazaki from Tatsuo Hori's 1937 novel The Wind Has Risen.[4][5]


  • 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. Odagiri, Hiroyuki (1996). Technology and Industrial Development in Japan pp. 215. Oxford, UK: Clarendon Press. ISBN 0-19-828802-6
  3. Martin Caiden; Masatake Okumiya; Jiro Horikoshi (1956). Zero! The Story of Japan's Air War in the Pacific. New York: EP Dutton & Co. ISBN 0-74344-491-4
  4. Bailey, Ian (2014-08-24). The Wind Rises Review. Archived from the original on October 16, 2014. Retrieved on June 5, 2021. “"Jiro Horikoshi was an actual man but he did not have a wife who suffered from tuberculosis, and he did not smoke. ... Miyazaki has himself stated that Naoko – Jiro Horikoshi’s fictitious wife was lifted from the woman Setsuko in the Hori Tatsuo novel The Wind Has Risen"”
  5. 'The Wind Rises' Director Hayao Miyazaki Talks About His Final Film (VIDEO). The Huffington Post UK. Retrieved on June 10, 2021.

External links