Kitarou Kosaka


Director / Animator

Previously an animation director and key artist for many Studio Ghibli productions

He made his directorial debut in 2003 with Nasu: Summer in Andalusia. It was featured at the Cannes International Film Festival the same year and was highly acclaimed. Aside from works by Ghibli, he was a key animator for Summer YAWARA!, MASTER Keaton, and other Madhouse titles. He was appointed character designer on MONSTER by the original author himself.

In 2014, he was nominated for the 41st Annie Awards in the character animation category for The Wind Rises, in which he worked as the animation director. This title also won the Animator Award at the Tokyo Anime Award Festival 2014.

In 2018, Kitaro Kosaka directed “Okko’s Inn”, which received great acclaim, especially on social media, immediately following its release. Many adults even shed tears at its high degree of perfection. As such an outstanding film, it became a trending topic for both men and women of all ages to enjoy and won many awards, including the Japan Academy Film Prize. Additionally, it was nominated at the 42nd Annecy International Animation Film Festival for best feature film in competition, and at the 47th Annie Awards for best independent animated feature.


Director / Screenwriter / Character Design

  • Nasu: Summer in Andalusia (Madhouse)
  • Eggplant Suitcase Migratory Bird (Madhouse)
  • Okko’s Inn (DLE / Madhouse)

Animation Director

  • The Wind Rises (Studio Ghibli)
  • Whisper of the Heart (Studio Ghibli)
  • Howl’s Moving Castle (Joint) (Studio Ghibli)
  • Spirited Away (jointly) (Studio Ghibli)
  • Ponyo (Joint) (Studio Ghibli)
  • Princess Mononoke (joint) (Studio Ghibli) Etc.

Original Drawings

  • How Do You Live?
  • Nausicaa of the Valley of the Wind
  • Castle in the Sky
  • Grave of the Fireflies
  • AKIRA Etc.

Character Design

  • MASTER Keaton (concurrently serving as animation director) (Madhouse)
  • MONSTER (original draft) (Madhouse)


  • Suzuki Hustler TV Commercial series (director)