In the “When In Doubt, Tidy Up,” chapter of Keep Going, I wrote about how the writer David Sedaris spends up to 8 hours a day walking and picking up trash by the side of the road. He’s picked up so much trash, in fact, that they named a garbage truck after him:
So it delighted me to find out that 79-year-old animator and filmmaker Hayao Miyazaki spends a portion of his morning picking up trash and cleaning the street outside of his home.
One reporter decided to take advantage of his routine and ambushed him with a bunch of dumb questions about a movie named Demon Slayer, which is about to overtake Spirited Away’s box office record. Miyazaki’s response was so good:
“Well, I don’t think it has anything to do with me. It’s better if people don’t concern themselves with things like box-office records and concentrate on making their workplaces harmonious instead. It’s fine as long as you work hard on what you’re making.”
The reporter asked him if he’d seen Dragon Slayer.
“No I haven’t. I rarely watch other things. I don’t watch TV, I don’t watch movies. I’m a retired old man picking up trash.”
The reporter said some fans would be upset.
“That sort of thing isn’t worth worrying about. There’s always inflation in the world. Right now, I have to pick up trash…”
The reporter asked him more questions and he ended the interview by repeating himself: “I have to go around and pick up trash.”