Japanese public broadcasters have confirmed that Isao Takahata, revered for his work in animated films, died on April 5th 2018 at 82 years old.

According to the Sankei Sports report, the esteemed director had been repeatedly in and out of hospital since last summer.

Isao Takahata co-founded iconic Japanese animation Studio Ghibli in 1985 with Hayao Miyazaki, who he had met at Toei Studio where he started his career. They both went on to collaborate on much adored hit movies like Nausicaä of the Valley of the Wind, and the pair were even reported to have somewhat of a rivalry despite their close friendship.

Takahata was nominated for an Oscar for his film The Tale of the Princess Kaguya, but arguably his most important and enduring work is Grave of the Fireflies. Set during World War Two, the animation depicts the heartrending story of two orphans, perfectly capturing the misery war brought to ordinary Japanese people.

The influence of such an important name in animation will be felt for years to come, both in Japan and overseas.

By - grape Japan editorial staff.