Netflix launches anime scholarship, designed and taught by Studio Ghibli’s Hitomi Tateno

The six-month scholarship is at Tokyo’s Sasayuri Video Training Institute and is intended to support Japan’s ever-expanding animation industry.

17 February 2021


In recent years, the animation industry has expanded massively, increasing the number of works production studios and houses are required to put out each year. Spotting that this increase in demand was leading to a shortage of animators, WIT Studio, a Japanese studio which has produced animes including Attack on Titan, has teamed up with Netflix to offer a full scholarship to Tokyo’s Sasayuri Video Training Institute’s anime course.

Ask any budding animator what their dream job is, and chances are many will reel off fantasies of working within the esteemed Studio Ghibli team. Founded in Tokyo in 1985 by Hayao Miyazaki, Isao Takahata, Toshio Suzuki, and Yasuyoshi Tokuma, the production company has led the animation industry with beautiful (and incredibly successful) titles including Spirited Away, My Neighbour Totoro and Howl’s Moving Castle.

Hitomi Tateno is an animator who has worked on several of Studio Ghibli’s biggest releases, and she has designed and will be teaching on the six-month course, called the WIT Animator Academy. Spaces are limited, with only ten available, but those chosen will also receive funding towards the cost of living. To be eligible, applications need to have graduated from high school by March 2021, be between the ages of 18 and 25 and be living in Japan. Non-Japanese citizens may apply and while fluency isn’t a requirement, they must have conversational Japanese.

WIT Studios writes on its website that the programme is part of its commitment to strengthen and discover the talents of Japan that will continue to support its animation industry, adding that the scholarship will “create a system where students can fully demonstrate their talents with peace of mind.”

The deadline for applications is 28 February, and you can apply via WIT’s website.


Studio Ghibli: My Neighbor Totoro (1988) (Courtesy of Studio Ghibli)

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Studio Ghibli: Ponyo (2008) (Courtesy of Studio Ghibli)

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About the Author

Ruby Boddington

Ruby joined the It’s Nice That team as an editorial assistant in September 2017 after graduating from the Graphic Communication Design course at Central Saint Martins. In April 2018, she became a staff writer and in August 2019, she was made associate editor.

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