A Look at Miyazaki's "Pig House" - The Nibariki Office
In 1998, Hayao Miyazaki designed and built a house for his production company, Nibariki. This house is located nearby Studio Ghibli's main building
Of course, you can tell that Miyazaki designed this house. Its architecture is very similar to the Ghibli Museum and the Ghibli studio itself, which he also designed. In addition to these buildings, he also designed Ghibli's new nursery and the NTV Grand Clock. All that hard work as layout artist in the 1970s paid off!
Seriously dedicated Ghibli Freaks will recognize the main area, as this has been used for interviews for television and DVD.
Outside the house, you'll immediately recognize the car, and it's not there by accident. The car in question is a Citroen 2CV - seen in the spectacular car chase from Lupin III: The Castle of Cagliostro. "Nibariki" - "two horsepower" - is a direct reference to this car, a favorite of Miyazaki's in his younger days. I always enjoy sly tributes such as this.
Another sly insight - the house is called "buta-ya," or Pig House. What else would Miyazaki call this place? These is also some debate whether this was conceived as his "retirement" home, but since it's impossible for the famous workaholic to ever stand still, such an idea seems unlikely. But it's common for the director to feel complete burnout at the end of a production. Miyazaki has been threatening to quit for decades.
One final note about the production company's name. "Nibariki" means "two horsepower," but it can also mean "double-income family." Indeed, the company is managed by Miyazaki and his wife, Akemi Ota - so says the experienced blogger from Whisper From Totoro. Make of that what you will.
You can see more photos on the Japanese website here.