After many years of anticipation, Hayao Miyazaki’s long-awaited How Do You Live? finally premiered in Japanese cinemas last Friday following a purposefully non-existent marketing campaign. While we finally got the first plot details and reactions, it looks like the approach worked as the film pulled in around $11.3M million, the second-highest opening weekend gross in the history of Studio Ghibli. Following the GKIDS announcement the animation will make its way to U.S. theaters later this year under the title of The Boy and the Heron, the theme song has now been released.

Written and performed by Japanese musician Kenshi Yonezu, the song’s title is “Chikyugi” and is translated to “Spinning Globe.” Yonezu has been inspired by Miyazaki since seeing Princess Mononoke and Spirited Away at a movie theater when he was in elementary school. He even used the manga version of Nausicaä of the Valley of the Wind as a guide for creating the song.

See Yonezu’s statement below.

It has been about four years now since I was approached about the project. At first, I was surprised and at the same time bewildered, asking ‘Why me?’. It turned out that Miyazaki-san had heard the Foorin version of my song ‘Paprika’ on the radio, which triggered him to drop the handkerchief to me. I received five volumes’ worth of storyboards and an explanation from Miyazaki-san himself and gingerly began the writing process. It now feels like such a long time ago.  

In the past four years, I visited the studio in Koganei several times to talk with Miyazaki-san and Suzuki-san; most of the time it was on strangely pleasant and sunny days. I remember walking under the pitch-dark shades of the trees while overhearing the cheers of nursery school children nearby. As a person who usually writes music drawing from recollections of the past alone in a small room, it was an experience nothing short of enriching.  

Ever since I was a young child, I grew up watching Miyazaki-san’s movies. Somewhere along the way, I became an adult, a person who makes music. I have also been blessed with many people who accept my music. I know I still have countless shortcomings, but I believe I have certainly come this far, faults included.  

‘Spinning Globe’ is the song for The Boy and the Heron. It is also a way for me to give back what I have received from Miyazaki-san all my life. Thank you for continuing to make movies over the years, and please keep on making more in the years to come.”

Listen to the track below and if you are in Japan, it’s also available on CD with a photobook.

Update: Watch the music video below.

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