Studio Ghibli president Koji Hoshino’s upcoming June exit may not be as simple or innocent as previously thought. Allegedly, Hoshino’s move is a direct result of studio co-founder Toshio Suzuki’s misappropriation of company funds over the course of a full decade that he spent on his girlfriend.
Shukan Josei magazine recently reported on its investigation of the scandalous rumor, which was first translated to French and then to English. According to the translation hosted on CBR, “Suzuki, who co-founded Studio Ghibli with Hayao Miyazaki and Isao Takahata, and previously held the position of Studio Ghibli’s president, has been misappropriating company funds. Instead, money has been going towards the woman Suzuki has been seeing since 2013. Koji Hoshino, the current president of Studio Ghibli, will retire at the end of March and has announced he will be leaving the company in June. Hoshino has said his reason for leaving is because the company has been ‘neglecting a problem for many years. It is producer Toshio Suzuki, the first president of Ghibli, who is the problem.’”
Per the original article, Suzuki began seeing a Thai woman named Kanyada in 2013, giving her large sums of money to open a spa and restaurant, which were soon liquidated. Five years later, in 2018, Studio Ghibli opened a restaurant in Bangkok, where Suzuki gave Kanyada a managerial role. The girlfriend supposedly forced multiple miscellaneous Studio Ghibli employees to carry out chores for her. She was also paid as a company photographer despite possessing no experience. All Kanyada’s travel and living expenses were covered by the company.
To make matters more shocking, Hoshino reportedly reprimanded Suzuki for his spending, and was swiftly removed from his role as president. Suzuki has not yet commented on the purported misconduct. Attempts to reach Studio Ghibli for comment have been unsuccessful.
In happier studio days, for HBO Max’s May 2020 launch, which included the entire 21 film Ghibli library, AWN shared clips of Suzuki talking about the studio’s future plans and his favorite Ghibli film moments.