Japanese animation art director Nizo Yamamoto, renowned for his background illustrations for numerous Studio Ghibli and other films, died of stomach cancer Saturday at his home, his family said. He was 70.
Beginning his career as an art director with the TV animation "Future Boy Conan," Yamamoto played a pivotal role in shaping the visuals of Studio Ghibli hits such as director Hayao Miyazaki's "Princess Mononoke."
He also worked as an art director on other famous animation films, including "Grave of Fireflies" directed by Isao Takahata and "The Girl Who Leapt Through Time" created by director Mamoru Hosoda.
His dynamic cloud paintings in the 2019 anime film "Weathering With You" by director Makoto Shinkai earned the nickname "Nizo clouds" among fans.
A native of Goto, Nagasaki Prefecture in southwestern Japan, Yamamoto died at his home in Saitama Prefecture near Tokyo. His hometown houses the "Nizo Yamamoto Art Museum," where his artwork is exhibited.