|Kazuo Oga ca. 2007|
Kazuo Oga (男鹿和雄 Oga Kazuo?) was born 29 February 1952 in Akita prefecture. He joined Studio Ghibli in 1988 as the background art director for My Neighbor Totoro. His other credits as background art director include Kiki's Delivery Service, Only Yesterday, Pom Poko, and Princess Mononoke.
His credits as a background artist for the studio include Porco Rosso, On Your Mark, Spirited Away, The Cat Returns, and Howl's Moving Castle. He also did the scenic design for Whisper of the Heart.
He left Studio Ghibli in 1994 to pursue a free-lance career as a background artist and illustrator but continues to work on projects for the studio, most recently as Art Director on The Tale of Princess Kaguya. In 2006 he wrote and directed his first short film for the studio, an adaptation of Kenji Miyazawa's 1924 play Nights of Taneyamagahara. Starting in 2015, Oga has been serving as an adviser at Deho Gallery, a new studio with several former Ghibli background artists on staff.
In 2007 his work was the subject of an exhibition at the Museum of Contemporary Art Tokyo (MOT) entitled A Ghibli Artisan - Kazuo Oga Exhibition - The One Who Painted Totoro's Forest (ジブリの絵職人 男鹿和雄展 トトロの森を描いた人 Jiburi no Eshokunin - Oga Kazuo Ten - Totoro no Mori o Kaita Hito?). An NTV documentary about this exhibition is available from Japan on R2 DVD and Blu-ray disc. Following the conclusion of its MoT run, the exhibition went on a national tour across Japan from May 2008 to February 2010.
See the Kazuo Oga (books) page for a list of books or articles illustrated by, written by, or about Oga.