The Wind Rises is Miyazaki’s least dreamlike film; it is something of a biopic after all. But if we look back at Miyazaki’s body of work, there is a recurring blend of European and East Asian culture in many of his films that’s reflected in dreamy settings that aren’t quite East and aren’t quite West. In 1989’s Kiki’s Delivery Service, Miyazaki’s team based the town Kiki flies around on Stockholm and other cities including San Francisco. 1992’s Porco Rosso main character is an Italian pilot, cursed to wander the earth in the form of an anthropomorphic pig. Miyazaki travelled to Colmar and Riquewihr in Alsace, France, to study the architecture and the surroundings to inform the animation for 2004’s Howl’s Moving Castle.