Hiromasa Yonebayashi was born in Nonoichi-machi (it’s now Nonoichi City), Ishikawa-gun, Ishikawa prefecture in 1973. He dropped out of the Kanazawa College of Art’s Commercial Design Course.
He joined Studio Ghibli in 1996 and did inbetweening for “Princess Mononoke” (1997) and “My Neighbors the Yamadas” (1999). For “Spirited Away” (2001), he was in charge of key animation for the first time. Mr. Yonebayashi was also key animator for “Ghiblies episode 2” (2002), “Howl’s Moving Castle” (2004) and “Ponyo” (2008). He worked as assistant animation director for “Tales from Earthsea” (2006). He was the technical director and animation supervisor for the original short film, “Mei and the Kittenbus” (2002), for the Ghibli Museum, Mitaka. He was also the animation director for the film, “Imaginary Flying Machines” (2002), for the museum. For the permanent exhibition, “Film GuruGuru,” he created the storyboard and was technical director and animation supervisor for “Evolution Theory”. His directorial debut was for “The Secret World of Arrietty ”, released in 2010. The movie was the top-selling movie in Japan with a record 7,650,000 tickets sold and 9.25 billion yen in box-office revenue. His second movie as director, “When Marnie Was There”, was nominated for ‘Best Animated Feature’ at the 88th Academy Awards.
After leaving Studio Ghibli, “Mary and The Witch’s Flower”, released in the summer of 2017, was his first feature film for Studio Ponoc, Inc.