The animation legend is best known for 'Grave of the Fireflies'

Studio Ghibli co-founder Isao Takahata has died at the age of 82.

Japan Times reports that Isao Takahata, co-founder of Studio Ghibli, has died aged 82.

Studio Ghibli announced on Friday that Takahata had died of lung cancer on Thursday at a Tokyo hospital.

Graduating from the University of Tokyo, Takahata secured a job at Toie Animation studio in 1959 where he met Miyazaki. The pair were both friends and rivals but left Toie in the early 1970s to work on films together.

Takahata co-founded the Japanese animation studio with Hayao Miyazaki in 1985 and has produced and directed over 20 anime films and shorts.

He was best known for his award winning war-themed Grave of the Fireflies, released in 1988, which won the Animation Jury Award and Rights of the Child Award at the 1994 Chicago International Children’s Film Festival.

The Tale of the Princess Kaguya was Takahata’s most recent film, released in 2014. The film earned him an Academy Award nomination for best animated feature.

Other notable Takahata films include Only Yesterday and Pom Poko.