The protagonist Jirô Horikoshi is a fictional character made from a mix of the actual lives of Tatsuo Hori, the author of the short story of the same name, and Jiro Horikoshi, the designer of the Zero fighter aircraft. The title comes from Hori's translation of a quote from 保罗·瓦莱里's poem "Le cimetière marin".
The original Japanese version of film poster shows Naoko painting alone on a hillside, her skirt billowing in the wind. The US version portrays the same scene, but adds Jiro leaning over to kiss her and a paper plane flying overhead.
In early 2013, the 72 year old 宫崎骏 announced that he would retire after the release of "The Wind Rises", marking his sixth such announcement. Since then, many rumors have circulated stating that he has announced his return to feature films once again - however, these are unfounded and based on pure speculation from Ghibli co-founder 铃木敏夫. Suzuki himself has since stepped down as producer.
The song sung by Jiro, Castorp and others at dinner is "Das gibt's nur einmal, das kommt nicht wieder" " ("This happens only once, it doesn't come again") from the German musical comedy film Der Kongreß tanzt (The Congress Dances (1932) ).