Good point. I'm reading them now and I can see what you're saying. >>9416332
I recommended Shinkai because the OP mentioned that he thought Mushishi was artistically beautiful. Shinkai's films are nothing if not that.
I also think that his themes of seperation, loss and the almost unbearable beauty of life can be found in at least a few Mushishi episodes. Personally 5 Centimeters struck a real chord with me and I'm still thinking about it, months after I watched it.
It's the sort of thing you can't really convince someone to like, though. If it's not your thing it's not your thing.