First, some clarification - Hayao Miyazaki is not dead, he's just retired from filmmaking.
When one climbs to the heights that Miyazaki did during his time at Studio Ghibli, it's natural for fans to express sadness at his leaving. Some of these fans are animators or storytellers themselves, and it appears that more than a few of them work on The Simpsons.
During a trippy dream sequence set to play during this Sunday's episode, Homer encounters a host of surreal (and Springfield-ified) references to some of Miyazaki's classics which The Simpsons team notes is their homage to everything Miyazaki accomplished over his career.
A casual glance shows Otto as My Neighbor Totoro's Catbus, Ralph as Ponyo, Moe as The Scarecrow from Howl's Moving Castle (and, later, the Kwik-E-Mart *as* the castle)... heck, there's even Patty and Selma as witches from Kiki's Delivery Service, Martin and his nerd friends as the forest spirits from Princess Mononoke, and more Spirited Away references than you can shake a No Face at.
It's all very beautiful and, happily, it's all right here. Check it out in the clip below, and let me know if I missed any!