A city in Japan has launched a crowdfunding campaign to help preserve a pristine forest that inspired Hayao Miyazaki when he created his classic hand-drawn cartoon. Totoro my neighbor.
The city of Tokorozawa, located about 20 miles northwest of Tokyo, has laid out a plan to raise 2.6 billion yen ($19 million) to purchase a nine-acre forest known locally as “Totoro Forest.” “. The area, home to about 7,000 perennial oak trees, will later be set aside as a nature reserve for local residents and pilgrims visiting the cartoon.
“This area is one of the places where director Miyazaki developed his idea for Totoro after walking there,” a local official told Tokyo’s Japan Times newspapers. Totoro my neighborreleased in 1988, famously tells the story of a professor’s two young daughters and their adventures with a mysterious but lovable forest spirit named Totoro in rural post-war Japan.
Miyazaki’s beloved Studio Ghibli is lending a hand in the forest conservation campaign. Participants who contribute 25,000 yen ($185) to the Tokorozawa city effort will be given prints of Totoro background artwork from Ghibli. Initially, just 1,000 sets will be made available to sponsors in Japan, but organizers say more can be provided if demand exceeds supply. Officials say they hope the crowdfunding operation covers only a small part of the land purchase, but they hope the effort will generate new publicity and enthusiasm for nature conservation. .
Works by Miyazaki, from Princess Mononoke arrive The land of the soul to his most recent feature The wind risesbrimming with reverence for nature and a more connected agrarian lifestyle that used to be characteristic of Japanese culture.
Studio Ghibli’s first theme park, located in 494 acres of natural parkland in Japan’s Aichi Prefecture, about 90 miles east of Kyoto, will open in November. The 81-year-old animator also was working on what he said would be his final feature, How do you live, an anime adaptation of the 1937 Japanese novel of the same name by Yoshino Genzaburo. Miyazaki’s longtime producer Toshio Suzuki said the director is creating the film for his grandson as he puts it, “Grandpa is about to move on to the next world, but he’s going to leave this movie to you. .”