Japan is raising funds to preserve the forest that inspired Hayao Miyazaki’s iconic film, My Neighbor Totoro.
The Japanese city of Tokorozawa, just outside of Tokyo, has launched a crowdfunding campaign to save the 3.5-hectare forest that inspired Hayao Miyazaki’s 1988 Studio Ghibli film My Neighbor Totoro. Located in Saitama Prefecture, the forest has come to be known as Totoro no mori (Totoro’s Forest), named after the animated film. A city official shared with The Japan Times that Miyazaki had developed the idea of the film after taking a stroll through that forest.
The city intends to purchase the 3.5-hectare “Totoro Forest” for 2.6 billion yen ($19 million), with crowdfunding covering only a tiny amount of the cost.
Tokorozawa will encourage crowdfunding participants to share 25,000 yen ($185) in exchange for copies of Studio Ghibli’s background artwork.
While the campaign will only fund a percentage of the cost of purchasing the land, the city hopes that it will raise awareness of the forest and generate support for its preservation.
My Neighbor Totoro tells the coming-of-age story of two young sisters, Satsuki and Mei, who moved to the countryside where they met their big furry friend, Totoro. Totoro, the film’s lovable, cuddly, but mysterious forest spirit character, became a cultural icon after the movie premiered in Japan and later became a global sensation.
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