Japan Today
Image: Studio Ghibli

Ghibli Museum asking for donations from overseas fans to help it through hard times

By Casey Baseel, SoraNews24

The pandemic has had a negative effect on all sorts of businesses, but museums have been hit particularly hard, and Tokyo’s Ghibli Museum is no exception.

The whimsical facility, which houses retrospectives on the anime of director Hayao Miyazaki and his Studio Ghibli colleagues, plus screens short anime films that can’t be seen anywhere else, ordinarily draws visitors not only from all over Japan but overseas as well. Between official shutdowns during high-infection periods and an overall downturn in domestic tourism and leisure outings over the last two years, though, its visitor numbers have dropped to a fraction of what they used to be, and the timing of the visitor downturn is especially bad. 

The now 20-year-old building is in need of various repairs and large-scale maintenance projects, and the situation has become bad enough that the museum is asking for donations, saying “Currently, we are operating very much in the red…and if we continue to draw on our financial reserves, we believe the operation of the facility and planned maintenance will be in jeopardy.”

▼ The museum’s Catbus

Image: Furusato Choice

The donations are managed under a system that’s called furusato nozei (“hometown tax”), in which funds donated to local businesses can be claimed as tax deductions when filing in Japan. Whether or not the donation will be deductible for overseas fans will depend on their respective nation’s tax authorities, but even if it’s not, the program is an opportunity to directly contribute to Studio Ghibli’s financial stability, and help ensure that the museum is still there to visit when Japan’s borders eventually do reopen to international tourism.

Among English-speaking countries, donations can be accepted from Ghibli supporters in the U.S., Canada, Australia, and Singapore. Unfortunately, due to legal complications, donations cannot be made from the UK, China, EU member states, and a handful of other European nations.

Full details can be found on the campaign website here (continue scrolling down for English explanations). The campaign, which has currently raised approximately 34.6 million yen against an initial target of 10 million, will continue until the end of January.

Source: Studio Ghibli official LINE account, Furusato Choice

Read more stories from SoraNews24.

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-- Studio Ghibli releases its first-ever train jingles, to be played at one special Japanese station

-- Japanese city offering authentic handcrafted swords in exchange for “tax” payments

© SoraNews24

©2024 GPlusMedia Inc.

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Ghibli aren't Disney in cash terms, but they are the closest Japan has and one of the few globally recognised Japanese entertainment marques. Their monetisation hasn't been particularly good. Few Japanese companies find it easy to internationalise their products, but there really isn't any excuse in a world of Amazon, eBay and PayPal. A lot of available merchandise may be knock-offs because Ghibli have been so poor at selling stuff, globally. Despite not producing movies for a while, if they opened an eBay store they could easily shift tonnes of goods to happy fans and fund more unique, quirky museums in Japan and abroad. A franchise doesn't have to be an exercise in bland uniformity. There was a new range of Ghibli gachapon on here recently, but they were 'not available online'.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Why doesn't the parent company pay for this?

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Some nerve! Have you ever tried to get a ticket? It was like a six-month waiting list. If they couldn't have figured out a way to make a profit out of that model they deserve to go down.

The world seriously has bigger problems than Ghibli's little cash cow going without for a couple of years.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

they're rich. It's like a rich pretends to be a poor.

6 ( +7 / -1 )

have you seen the website "furusato choice" in the article? Obviously Ghibli appears cutting corners.

Why Japanese website for us?

Why a website on tax incentive scheme for Japanese is shown to us?

This looks like a scam. Why Ghibli is doing like this.....

9 ( +10 / -1 )

It's weird...as the Ghibli group must be lucrative as everyone here can imagine how successful their movies have been, royalty revenue, amime goods etc., Why their movie business doesn't support the museum business, as the movie business must have tons of cash... Are they really eligible for asking for donation?? Why Mr.Miyazaki doesn't say anything for this donation campaign?

14 ( +15 / -1 )

Things are tough all over.

Fat cats, time to diet!

1 ( +2 / -1 )

As much as I love Studio Ghibli, there are other non-profit organisations fighting for worthy causes that actually need donations from the public.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

1,000 Yen entrance fee is too cheap.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Such a shame for much loved legendary. Shouldn't have asked in the first place. Just keep producing but by hiring young hidden talents. It might hit the jackpot. Ghibli needs to survive for good.

-3 ( +0 / -3 )

From Wikipedia:

"Let's get lost together" is the museum's slogan, derived from Hayao Miyazaki's vision for visitors to immerse themselves in his imagination and film work

Someone took this too much to heart.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

Donate for what ?

Would you give to a company going into a bankruptcy ?

If not public, no merit. Sell assets then !

0 ( +4 / -4 )

Private company that after decades of commercial success somehow can't find funds to manage their museum now. And sadly some will make a 'donation'. Reminds me of 'volunteer activities' at some primary and high schools: go cleanup the inside of the nearest train station.

3 ( +5 / -2 )

Japan needs to figure out a way to let overseas tourists visit. Surely a COVID test and proof of vaccination would do the trick

Without these tourists thousands of businesses will fail

2 ( +4 / -2 )

Maybe the CEOs could arrange all their private yachts to spell out "doumo" after the donations start coming in.

5 ( +7 / -2 )

Bizarre. I can understand most museums having trouble post-tourism, but Ghibli merchandise still sells globally by the truckload. CDs, DVDs, books, clothing, posters, cushions, rugs, vast numbers of plushies and figures.

-due to legal complications, donations cannot be made from the UK.

PayPal accounts aren't that tricky to set up.

5 ( +6 / -1 )

Sort it out yourselves.

2 ( +11 / -9 )


Exactly my thoughts, one of Japan's most successful anime studios, world renowned movies, they pay the animators a conbini wage and work them all hours yet they are suddenly in the red. Where have all the profits gone?

9 ( +14 / -5 )

How about using Miyazaki's royalty funds?

13 ( +14 / -1 )

Very sad news!

-2 ( +4 / -6 )

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