The forest inspired Hayao Miyazaki's beloved movie 'My Neighbour Totoro' Photo: AFP

Totoro's home: Japan crowdfund for forest that inspired film


A Japanese city is launching a crowdfunding campaign to help preserve a special spot of woodland: the forest that inspired the animator of beloved movie "My Neighbour Totoro".

The city of Tokorozawa in Saitama Prefecture plans to buy the 3.5-hectare "Totoro Forest" for 2.6 billion yen, with crowdfunding covering just a small portion of that, a city official told AFP.

"The area is one of the places that director (Hayao) Miyazaki developed ideas for Totoro after walking there," the official said, adding that the plan aims to turn the forest into a nature reserve.

The 1988 animation film from Miyazaki's Studio Ghibli features the cuddly but mysterious forest spirit character Totoro, who has become an instantly recognizable figure for fans around the world.

The forest that inspired his home is about 30 kilometers northwest of Tokyo and has some 7,000 oak trees.

Tokorozawa will ask crowdfunding participants to contribute 25,000 yen and in return, they will receive prints of background artwork offered by Studio Ghibli.

An initial 1,000 sets will be available, targeting donors inside Japan, though additional rounds could be organized if there is interest, the official said.

While the campaign will only cover a small portion of the cost of buying the land, the city is hoping it will bring attention to the forest and build support for its preservation.

Miyazaki, who co-founded Studio Ghibli with Isao Takahata, is known for a string of animated hits, including "Spirited Away", though Totoro is one of his studio's most beloved characters.

© 2022 AFP

©2022 GPlusMedia Inc.

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I like this idea, the donation's going to a good cause. I wish guerilla gardening and permablitz happens in Japan.

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

There should have been really big Studio Ghibli amusement park just like Disneyland in other countries.

-2 ( +2 / -4 )

Saitama is the best place to live!

-5 ( +0 / -5 )

If he used to walk through the forest regularly, then isn't this park or a preserve already?

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

JeffLeeToday  10:58 am JST

If he used to walk through the forest regularly, then isn't this park or a preserve already?

Not if it's privately owned land with public access rights. I don't know who owns it, maybe a combination of private individuals and companies, or maybe Seibu?

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Saitama is the best place to live!

nah plenty other places in japan better than Saitama

2 ( +4 / -2 )

Yes, Saitama is the best place to live.

They even gave Saitama its own movie 翔んで埼玉!

0 ( +0 / -0 )

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