Pin It
Totoro Ghibli Miyazaki
Still from “My Neighbour Totoro”via YouTube

Hayao Miyazaki is opening a nature sanctuary in Japan

The genius animator behind Totoro and Spirited Away will create a magical retreat for children next year

Hayao Miyazaki adores children. He’s spent a lengthy career creating some of the most enchanting worlds for young viewers – and strong three-dimensional characters for them to look up to. He establishes an entire natural world in the first five minutes – full of fields, forests, skies and imaginary lands. If you break down most of his films you're left with two clear aims: firstly, provide an alternative to Disney’s saccharine sweet narratives and traditional male-female roles for children to watch, secondly, to pass on the themes of pacifism and environmentalism.

He might have retired at the stately age of 74, but Hayao Miyazaki is not done just yet.

Combining His love of nurturing youth and nurturing the enivornment into a real life project, he’s decided to create the worlds of his films in physical form by creating a nature retreat for children. It’ll be in a forest clearing on Kumejima, a remote Japanese island near Okinawa. It’s costing the animator an estimated £1.6 million and will ethically be designed by local companies using local materials.

With construction not beginning until next April and a scheduled completion date of 2018, we’ve got a while to save up for flights. But in the meantime, be satisfied with the fact that the lights aren’t out on Miyazaki and his unparalleled creative output just yet.