Pin It
Studio Ghibli Museum
via Creative Commons

Japan announces plans to help save the Studio Ghibli museum

Mitaka city council will be sending out bespoke Ghibli merch in return for donations

The Japanese city of Mitaka has announced plans to help support the Ghibli Museum, which has been struggling financially since the pandemic shut it down last year.

A new report by Mitaka city council says that its looking to raise 10 million yen (US$91,652) to aid the museum in reconstruction and repairs. The report says that even though the museum is open to the public, reduced entry and coronavirus restrictions has meant that it has been unable to keep up its preservation.

The council has announced that it will be using the Japanese government’s ‘Hometown Tax system’, where citizens can donate to any region in the country in return for goods native to that area.

Mitaka will use the ‘Poki’ character – drawn by Hayao Miyazaki for Mitaka City on the opening of the museum in 2001 – on bespoke goods that will be given out to people who donate from the end of June. So, if you’re based in Japan, it’s a great way to get limited edition Ghibli merch – and ensure the museum continues bringing joy to those who visit for years to come.

Elsewhere, Studio Ghibli will be releasing its first film in seven years, Earwig and the Witch, tomorrow (May 28). Directed by Goro Miyazaki, Hayao Miyazaki’s son, the film is the animation studio’s first full-length CGI offering, and follows the adventures of a plucky young orphan who’s adopted by a witchy couple.

The elder Miyazaki is also working on a new feature filmHow Do You Live?, which he started after finding retirement “aimless”. The film isn’t slated for release any time soon though, owing to the hand-drawn animation style being used. In the meantime, you can look back at the original storyboards for My Neighbour Totoro, along with Miyazaki’s handwritten notes here, which reveal fresh details about the story.