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My Neighbour Totoro, Studio Ghibli
Courtesy of Studio Ghibli

A campaign to save the Studio Ghibli Museum soars past its fundraising goal

Thousands of fans have come together to help support the museum, as it faces financial difficulties due to coronavirus closures

Earlier this year, the Japanese city of Mitaka announced a crowdfunding campaign to offset the financial difficulties that the Studio Ghibli Museum is facing as a result of long-term pandemic closures. Now, that campaign has soared past its goal, hitting the minimum target for donations in “less than 24 hours”.

The iconic animation studio’s dedicated museum first shut down in February last year, as coronavirus spread across the world, and has continued to face reduced income due to COVID restrictions and reduced capacity.

When Mitaka first said it was looking to raise 10 million yen ($91,652) to help carry out reconstruction and repairs back in May, it promised bespoke Ghibli merch in exchange for funds to secure the museum’s legacy.

According to the Anime News Network, the goal was met less than a day after the fundraiser began on July 16. As of today (July 22), it has more than doubled its target, bringing in over 24 million million yen. That amount is spread out over more than 3,000 donors, with the campaign limited to Japanese residents, who can donate a minimum of 5,000 yen (or about $45).

Despite smashing its target so early on, the crowdfunding campaign is only just getting started, set to run until January 21, 2022. Ghibli fans can take a look here, and donate if they’re a resident of Japan.

During its COVID closures, the Studio Ghibli Museum has offered virtual tours via YouTube, while work has continued on the studio’s eponymous theme park (get a sneak preview of the My Neighbour Totoro area here, or take a look at its replica of the castle from Howl’s Moving Castle).

Studio Ghibli’s latest film (and first fully-CGI offering), Earwig and the Witch, premiered on May 28 this year, to a mixed response that director Goro Miyazaki addressed in an interview with Dazed the same month. Hayao Miyazaki, meanwhile, has come out of retirement to work on the upcoming feature film How Do You Live?.