Earlier this year, it looked like Japan’s iconic Ghibli Museum — home to a replica of the My Neighbour Totoro Catbus, a fresco painting of Kiki of Kiki’s Delivery Service fame, and a life-size, five metre tall statue of the robot from Castle in the Sky — was in some serious financial trouble. Now, with the support of the beloved animation studio’s fans, the museum has smashed its fundraising goal, and its legacy has been secured.
The hybrid children’s, technology, and fine arts museum was forced to shutter last February due to (guess who) the coronavirus pandemic. But even after the museum reopened to the public, reduced entry and continued restrictions meant that it needed some extra help getting money together for its regular maintenance and repairs.
In May, the Japanese city of Mitaka kicked off a crowdfunding campaign to help the museum raise ¥10 million (around $91,000), offering bespoke Ghibli merch in exchange for their donors’ generosity. As reported by Anime News Network, this initial goal was met within just 24 hours, despite donations to the fund only being open to residents of Japan exclusively. “As of press time, the campaign has raised ¥21,912,735 (about US $199,262) from 2,808 donors.”
On top of all that, the fund is only just getting started — the campaign is scheduled to run for a total of 201 days, all the way until January 31, 2022. So what to do with all that extra money? Expand the Totoro area of the new Ghibli theme park? Upgrade the museum café with the help of food blogger Sylvia Wakana to have it serve every impossibly tasty Studio Ghibli dish we’ve taken in over the years? A new, experimental audio exhibit, dedicated to all of Hayao Miyazaki’s wisdom-filled soundbites?
The possibilities are endless. But the café upgrade is really a no-brainer, just saying.
Read More:Over $200,000 has been raised to save the Studio Ghibli Museum