Hayao Miyazaki Building Nature Preserve for Children off of Japanese Coast

Somehow this is not a Studio Ghibli movie.

If you were writing a novel about Hayao Miyazaki—the maestro of animated filmmaking who directed My Neighbor TotoroSpirited Away, and many, many others—and you had him retire from filmmaking to create a nature preserve on a remote island in the East China Sea, your editor would reject it for being too on the nose. But that’s precisely what Miyazaki intends to do, The Hollywood Reporter says.

The center—which will ostensibly be built for children, but given Miyazaki’s MO is bound to move parents to tears as they consider their own mortality in the face of such a beautiful world—is being built on the island of Kumejima, just west of Okinawa, in a virgin forest that we can only assume is populated entirely with Totoros. Miyazaki is reportedly donating $2.5 million of his own money to the project, which is being undertaken in part to ensure that future generations will retain an appreciation of nature. It’s a concept that’s close to Miyazaki’s heart: if there’s a single thread that ties his body of work as a filmmaker together, it’s his reverence for the splendor and power of creation.

Other than the announcement that a dorm will be built to house thirty children, there’s no word yet on the project’s infrastructure, but it seems safe to assume that the preserve will be reachable only by spirit-guided ferry, and that transportation on the island will be via cat bus.

(via The Hollywood Reporter)


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