a crowdfunding campaign launched to preserve the Totoro Forest

A campaign to preserve this forest located northwest of Tokyo, immortalized by the famous cartoon.

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A Japanese city wants to preserve the forest that served as inspiration for the famous cartoon “My Neighbor Totoro”, thanks to a crowdfunding campaign supported by Studio Ghibli.

The locality of Tokorozawa, located about thirty kilometers northwest of Tokyo, plans to acquire this 3.5 hectare forest for around 2.6 billion yen (18.3 million euros).“This area is one of the places where director (Hayao) Miyazaki got his inspiration for Totoro while walking around”Tokorozawa’s spokesman told AFP, adding that the city wanted to turn this forest of some 7,000 trees into a nature reserve.

Totoro, spirit of the forest and huge chubby gray creature star of the animated film released in 1988, is one of the most famous characters of Studio Ghibli, at the origin of many other animated successes such as Spirited away Where Princess Mononoke.

In exchange for a donation of 25,000 yen (175 euros), participants in the campaign targeting a Japanese audience will receive a set of five prints of drawings made by the animation studio. Initially, 1,000 lots will be available, and more may be added later, the spokesperson said.

Donations are expected to cover only a small portion of the amount needed to acquire the forest, but the city hopes through this campaign to draw attention and build momentum of support for its preservation.

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