Laputa's Muska Joins Tiger Mask in Donating to Children's Home
posted on by Sarah Nelkin
An unknown man in his 30s left packages filled with eight children's leather backpacks and a DVD of Hayao Miyazaki and Studio Ghibli's Nausicaa of the Valley of the Wind film at a Japanese children's home on Saturday. A letter signed by "Colonel Muska" was left with the presents at the doorstep of the Awanokuni Jikeiin children's home in Tokushima City at around 6:00 p.m. The note read, "Think of this as an early Christmas present and accept it." Another line was written, saying "Now, what are you waiting for? Try putting them on."
Colonel Muska was the main villain in Miyazaki and Ghibli's Laputa - Castle in the Sky animated film. A staff member at the orphanage said in an interview, "In the movie, he's written as a really evil character, but maybe he's actually a pretty good person."
Eight of the home's children will be entering elementary school next spring. This is the second time "Muska" has donated to the orphanage.
The Tiger Mask donation movement began on Christmas morning in 2010 when a person left 10 30,000-yen (about US$360) backpacks at a child guidance center in Gunma Prefecture under the name of "Naoto Date." Naoto Date is the alter ego of Tiger Mask, a manga/anime pro wrestler who fights for children in an orphanage. Japanese backpacks for children each cost 30,000 yen because they are made from leather and are designed to last a child through elementary school from the beginning to the end.
Donors under the names of the K-On anime character Yui, Doraemon, Mario and Yoshi of the Super Mario games, Anpanman, Ai no Senshi Rainbowman, Seigi wo Aisuru Mono Gekko Kamen, Hideto Matsumoto (X Japan's late guitarist hide) then helped push the number of donations to Japanese children's centers past 700 in one month. A total of 620 backpacks and 24 million yen (US$290,000) were contributed between Christmas and mid-January. Then in last November, another donor by the name of Ultra Seven donated one million yen (about US$12,809) to an orphanage in Hokkaido Prefecture.
The movement returned last year, with many other characters "contributing" to the cause, including Momotarō, Ashita no Joe, Evangelion's Rei Ayanami and Ryōji Kaji, Haruhi Suzumiya, Crayon Shin-chan, Arsène Lupin, Kamen Rider, the real-life samurai warlord (and Sengoku Basara character) Date Masamune, Kyojin no Hoshi, Stitch, and Tetsujin 28-gō.