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Government Plans Put Pom Poko Shrine's Future in Jeopardy

posted on by Lynzee Loveridge

Park construction in the city of Komatsushima in Tokushima prefecture could spell the end for a shinto shrine, that is, if an international petition doesn't save it. The Kincho shrine is dedicated tanuki, Japan's indigenous raccoon dog, and was featured in the Studio Ghibli film Pom Poko. Fans of the film and concerned locals are coming together in hopes of saving the shrine from demolition.

Residents of Komatsushima are worried that the government's plans to replace the sports facilities near the shrine in favor of a park might lead to the shrine's removal. Six locals, including 63-year-old group leader and shrine priest Hiroaki Hattori, came together to lobby against the destruction of the shrine. They visited the local government office on July 31 to submit a petition. The petition garnered 3,092 signatures from Komatsushima natives and an additional 7,094 signatures via the Internet, including citizens from the U.S., China, South Korea, and Spain.

Pom Poko was directed by the late Isao Takahata and released in theaters in Japan in 1994. The film follows a tanuki family in Tama Hills who find themselves at odds with humans who seek to develop their home into a residential neighborhood.

The petition was handed to Mayor Yasunori Hamada and assembly speaker Kiyoshi Takeda. Hamada told the group that the renovation plans are still under consideration and did not guarantee that the shrine would be protected.

Thanks to Ōmiya for the news tip

Source: The Mainichi (Kazuya Osaka), Image Source: Reggaeman on Wikipedia

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