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Ghibli Museum Celebrates 20th Anniversary With Giant Totoro Balloon

posted on by Kim Morrissy
Balloon is approximately 5.3 meters tall and 3.5 meters wide

The Ghibli Museum celebrated its 20th anniversary on October 1. To commemorate the occasion, the museum unveiled a large-scale Totoro balloon at the building's terrace on October 3. Approximately 1,300 Mitaka City residents who earned an invitation by raffle came to celebrate the milestone.

The cuddly Totoro is an iconic figure from the My Neighbor Totoro film, and is a mascot character for Studio Ghibli. His balloon counterpart is approximately 5.3 meters tall and 3.5 meters wide. The Ghibli World fan news site posted photos of the balloon on its Twitter account on Tuesday.

The Ghibli Museum, located in Mitaka in west Tokyo, opened in October 2001 is dedicated to bringing the works of Studio Ghibli to life through interactive exhibits and replicas of iconic Ghibli creations like the Catbus from My Neighbor Totoro and the robot from Castle in the Sky. The museum also offers a rotating screening of different Ghibli-animated shorts. Additionally, exhibits on works that have influenced Hayao Miyazaki are also common. Tickets to the museum must be purchased in advance, and the museum only makes a select number of tickets available for each day.

In July, Mitaka City launched a crowdfunding campaign for the museum to make up for its deficits during the coronavirus pandemic. The Furusato Choice campaign states that while the museum received a grant from Mitaka City in March, those funds will not cover the cost for larger repairs and maintenance. The campaign surpassed its crowdfunding goal of 10 million yen (approximately US$90,000) in less than 24 hours.

The museum temporarily closed from April 25 to early June due to the third state of emergency against the new coronavirus disease (COVID-19) in Tokyo, among other prefectures. The museum closed from February 25 to July of last year due to the first state of emergency.

The museum is currently holding a special exhibit for the Earwig and the Witch 3D animated film, which opened in Japanese theaters on August 27.

Source: Chunichi Shimbun

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