'Totoro's Home' Destroyed by Suspected Arson Fire
posted on 2009-02-14 04:13 EST by Egan Loo
A fire broke out at around 2:20 a.m. on Saturday and destroyed the vacant Tokyo house that is best known by its nickname, "Totoro's Home." There were no injuries. The burglary sensors that the local Suginami government had installed in the house were activated just after 2:00 a.m., even though the house was locked. The Suginami police suspect that someone may have broken into the house, and therefore they are investigating the cause of the fire as possible arson. According to the local government, the 70-square-meter (about 84-square-yard) Western-style wooden house was built in 1929.
Studio Ghibli co-founder and My Neighbor Totoro director Hayao Miyazaki described the house in the book Totoro no Sumu Ie (The Homes that Totoro Lives in). Miyazaki called the house a "home that Totoro would have enjoyed living in dearly." Through the efforts of local residents, the Suginami government had purchased the land surrounding the home after the last owner had moved out. The government had been sprucing up the house and its surroundings into a public park, which would have opened in 2010.
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