Over $200,000 Raised To Help Save The Studio Ghibli Museum

The money is needed for necessary repairs and maintenance

Castle in the Sky is just one of the Ghibli movies memorialized at the museum.
Castle in the Sky is just one of the Ghibli movies memorialized at the museum.
Screenshot: ジブリ美術館@YouTube

Have you ever been to the Ghibli Museum? It’s a magical place! But, due to covid-19, it’s a place in need of extra cash.

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Last Friday, the city of Mitaka in Tokyo launched a crowdfunding drive in Japan, requesting 5,000 yen ($45) donations, which can be tax write-offs. The crowdfunding site, however, is only for residents of Japan.

In the first 24 hours, ANN reports, the 10 million yen (roughly $90,000) goal was easily met. As of writing, the crowdfunding page has 22,156,735 yen, which is over $200,000 and 221.5 percent over the original goal. There are still 197 days left in the crowdfunding campaign.

The city of Mitaka gave the museum a grant this spring; however, it is not enough to cover all the necessary maintenance and repairs. Thus, the crowdfunding project was launched to help the museum stay afloat.

The museum closed temporarily last year from February 25 to July due to the first state of emergency declared in Japan due to covid-19. It then closed again temporarily again this year from April 25 to early June. This has meant lost revenue.

Opened in 2001, the Ghibli Museum features a number of large displays and exhibits (I mean, there’s a huge Catbus, for goodness sake!). Upkeep certainly seems like a significant and constant cost, and without revenue, the museum could easily fall into disrepair. Tickets are pre-sold and only a limited number of visitors are allowed so as not to ruin the experience. You know what would really ruin things? The museum running out of money.

It’s great to see the Ghibli Museum get an outpouring of support. It looks like a massive stash of cash will be raised. No doubt it’s way more than the studio could have ever expected. Hopefully, that extra money will be poured into new, exciting exhibits that people can enjoy once things return to normal—or somewhat so.


DISCUSSION

By
Inzoum

When I last went to Japan, I thought it’d be nice to visit the museum so I looked it up online and realized you needed to pre-register for tickets (several weeks ahead, at the time). It felt unnecessarilly tedious and certainly impossible to settle in the two weeks I was over there, so I gave up. The museum’s access rule definitely makes it difficult for outside tourists to visit, favouring japanese visitors who can better make the necesary arrangements or delay their visit accordingly. I don’t know whether filtering out foreigners is part of the design, but this is definitely where the money’s at, so it sounds like a terrible miscalculation to me.