The Ghibli Museum almost had to close its doors for good this month, then a crowdfunding campaign saved the museum in less than 24 hours.
It’s been a rough year and change for everyone. With people out of work and business shuttering either temporarily or permanently on a global level, it’s been a struggle for most at one point or another, and the Studio Ghibli Museum in Mitaka City, Japan is no exception.
Established in June 2001, the Ghibli Museum is a showcase of the animation and art of the world-famous and studio founder Hayao Miyazaki. The museum features a replica of the Catbus from My Neighbor Totoro, a rooftop garden, cafe, and a theater where visitors can view short films exclusive to the Studio Ghibli Museum. Without in-person visitors, the Ghibli Museum virtually opened its doors to the public about a year ago, and planning has been ongoing on the upcoming Studio Ghibli theme park. But despite how beloved, popular, and commercially successful Studio Ghibli is and despite receiving a grant from Mitaka City in March of this year, the Ghibli Museum didn’t have enough money to cover all of the expenses of running and almost closed this month.
The Ghibli Museum was first forced to close on February 25th, 2020 through July 2020 when Japan declared a state of emergency, and was forced to temporarily shut its doors once more from April 25th through early June 2021 due to another state of emergency. But even with this massive loss of revenue, the Ghibli Museum still had to complete regular maintenance and repairs necessary to keep the building and its massive collection in good repair.
In response to the Ghibli Museum’s financial hardships the city of Mitaka started a crowdfunding campaign on July 16th with the goal of raising 10,000,000 yen (or about $91,000) in donations meant to keep the Ghibli Museum afloat. However, by the end of the weekend they had raised over 22,000,000 yen (or $200,000). The campaign will continue through January 31, 2022, but to date the crowdfunding campaign has raised roughly 225% of its goal.
Unfortunately at this time the campaign is only open to Japanese residents and is not accepting donations from international fans of the studio, but if this changes we’ll be sure to let you know.
If you happen to be near Mitaka City and would like to visit the Studio Ghibli Museum yourself, the museum is open most days from 10:00 am until 6:00 pm. Tickets are available online in limited quantities and must be purchased in advance through the museum’s website.
Clearly the love for Studio Ghibli and the Ghibli Museum runs deep in Mitaka City and throughout Japan, and we hope that this crowdfunding campaign will keep the museum going until business can get back to normal and we all have chances to visit the Ghibli Museum for ourselves for many more years to come.
Have you visited the Studio Ghibli Museum yourself? Which display or exhibit was your favorite or which do you most want to see for yourself one day? Which Ghibli film have you watched the most number of times? Let us know in the comments!
Ja Ne, Adventurers!