The pandemic and travel restrictions has hit the revenues of businesses large and small hard over the past two years, and sadly, Japan’s world-famous Ghibli Museum is no exception. But theres good news, beca where able, over 4500 supporters have so far rallied to its donate to prevent its closure through a fundraising campaign. Now, some international fans can show their support, too.
Since opening its doors in October 2001, the Ghibli Museum, in Mitaka, has brought smiles and inspiration to countless Studio Ghibli fans from around the globe as a place for them to visit the world of Studio Ghibli films.
However, the COVID-19 pandemic forced the museum to temporarily close its doors for five months, and limit the number of visitors to the facility after reopening in September last year. The museum’s revenue decreased sharply, and it is now deeply in the red. Bereft of overseas tourists, visitor numbers have dropped drastically.
Now, with the COVID-19 pandemic expected to continue for some time, the museum may be forced to close down, so to avoid this, Mitaka City is seeking donations from the public through a government-run crowdfunding site to help sustain the museum, in Japan and, as of last week, from some international fans of Studio Ghibli, too.
(Unfortunately, data protection laws across the European Union and the UK, and some other countries, mean that, right now, fans in a number of countries can’t contribute to the campaign, which has so far raised over £235,000 in support).
Through the site, the museum is asking for minimum donations of ¥5,000 or more, roughly £33 ($44). Japanese residents who donate may be eligible to claim a tax deduction based on Japan’s furusato tax system.
The fundraising campaign will close at the end of January 2022.
As a token of appreciation, Studio Ghibli is offering each donor an autographed Ghibli Museum Thank-You card, signed by Hayao Miyazaki, by regular post. The donor will receive a separate email from Mitaka City with further instructions on how to receive this card at a later date.
• The Ghibli Museum is online at www.ghibli-museum.jp (site in Japanese) | Twitter | 1-1-83 Shimorenjaku, Mitaka City, Tokyo 181-0013 (inside Inokashira Park Nishien)
Unfortunately, the “Donation to Municipality” website, through which donation applications are submitted, does not accept access from the European Economic Area(including the EU) and certain other countries due to compliance with the EU’s General Data Protection Regulation(GDPR) and other regulations.
This means it is inaccessible in the following countries: China, UK, Switzerland, Norway, Monaco, Liechtenstein, Andorra, San Marino, Vatican, Iceland, EU member states (Ireland, Italy, Estonia, Austria, Netherlands, Cyprus, Greece, Croatia, Sweden, Spain, Slovakia, Slovenia, Czech Republic, Denmark, Germany, Hungary, Finland, France, Bulgaria, Belgium, Poland, Portugal, Malta, Latvia, Lithuania, Romania, and Luxembourg)
(I did wonder if it might be possible for those unable to donate to the campaign might instead be able to buy some of the fun merchandise from the Museum shop, but unfortunately, they only deliver in Japan).